ZDNet’s Graham: Apple TV hits a number of sweet spots, poised to make a big impact

Apple Store“I’ve heard a lot of complaints about the Apple TV, and plenty of skeptics who think the device doesn’t hit the right technical marks, but I disagree. I think it hits a number of sweet spots that make it one of the most compelling devices we’ve seen in some time. Other companies are trying to get into the living room, but I think this one may finally have the legs it needs to make a big impact in our lives,” Alan Graham blogs for ZDNet. “Bigger…yes I’m saying it…bigger than Tivo!”

“One of the major complaints I’ve heard from people is the lack of a Digital Video Recorder in the Apple TV. I was initially shocked myself and saw it as a major oversight, but the more I thought about it the more it made sense,” Graham writes. “And now…I think that the DVR (of which I’ve owned many), might be reaching the end of it’s usefulness.”

“The Apple TV is a time-shifting media viewer that allows me to buy only the media content I want to watch, when I want to watch it, with pause/rewind/fast forward, at a reasonable price, with no monthly subscription fee, small hardware footprint, works with Macs and PCs, automatically downloads my season passes when available, doesn’t require any BS to move it to my iPod or another computer, could very well stream ‘live’ television like news and sports (as it does movie previews), supports HD, I only pay for content not service, doesn’t force me to watch commercials, and gives me back 18 minutes of my life for every hour I spend watching broadcast shows,” Graham writes.

Graham breaks down why he thinks Apple likely made the right hardware choices when building the Apple TV in his full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “BB” for the heads up.]

Tour of Apple’s new Apple TV (3:58):

Related articles:
Is Apple out to kill cable television? – January 25, 2007
RUMOR: Apple TV sales blowing away Apple’s internal expectations – January 25, 2007
Steve Jobs: Apple TV is the ‘DVD player for the 21st century’ – January 22, 2007
Apple TV beats out iPod, hits top spot on Apple Store sales chart – January 19, 2007
Report: first batch of 100,000 Apple TVs to ship this month – January 11, 2007
Steve Jobs moves to control the living room with Apple TV – January 10, 2007
Analyst Bajarin: Apple’s iPhone and Apple TV are industry game changers – January 09, 2007
Apple premieres Apple TV: movies, TV shows, music & photos on your big screen TV – January 09, 2007


  1. yeah…maybe. I’m still hard-pressed to see this as being cheaper than an $80/month cable box, especially when you consider how much time people spend watching sports. I don’t really think it’s okay to download yesterday’s game today.

  2. I would be all about a subscription service for the television shows. Music you listen to over and over again but do you really watch a TV show more than once or twice? If they could offer me unlimited television show viewing for $30 a month I would be there in an instant. It’s so much cheaper than my cable and I don’t have to pay for all the channels I don’t want. I don’t watch ESPN and yet Comcast makes me pay for 5 or 6 of them. I have been paying for those channels for years and have never watched one of them. Let me download the few shows a month I actually do watch and cut out the cable middleman.

  3. People always focus on the video capabilities of the AppleTV, but I, for one, prefer the fact that you can browse up your music library visually right from your TV and don’t have to deal with AirPort Express and a computer in the upstars office. That’s the main reason I want the AppleTV.

  4. I am interested in AppleTV as I refuse to pay the huge monthly charge for cable. I get the shows I want through iTunes now much cheaper and watch them whenever I want, either on my iPod or my TV from my iPod. The only problem is that Apple TV only works on an HDTV which I don’t have and don’t want – I don’t watch enough TV to justify spending many hundreds or thousands of dollars on it.

    Bummer… I can’t figure out why Apple wouldn’t have made this compatible with regular TV’s. They’ve left me out on this one.

  5. I would not be adamantly agains a subscription service, as long as its not the only option. I don’t want to have to switch from paying my satellite provider $30-$80/month, dogmatically, to paying iTMS the same amount. For iTMS tv shows I did a little math and here’s what I came up with: One tv show times one episode per week times four, equals 8 dollars per month. So $32/month buys you 4 tv shows per month. Oh but wait, what about reruns, well, if I’m not subscribing then I’m not paying to see the reruns. With subscriber based tv you’re paying to watch not for new programs, with iTMS you’re paying for new programs and not repaying for reruns.

    I do watch tv, but I watch very little prime time, I usually get hooked on a couple of programs that I enjoy watching and that’s about it. So if subscription works out better for you then cool, but I don’t want to be forced into another subscription service, even if it does provide what we’ve all always wanted – pick your own programs rather than being forced to pick packages, which has never ever worked for me. If iTMS can do both then great, otherwise I’m not interested.

  6. I will get one… Within a year or two, for sure. About the time when I get a super-cheap HD bigscreen for under a grand around 2008 or 2009.

    I RUSH for WAAAAAY better, like I did for Apple 13 years ago.
    But HD tv, well, I’ve seen hundreds of shows at my moms in Hi-Definition. YAWN…. Football and basketball and tennis ARE better, but not enough to make me wanna spend big bucks.

    I’ll wait. But it’s obviously in my future.

  7. For those that don’t read pigeon-english:

    With subscriber based tv you’re paying to watch not only new programs but also paying to watch reruns, with iTMS you’re paying for new programs and not repaying for reruns.

  8. For your live sports and local TV news, you use over-the-air digital TV (yup, it’s an antenna, but it’s either clear as a bell or not there – no fuzzy snow, rolling pictures, etc. like analog):

    TV stations serving all markets in the United States are airing digital television programming today, although most will continue to provide analog programming through February 17, 2009. At that point, full-power TV stations will cease broadcasting on their current analog channels, and the spectrum they use for analog broadcasting will be reclaimed and put to other uses.

  9. the number of people who want to simply be free of ‘being forced to watch commercials.’ I have to agree. I think the nails are being driven one by one into coventional television’s coffin by this and other devices. I can hardly wait.

  10. I agree with AshNazg. The only reason I bought it was to have a nice “Ipod” interface on my tv and surround sound. I may watch videos from time to time, doubtful about movies. Plus its a GREAT way to break the ice at get togethers with putting photos on the screen. Cant wait, its EXACTLY what I want.

  11. Don’t forget iPhoto on iTV.

    While at first this seems fairly insignificant part of what the device is designed to do. Jobs gushed (albeit briefly) over the experience of watching large, mega pixel sized digital family & travel photos on a Big HD Screen/ monitor.

    THe more I think about it that may be the key to titling my buying decision over to getting one.

  12. to GmanMac: EXACTLY! Imagine. You are having a family get together. Thanksgiving, Christmas, whatever…You make a iPhoto slideshow for your family and deliver it via hiDef TV. Grandma will love it. I see this as being a nice way to make families and friends come together and talk. It’s a good thing definately. I actually can’t wait to do this for my family. I know they will love it.

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