Apple TV not so good for Canadians?

Apple Store“Steve Jobs has given little indication that he regards Canada as more than an extension of the U.S. market for Apple — I can’t even recall when he last set foot on Canadian soil, if ever — but still it’s hard to understand his strategy of releasing the Apple TV here,” Jack Kapica writes for The Globe and Mail.

“Apple TV’s most important features — the ability to buy and download television programs and movies — are simply not available in Canada. Apple has cut deals with Hollywood and Tellywood for content, but these deals are made only for the U.S. market,” Kapica writes.

Kapica writes, “You cannot stream your MP3 files or your YouTube clips to Apple TV without organizing them first through iTunes. It’s not that big a deal on the surface, because iTunes and the QuickTime player are free products. But because it’s bundled with iTunes, Apple TV becomes a closed system. Put another way, you can’t stream much through Apple TV unless iTunes declares it to be legal, whatever that means in the context of the Canadian legislative jurisdiction.”

“Now the lack of content for Canadians might be the fault of an insufficiently internationalized copyright system, but it still amounts to coercing people to use iTunes to buy all their entertainment products,” Kapica writes.

Kapica writes, “You can’t buy iTunes content through the TV; you have to do that through the computer where the iTunes program resides. And even if you could buy iTunes video, there’s no HD content for sale — Apple sells stuff it calls “near-DVD quality,” which runs a maximum of 640 by 480 pixels, a resolution even lower than analog TV.”

MacDailyNews Note: Apple’s iTunes Store content is not “a resolution even lower than analog TV.” It matches ATSC’s 640×480 resolution for 4:3 Standard Definition square pixel aspect ratio specs.

Kapica continues, “Still, there are things to admire in Apple TV. It is, as usual, a gorgeously designed box, all white and brushed titanium (or whatever metal it is), and about the size of a small box of bonbons, a concept I’m sure its designers entertained. It is operated by a remote control reminiscent of a prepubescent iPod, and perhaps as easily lost as a toddler at a summer picnic. (If you have a recent iMac machine, you’d recognize it right away; it’s the same remote.)”

Kapica writes, “The actual Apple TV unit does, however, turn hot when it runs for a short while. Very hot — it’s wise to find a well-ventilated place for it. And it’s designed to be left on all the time: There is no off switch.”

MacDailyNews Note: Apple TV does have an “off button.” Apple TV is basically an iPod for your living room. How does iPod turn off? Press and hold the Play/Pause button. How does Apple TV turn off? The same way: just press and hold your Apple TV remote’s Play/Pause button (click any button to turn it back on). Logical, huh?

Kapica continues, “So, Apple TV is technologically a lovely little machine, and it offers the ability to stream content to your TV, including MP3 music files, rock videos and movie trailers. But if it will not play content protected by copyright purchased on another system, if it will not sell you TV shows and if it will not sell you movies, as it is designed to do, is it really worth considering? Apple TV remains quite overpriced for what Canadians can use it for.”

Full article here.


  1. A very good and true article. It is pricey for canadians for what you can get out of it. If there is a reason why we can’t get programming at least apple should tell us why and if ever we will be able to purchase programming. Oh, and Thorin, your an idiot.

  2. People probably have about the same small percentage of drm’d movies on their computers as they have drm’d songs. Canadians will use this for the same reasons that Americans do – to watch all those evil, illicit non-drm’d movies…

  3. “I can’t even recall when he last set foot on Canadian soil, if ever”

    Do all Canadians have this sort inferiority complex? I mean c’mon, when is it necessary for the CEO of a company to visit a country where their products are sold? What good would it do? oh hey, here I am in Canada. There’s a mountain and some streams…. ooh a moose….. hey is Neil Young here? Bryan Adams? Rush?….

    Ohh another moose….

    Since when does America in general not consider Canada an extension of the US?

  4. “it still amounts to coercing people to use iTunes to buy all their entertainment products,” Kapica writes.”

    Um.. what?

    Since when is anyone being forced at gunpoint to buy ANYTHING from Apple. Or ANYTHING at all for that matter. You have choices.

  5. The differences between Canadians and Americans:

    We won’t throw someone in prison for having a small amount of marijuana, because we can differentiate that and say, heroin.

    We support our neighbours after they have been attacked on home soil, but the corollary does not mean we support your preemptive invading of another country under false pretenses.

    Tim Hortons Donuts are better than Krispy Kreme any day of the week.

    We export more influential talent to the US in terms of actors, musicians, scientists, than the other way around.

    Americans are more charitable to the Third World than Canadians, and generally give more by personal donation.

    We are not locked into a two party system. We have at least 4-5 parties, including a separatist party.

    Public, universal healthcare.

    And so on….

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