Does Apple TV 3.0 need a DVD player?

“The biggest problem with Apple TV: It doesn’t replace anything. It’s yet another box hooked up to your TV that many people don’t have room for — space-wise, money-wise, HD video port-wise, etc.,” Dan Frommer opines or Silicon Alley Insider.

“So Apple’s first step should be to throw a disc reader in there and make it a high-end DVD player replacement, something people will still need/use for years, for $199 or less. Then, get a good deal from Sony to offer a premium Blu-ray edition for cheap — $399 tops; ideally $299 or less. And now you have a much, much bigger potential market than if Apple TV were just an iTunes player,” Frommer writes.

“After that: As we’ve said in the past, open it up a bit. Make Apple TV the go-to box for people to watch any Internet video on their TVs, not just iTunes or Google’s YouTube. Add Safari with Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight plugins so we can watch MLB.TV, Hulu, ESPN 360, ABC/NBC/CBS shows, etc.,” Frommer writes. “Even support iTunes rivals like Amazon’s new streaming service, and Netflix streaming, when it’s available for Mac.”

Frommer writes, “If Apple were to combine something many people want — a set-top box that can display all Internet video on a TV — with a DVD player, something that people are still going to need for years — then Apple TV might take off.”

More in the full article here.


  1. I have two Apple TVs and almost never watch DVDs anymore. They are all ripped into digital format and we stream them to both aTVs. The only time we watch the actual DVD is if the streaming slows for some reason and that is extremely rare. We love having our entire movie library in one place visible on both TVs.

  2. It needs a Blu-Ray player.

    I’ve always felt that it also needs a DVR, but I’m starting to have my doubts. I think Apple may have missed the boat and it may be too late to catch up. Too many cable and satellite companies are putting out free or cheap, proprietary DVR’s. Even Tivo is having problems and they are by far the best out there.

  3. Apple could leverage the disc-sharing software for the Air and allow for streaming of DVDs from Macs and Windows PCs to fulfill this need while people transition to the download model, providing that wireless can provide enough bandwidth.

    Combined with a DVR, this would make Apple TV an unstoppable force to be reckoned with.

  4. The Mac mini’s DVD drive does NOT upsample DVDs to 1080p. If Apple added Faroudja upsampling circuitry to the mini, that would be a nice addition. The price of internal Blu-ray drives is still prohibitive for a machine with the market that the Mac mini targets. Although, I’ve always thought that the mini is a much better, more capable media companion that the TV.

    Blu-ray is better as a separate box, which DOES replace a DVD player, because it DOES upsample DVDs to 1080p. Some even play hi-res audio like SACD. So, there goes the dedicated DVD player. That’s what I’m going to do.

    Physical discs, CD, DVD or Blu-ray aren’t going away anytime soon. There’s not enough bandwidth to support uncompressed Full-HD downloads any time soon. If you prefer lo-res or crappily compressed music and movies, good for you, then you must content now. Not me.

    With the boom in sales of Full-HD TVs and the official switch to digital TV, there will be more and more call for Full-HD content. Once you see the real hi-definition thing and once you get used to it, you won’t want to look at lo-res content unless you’ve no other choice.

    Besides, many people like to have a physical media library, whether it’s music, movies or whatever.

  5. The Mac mini isn’t that great when you’re trying to use it from the couch. I know, I have one connected to my HDTV. You still need at least a bluetooth keyboard and mouse. The Leopard version of Front Row is one whole generation behind Apple TV 2.0 software and as such it can’t be used for browsing the iTunes store or renting/purchasing content. Plus it doesn’t even have youtube; you have to fire up your web browser (keyboard and mouse time again).

    I’ve found I use the Mac mini that’s hooked up to my TV for one thing primarily: Pandora.

    If AppleTV could add Pandora support similar to the way they added Youtube support, I think that would actually be a big selling point to a lot of people. A way to get internet radio to play through your sound system along with album art displayed on your HDTV is something nobody is selling right now.

    *To be clear, AppleTV already supports streaming internet radio. Just create an iTunes playlist with your favorite internet radio stations and then sync that playlist to your AppleTV. However, streaming internet radio is pretty lame compared to Pandora.

  6. No, it does not. It DOES need to be able to plug into external storage, like a USB hard drive, or talk to a NAS to stream files from that.

    A DVD/BluRay drive would be useless. It would take forever to rip anything to AppleTV format, and then you have copy protection to think about…….

    It is a great little device, but they need to enable the USB port for external storage at the very least.

  7. What a stupid article.

    Apple TV doesn’t replace anything??? When Apple TV 2.0 came out, we cancelled both cable ($60/month) and NetFlix ($20/month). We don’t watch anywhere near the forty TV shows a month we’d have to watch to cost make this break even, so we’re coming out way ahead.

    I could see how for your average American eight-hours-a-day couch-potato TV addict Apple TV wouldn’t represent any savings, but for those of us who have a life outside of television, it’s fantastic. No ads, instant-start streaming on-demand HD movies. Plus YouTube and HD podcasts.

  8. “It doesn’t replace anything.”
    Let me say that this is the most stupid thing I’ve ever heard. Apple TV replaces precisely the DVD, Just like iPod and iTunes replaces the old acrylic CD format. Just like apple also predicted that the floppy disk will be obsolete.

  9. Less than 3% of HDTV owners have an over-the-air antenna connected to it. AppleTV will never include over-the-air HDTV tuning/recording because people aren’t interested in doing it that way. People who want that use the DVR that their cable/satellite company gave them or their beloved Tivo.

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