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Fortune: Apple TV 'a dud'

updated 12:15 pm EDT, Thu May 31, 2007

Fortune: Apple TV 'a dud'

The editor-at-large of Fortune magazine, Brent Schlender, has tested the Apple TV for several weeks and declared that it's "as uninspired as another prominent dud," the Microsoft Zune. Schlender extends this simile to four points: like the Zune's Wi-Fi, the Apple TV also has a crippled central feature, in that while intended for HDTVs, its videos may often be as fuzzy as broadcast TV. Schlender also complains that just as the Zune's best feature is actually cosmetic (a third color, brown), the Apple TV benefits most from its "ethereal" photo screensaver and that even those photos are handled awkwardly.

While users can stream music from multiple computers, photos are restricted to one machine, an oddity that supposedly mirrors Microsoft's blocking of legal music in its own earlier format. Schlender lastly observes that neither the Zune nor the Apple TV can buy music directly, despite their built-in Wi-Fi capabilities.

This leads to speculation that the iPhone might likewise prove disappointing, for reasons of implementation rather than concept. It is suggested that EDGE bandwidth may turn out to be too slow, or that the virtual keyboard may prove impractical. Schlender is, however, withholding his verdict.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. burger

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    regarding AppleTV

    Every time I am at the Apple Store, I glance at the LCD showing the AppleTV's capabilities and am concerned over the low quality of the video. It simply looks terrible. I'm sure this is all relative to the quality of the movie or clip that is playing, but this is AT the Apple Store. Props to them for showing customers just how bad it can look, but I am not pulling out the credit card.

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    volume

    This guy makes the classic mistake of asking for a volume control on AppleTV. WHY?? I asked him if his DVD player or VCR have a volume control... No response...

    It's version 1.0... give it some time to grow before calling it a dud. (Think iPod)

  1. lemuel777

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    I love the AppleTV but

    hate the price. Because it is "crippled" it should only cost $199. Then I would buy one and the t*** wouldn't smell so bad.

  1. horvatic

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Your confusing a Zune wit

    Your confusing a Zune with an Apple TV. The two are way different and the Zune is a t*** while the Apple TV will get better with software updates. Something that the Zune can't do. You could flush the Zune down the toilet like a t*** though. This story jumps the gun and forgets to mention the software updates that will be coming for the Apple TV which will make many improvements including picture quality as mentioned by Steve Jobs himself.

  1. dan20164

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Picture quality ?

    This reveiw was pretty poorly written, volume controls are a function of a preamp thank you very much... and who on this planet owns an HD widescreen and does not already have a DVD player ? My picture quality is no less than superb. Even using component video it is good. The only time I see broadcast quality is when I play broadcast quality media. Maybe his test was on a low end LCD tv ? And per the crippled comment poster, pull your head out into the sunshine ! Don't know this writer at Fortune, but he sounds like he could easily be Dvorak's illegitimate son..

  1. OtisWild

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    no 1080p

    It doesn't support 1080p, therefore it sucks. Also, iTunes not selling or renting HD video is terribly weak. I can rent HD on my XBox 360 (but I don't since it's incredibly overpriced), and I can use it to watch unencrypted iTunes stuff of all sorts of formats via connect360.

    If I were an early adopter and saw the 160gb for only $100 more so soon after initial launch, I would be SUPER PISSED.

    And I still think that PVR functionality should have been in there from the get-go, and that Apple could have done good by buying out Tivo.

  1. Appleman

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    1080

    My Apple TV does support 1080, so maybe it depemds on your HD television set? I like the Apple TV very much, despite the detour in making divx and avi playable for iTunes = Apple TV. For the rest it simply needs to mature a bit.

  1. Recto Bold

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    He might be right....

    Much as I want to love it, it was a missed opportunity really. So many things missing and that little 40GB HD was always going to be too tiny, right from the start. No 1080 - Seems an odd decision. A PVR really would have made it for me - I envisaged it as something to bring all of my media together in one place, something that as much as I am loathed to admit, the X-Box 360 seems to do quite well (I don't own one - Have messed with a friend's (before scrubbing hands aggressively).

    I'm sure that there is more to come from Apple TV and that it will end up being a great piece of kit, at which time I really look forward to owning one, but at the moment I'm, holding fire. Really wanted to be impressed with it, but overall I'm not.

  1. rtbarry

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    picture?

    what are you guys seeing? i've got it hooked, via HDMI, to a 720p panny plasma. it looks awesome: the menus, the music videos i buy from iTunes and my own DVDs that i transcode via handbrake.

    of course, a true HD feed, like Discovery HD, looks better. but that's because the source is true HD. once apple works it out with the studios, the movies, etc should look the same.

    as for 1080p, good luck with that. no such beast yet in terms of source, and only the newest TVs support it. and many of those don't take 1080p input, they merely do their own upscaling and interlacing.

    1080p is merely 1080i, deinterlaced to 1080p by the TV. there is currently no broadcast or other source of 1080p. and it has nothing to do with appleTV. that's not its job.

    i suggest some of you HD n00bs do a little research before you start spouting off.

  1. rtbarry

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    also, the HD...

    ...is insigificant. the only thing you really need it for is photos. everything else can be stored in iTunes and streamed as needed.

    do any of you actually own this thing yet?

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