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Survey: Public rejecting digital media adapters

updated 12:30 pm EST, Wed November 28, 2007

Media adapters ill-favored

The public is generally avoiding digital media adapters such as the Apple TV and Sonos' wireless audio system, a new study suggests. The market research group Parks Associates claims that within a reporting group of US broadband users, only nine percent even had a stereo connected to their computer, and of those, 50 percent relied on simpler output techniques such as RCA cables. Only 28 percent used a wired or wireless media adapter. Similarly, a tiny four percent of broadband subscribers had a TV connected to their computer, and 31 percent of those connected to TVs using the likes of S-Video cables. A closer 30 percent did rely on media adapters, however.

Attempting to explain the results, Parks suggests that for most people, adapters are needlessly expensive; whereas RCA and S-Video cables can cost as little $10, adapters frequently cost upwards of $100-200, while offering few extra features. They also require extra time and effort to configure, resulting in little perceived value.

by MacNN Staff



  1. starwarrior

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Another Just Don't Get It

    Wrong questions and wrong answers. Sony and Apple seem to be wrongly mentioned to get reader attention.

  1. dmsimmer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    cables costs

    Those cables have a 90% markup.

    Even at the Apple Store. I had to pay $20 for a 12" USB-iPhone cable.

    That's just silly.

  1. shmoolie

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's not about cables

    It's not about cables. The adapters like AppleTV just don't provide enough for the average consumer to go through he trouble of connecting one to their HDTV setup.

    First of all it uses another port on the TV and there just may not be enough of those after the DVR, the Playstation, and the DVD player.

    Also, the typical consumer has trouble already keeping track of the inputs and trying to remember how to control all the devices from their remote. Adding one more is just asking for trouble.

  1. Will53

    Joined: Dec 1969


    adding dvd

    Apple needs to add DVD-recording capability to the Apple TV, at least. Then ppl could subtract one device from the mess... You know, I wish they would make a TV which is like the iPhone, at least three devices in one. And then one could stream stuff from the computer to the TV without adding a device. Think different.

  1. Smurfman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    AppleTV and DVD

    I haven't purchased the AppleTV yet but plan to as soon as possible! It embodies the direction I want to go with my media content (music, photos, movies).

    I hope Apple puts 110% effort in this soon. A few major things they need to do with version 2.0 is:

    1) Add an interface to purchase iTunes content directly from AppleTV and then Sync to computers with the same iTunes account. 2) Add a full Safari browser. 3) Interface with popular video sites (similar to YouTube). As a cool/"neato" feature, maybe even partner with Google to integrate Google Earth directly into AppleTV. Add Wii like remote for manipulating/navigating the AppleTV interface! 4) Add DVD player/writer option. I want to get rid of as many components as possible!!

    I don't need a TIVO like device since I don't even have cable but I'm sure some will have use for recording/pausing live TV. Apple should offer this option as well. Just as a choice if nothing else.

    Most importantly, for AppleTV to become widespread, Apple needs to partner with as many video sites and content partners as possible. They need to be open to multiple venues and video CODECs. Consumers need solid reasons (outside the Mac realm) to purchase this thing.

    If Apple makes the next version of AppleTV with 90-100% of the above additions, I'll rush to the store to get one!!!

  1. dynsight

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Mac Mini

    The Mac Mini with eye-TV provides all that you want, will53 and smurfman. Support for 5.1, svideo etc. It is the set-up that I use. I added an external hardrive as well.

    What the article fails to mention is that the people who do use S-video cables, media centers, etc. have many $$$ to spend on media (I bet their household incomes are high) AND are early adapters of other technology that started out esoteric, but ended up becoming mainstream.

  1. bradpdx

    Joined: Dec 1969


    in the distant future,,,

    ...once the kids are out of the house we might try watching TV again. At that point it will be around 2016 and maybe, just maybe there will be some compelling options.

    There might even be something interesting to watch by then, but I'm not holding my breath.

  1. boazh

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Extra what?

    Time to configure? HDMI doesn't cost that much anymore and it takes a sec to hook it up to your TV. Why wouldn't someone want all their movie collection on iTunes and then stream it to their TV??? that way you can get rid of your DVD player and box all DVD collection... when people see my setup they are astonished as of why they didn't think about it before.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: extra what

    that way you can get rid of your DVD player and box all DVD collection...

    If I already have a DVD player, what's the benefit of getting rid of it?

    And FrontRow is awful for displaying movies through iTunes, unless you have no desire whatsoever for any extras/features/etc, and the responsiveness isn't exactly great.

    And, then, you need to have a computer hooked up and on to use any of it (and what happens when your computer crashes?)

  1. ender

    Joined: Dec 1969


    no content

    Imagine how much less successful the iPod would have been if you couldn't rip the CDs you alreay owned and the only content you could get online was only 64 kbps mono files.

    That's pretty much the situation with video right now. We'll get to a better place, but it will take time. Broadband > 5 MB/s is needed to realistically make downloading HD movies practical, and it's unlikely Apple would officially support any tool the rips DVDs which I'd consider the minimum acceptable resolution to make hooking up to a TV worth while (and note that iTunes video is currently lower resolution than that).

    Apple is also unlikely to add DVR capabilities to AppleTV unless they were using it as leverage to get the studios to put more content on iTunes. Trying to work with the cable industry to make it possible to tune into their signals is a cat-and-mouse game (CableCARD has not lived up to the expectation, and the cable operators are already trying to come up with alternative standards and business models that would obsolete all existing CableCARD devices). Without a clear standard for working with cable, I just don't see Apple jumping into the middle of that mess.

    Adding an upconverting DVD player would be a good move as you'd be replacing a component instead of adding one (and many people are upgrading to upconverting DVD players, around $99, anyway to hook up to their HDTVs). I'd spend a few hundred more to get an AppleTV instead if it had that.

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