A Few Thoughts on my AppleTV

by Jonathan Longnecker


So the other night the wife and I were at the Apple store looking for Time Capsules for 47m. Happened to see the new AppleTV setup while we were there, and the HD movies looked incredible. I mean, jaw droppingly good. Yeah, I know BlueRay is better, but seeing Transformers in “almost” HD compared to the standard def movies I was used to; I was hooked. No more trips to Blockbuster, I nudged the wife (Gently nudged, of course)!

We went home sans AppleTV that night, but the next night we were talking about it and she was like, “well go get one.” I was a little confused. “You mean you want me to go spend $300 bucks on a whim?” “Yeah,” she said, “Go get it right now if you want.” So my sister and I promptly headed down to the Apple store and got it, no questions asked!

First of all, setup was pretty easy. But for some reason I managed to get one still loaded with the 1.0 software, so it took 20 minutes or so to get it all updated to 2.0. I didn’t realize this, but it will sync with one Mac (or PC) in the house and stream live from the others. So we setup Ashley’s iMac as the “syncer.” It took most of the night to copy over the 15-20 gigs. No problem.

Things I love: If you’re listening to music, you can set the screensaver to kick in and do cool slideshows of your pictures. When the song changes, a little notification pops up in the left corner. It’s very nice. The kids love seeing themselves and we get to listen to decent music in the family room and control what we listen to. YouTube is a blast. I’ve watched way more YouTube on my AppleTV then I ever do on my computer. If I subscribed to any video podcasts, that would be great, too. Oh, and we’ve got the kids movies on there so we don’t have to load up DVD’s everytime they want to watch one. THAT is awesome.

Let’s rent it. Oh, we can do it on the Apple TV now. Oh wait. A month.

Things I don’t love: The stupid 24-hour window on rented movies. Why? What does it matter to you, movie studios? You’re not out a sale if I keep it two extra days like Blockbuster is. I’m paying a lot for a digital download here, the least you can do is let me keep it a few days. I’m not asking for a month. Just more than 24 hours. Shoot throw in my 8 hours of sleep cause if I don’t finish it the first night I have to make sure I finish it the second night before I started it the night before. And if you have kids, you’ve just wasted 5 bucks.

Ok, last thing. Why do the movies come out 30 days after they come out on DVD? Why? The movie studios are pushing, say, I Am Legend. I mean, a commercial for it every 20 minutes. I say to myself, “I really wanted to see that (hypothetially…I’m not really sure if I want to see it or not). Let’s rent it. Oh, we can do it on the Apple TV now. Oh wait. A month.” Guess what I’m probably going to do? Go down to blockbuster and get it cause I’m not going to remember to see it a month from now. So the movie studios have just lost money cause I know they’re making more off a digital download than a physical DVD.

That is so completely lacking in common sense and business sense on their end that I’m not going to say anything else.

I know it’ll change eventually…I wish they’d hurry up already! I can easily see this being the future of movie renting. Too bad the movie studios don’t. Done ranting, feel better now. smile

March 21, 2008

Business, Apple, Personal


  1. Is it really a $5 rental fee for AppleTV movies? Amazon Unbox is averaging about $2-$4 on my TiVo.

    The video podcast feature is nice though. TiVo can’t do that ... yet (hint hint TiVo).

  2. Hey Josh,

    No, it’s $5 for the HD versions….the “guy tax” as they call it smile
    I think it’s $3 or $4 otherwise.

    Although if I can rent a DVD for a buck a night with Rebox, I don’t see why a digital version should cost anymore. I expect sanity will kick in eventually and prices will drop all around. At least I hope!

  3. It’s going to have to if this is to take off.

  4. I have had my apple tv for a while now, I also hacked it so it will play almost any kind of movie.  I hooked up a 1tb hard drive so I can just leave music and video on the thing without worrying about space.

    The thing I hate about apple is they always limit what you can do, the apple tv should play any kind of movie right out of the box.

    I love my apple tv but I don’t think it will take off.

  5. I’ve never had that problem, but I figure most people aren’t going to know how to get the formats that wouldn’t work anyway, so I’m not that concerned about that. My main beef is with the artificial restrictions on movie rentals and the price. It could be such a great business model if they would let it.

    But hey, at least they don’t bar it off so you can’t hack it at all!

  6. Not that true, it took a lot of people to figure out the hack, at first you had to remove the hard drive, something that I would never do. Apple are making it harder with the new software updates.

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