AppleTV Changing Back To iTV? With Apps? Hmm…
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything about AppleTV. Or Boxee. When Boxee came out for OS X, it took the desire (or need) out of wanting to get a dedicated AppleTV for the purpose of using Boxee. And, to be honest, while the form-factor is intriguing, I can’t see it in my entertainment center and I have little desire to purchase a Boxee Box. We’ve settled into a comfortable routine with our Netflix queue and Netflix instant watch offerings for watching movies that we didn’t want to wait for in the queue and especially to catch up on past episodes of Lost or 24 without commercial interruption (which is essential when you’re trying to catch up on multiple seasons before series finales). Hulu and Boxee apps for OS X, or even surprisingly, the network sites like FOX and ABC, have been sufficient to watch any current season episodes of anything. Of course, now that Lost and 24 are finished, there’s only an occasional Lie To Me or Kitchen Nightmares that I care to watch. And if we really like something, like BBC’s Elizabeth Gaskell Collection box set (don’t look at me like that), we’ll invest in the DVDs. As for gaming, we’re still using our almost 10-year old GameCube! So, admittedly, we are not the ideal demographic in this space—or, are we? Now, with all the new rumors surrounding AppleTV’s change back to iTV and being brought over to the iOS platform with the promise of apps similar to iPad and iPhone—will the game be changed? Will we finally take the plunge? That all depends…
Of course, one of the things that it really depends on is us taking the plunge on a real HDTV set. We have a 24″ monitor that suits our purposes but its not the ideal. We’re still as committed (even more so) to keeping our family time not focused on entertainment but quality time spent together with games (of the board or card variety) or reading good and edifying books or just plain old, good conversations. So its always a battle to not let the “ooh, shiny” side of technology get the better of my judgement. Of course, financial verities are a good way to keep things in check too.
Another thing that it would depend on, is if Apple is able to offer a subscription model that is compelling enough to replace our Netflix subscription or at least low enough to augment it. And what might make that whole point moot is if, by virtue of embracing the iOS platform, that Netflix and/or Hulu iPad apps will be able to be easily modified to run on iTV similar to Wii, PS3 and Xbox if they chose. I’d much rather buy a device at the rumored $99 price point than $199 or $299-$399. Of all the rumored specs, thats the one I’m hoping is most accurate.
And as I’ve already mentioned, the gaming aspect is not as big of an incentive as it would be to many, but I can definitely see the logic and appeal now that Apple has some serious gaming momentum going for them for the first time in a long time. It only makes sense to capitalize on the lower cost of iOS games and I think iTV has the serious potential to break out of the hobby stage and into the same stratosphere currently enjoyed by the iPad and iPhone 4.
And the big fuss over 1080p being downgraded to 720p is in reality, not a big deal. However, I do think Apple is going to have a challenge overcoming the market perception after so much has been invested by BestBuy and other retailers to “educate” customers to the “benefits” of buying the best 55″ LED 240MHz 1080p behemoth that money can buy. Of course the biggest benefit is more money in their pockets.
Well, until Apple makes any announcement, I’m perfectly content with our current Netflix arrangement. To be honest, I’d be more excited if Apple announced the iPhone was available on T-Mobile—but alas, it looks like I will be having to choose whether to switch over to AT&T (which I’ve successfully resisted for three years) or Verizon (another rumor). Until then, back to werk!