What Is Missing From AppleTV

Here are some thoughts on what I feel is missing from AppleTV.

  • The hard drive is too small to hold a descent collection of movies, meaning that you have to do what I dub the “AppleTV Shuffle” to move content on and off the device. I have not put any music on my AppleTV, there is enough bandwidth on my network (I use 802.11N at 5GHz only) to stream music and small movie files from my Mac, but larger movie files suffer, more so if you have a slow network. There is also the situation where your mac is not always on or available. There is support for automatically removing viewed movies and TV shows off the device, but this needs to be more seamless, and it needs to support movie playlists. Media is media, and I don’t like the differentiation between music, movies & TV shows.
  • It needs to support DivX. There are solutions, such as VisualHub, for converting video, and some people will have the technical knowledge and hardware to do such conversions, but most wont.
  • It needs to have a built in DVD player. Just playing regular DVDs is copacetic as far as I am concerned, I have a large collection of DVDs, and I would dearly like to throw out my old DVD player.
  • Though I don’t have the speakers to support it, Dolby 5.1 should be supported.

I don’t see support for DivX coming anytime soon, but I can see support for the other three items in a future product, perhaps two different versions, the low end being the current one and the high end including a larger hard drive, a DVD player and Dolby 5.1. Since it is not clear which side of the HD-DVD/BlueRay fence we are going to fall (maybe both), I can see a first pass including a regular DVD player, and a second pass including a HD-DVD/BlueRay player.

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