First AppleTV Ad Airing?

This ad aired on CNBC april ninth according to the description. Its a pretty good ad and yet it doesn’t really seem like a commercial because the ticker is still on the bottom and top of the screen. I don’t know because, well I haven’t actually seen it live and in the wild yet but I think its neat none the less.

Update: I’ve added the YouTube video of it at the bottom, it is the commercial in its full glory, not the commercial taken with a video camera pointed at a TV.

Weekly Picks

First up is the AppleTV, obvisouly the biggest story this month and one of the coolest products of this year, I know I know there are others out there that do the same thing and some do it better but I just love the polished look and feel of it, it is great. Buy it here.

check out our AppleTV coverage

Next is a little bit of an odd ball. The LED faucet, it was going around the net a while ago but you can get it at ThinkGeek for $19!

The ID Pilot Wire Identification Label, I talked about it here if you want to know more.

I just played with an AppleTV

I just got the opportunity to play around with the AppleTV interface on my MacBook, yes I got it running and of course it was incredibly easy. I’m not going to tell you how to do it but I’m sure if you search around on the net a bit you can find out how to do it.

It was neat, I know I’m a little late to the game but it was really cool, The interface is absolutly beautiful, I didn’t look at any video on it because, well I don’t think I would notice many problems with the video quality since I was only looking at it on a 13″ screen.

I want one more and more everyday. Everything I see about it makes me want it more. I really do want one and am thinking about buying one but the whole heat problem is terrible. The AppleTV is HOT!

Check out this picture taken with a thermal camera of the AppleTV:

Check out their article of how hot the AppleTV is over at Digital Trends.

Apple TV Stuff on the Net

The AppleTV has seemed to become a hacker magnet and their is so much coverage on the net about the AppleTV and it just started shipping last week. Since CyberSurge has become another AppleTV blog as of late, I’ve decided to just show you some more about it and give it a rest for a bit, that is unless something really cool happens (at the rate of the hacks that is possible).

AppleTV Hacker is a blog about all of the cool things that you can do with the Apple TV that you might not have thought was possible

Check out the Apple TV screensaver over at the Unofficial Apple Weblog

You can also download the AppleTV startup video here, along with the Quartz Composer Screen Saver, the Now Playing Screen, and the AppleTV OS

(AppleTV OS no longer available here but is available on many torrent sites)

Heck lets throw in a video of the AppleTV OS running on a Macbook

The blog post about the MacBook

Apple TV Booting from External Hard Drive


I don’t really understand why they are using composite cables for the component video, I didn’t really realize that would work but I guess there is no reason for it not to. This is pretty cool though, it does mean that people will be able to make modifications to the AppleTV without opening it up. I just don’t quite understand how they got it to boot from an external drive.
The AwkwardTV website isn’t up, it seems to have been dugg to death but I’ll let you know if I learn more about this hack.
[via The Unofficial Apple Weblog]

AppleTV Podcast Showcase

Apple is showcasing some podcasts in the iTunes music store. All of them are showcased for the AppleTV.Right now the top 6 are:

  1. BusinessWeek – Market Reports
  2. Channel Federator
  3. Cool Hunting Video
  4. Sotheby’s Private View
  5. TERRA: The Nature of Our World
  6. JETSET (Apple TV)

Check them out

Where Does iTunes Go From Here

Well what is Apple going to do with iTunes now. With the recent addition of the AppleTV to the product line you have to wonder if Apple will put 720p content into the iTunes music store, Its tough to say and there are a few things that Apple needs to deal with before they can go ahead with it.First of all they have to deal with compatability with their current iPods. I’m not sure if there is quite enough horse power in the current iPods to decode 720p H.264 video so that would make things difficult already. How would Apple decide to display their content on the iTunes music store. One of the key aspects of the iTunes music store is that you just download it and it works. You can play it on your computer and your iPod with no trouble but when you throw this new format into the mix it confuses people. I will know that if I download an AppleTV version it won’t play on my iPod but I don’t think my mother would.

The only thing I could think of is that Apple released the 5.5 gen iPod with a fast enough processor to handle the 720p content and they decided to phase out the older 5 gen iPod. This of course would upseet many users who would like to download content for their iPod, so of course this wouldn’t make sense. Maybe Apple will decide to have two buttons next to everything: High-Res and Low-Res the problem is of course as I mentioned earlier that would confuse some users.

Now that we have absolutly no conclusion about those problems, confusion and video compatabilty, we deal with file sizes. Not only is this going to be an issue for Apple who has to host this content but for customers who have to keep this content on their hard drives. Even though hard drives are getting bigger and bigger, we are also dealing with bigger and bigger file sizes making things difficult for many users. If you do the math a video encoded for the AppleTVs maximum quality at a length of 2 hourse will be about 4GB of video. That is quite a lot. It is about 1/10 of the total size of the AppleTVs hard drive. Not to mention that it would take about about a day to download that big file for most of us in the US with terrible bandwidth.

Let me throw this scenario at you, the iPhone can handle the same video size as your AppleTV, it might be able to we don’t know. You of course because of the high price of the iPhone went with the lower end 4GB version. That means if you wanted to watch a movie on your iPhone and that movie was 2 hours long, that would be all that you could fit onto that iPhone. How would this work, would Apple allow you to download two versions of the video or would that cost extra? will the 720p version cost extra? Will iTunes ever go high-def? These questions will be answered and since the AppleTV was “designed for widescreen televisions” I think we will get answers soon.

I’m am hoping that we will see 720p content in the iTunes music store, but I think that they will be movie rentals and after 5 days iTunes will automatically deauthorize and delete the file unless you tell it that you would like to re-rent the movie. I would assume that the price would be much lower for a rental and iTunes will, for some, become the Netflix replacement.

MacWorld 2007 Keynote

Well first of all lets lay it all out for you who don’t know (I don’t know how who wouldn’t)

  • Apple TV
  • iPhone
  • Bluetooth headset for iPhone
  • Airport Extreme Base Station

The Apple TV
The device is built to be used with widescreen HDTV’s and EDTV’s capable of 480p, 576p, and 720p. It has HDMI output, Component video output, Optical audio output, USB, and 10/100 Eathernet. If you want to see the interface of the device you can check it out here. I’m excited about this and plan to buy it as soon as I can pick one up in an Apple Store. It also has a 40GB hard drive and 802.11n wireless connectivity. Along with the Apple TV release they also released Paramount movies in the iTunes store. The Apple TV can sync with a computer in your home or you can stream from up to 5 computers. I find it to be funny because according to the Apple spec’s page, it requires iTunes 7.1.

The interface is absolutely beautiful and I’m wondering if this is signs to come of the Front Row interface for OS X Leopard.

iPhone

The iPhone is really 3 devices in one. It is a widescreen iPod, a cell phone, and an internet device.

The iPod part. Well its a great device just as an iPod. It of course has a widescreen and 5 hours of battery life for video. It is extremely easy to scroll through your music just using your finger. When you turn the device on its side it uses its accelerometer and can tell that you are doing so. When it is turned on its side you can flip through the cover art of your music using CoverFlow. Great idea, it is much easier to look through your albums in this way and when you tap on a cover it will flip over and show you a list of the songs on the album. When watching video if you touch the screen it will have an overlay of the controls for it.

The phone part. It’s amazing. It is easy to use, it can tell when the phone is next to your face so the screen turns off and the touchscreen quits sensing touches. The speaker for speakerphone is on the bottom of the device so that when you lay it on your desk it won’t muffle the sound. You can choose which voice mail you want to listen too. It shows a list of your voice mails so you only have to listen to the ones you want. When text messaging it brings up a keyboard using the touchscreen and it will do a type of predictive text that can tell knowing the letters around the ones you used showing what you wanted to type at the bottom of the screen, when you push space it uses the one at the bottom. Next up photos. It has a 2 megapixel camera. To zoom in on the pictures you touch two fingers on the screen and spread them apart to zoom out squeeze them together. If you have a portrait layout picture and you turn it on your side it automatically turns the picture.

The Internet Communicator. This part is cool. It has a full featured browser in it. It is of course using Safari. It will can use Wi-Fi to connect to the internet and will automatically switch over when a hot spot is in range. If you double tap on the page it will zoom in a certain amount or you can do the “squeeze technique.” The phone has a html email reader. Yahoo will give each iPhone owner “push” imap support for free with Yahoo mail. Google maps is in there as well. It uses the “squeeze” for zooming. During the keynote Steve Jobs searched on the app for starbucks and within google maps you can choose to call businesses that you search for. Then there are widgets and this is when things get interesting. It would be great to have all of my RSS feeds as widgets in my phone. When I’m out and about and bored I can just grab my phone and read some news.

There is so much to talk about and I suggest you go and watch the keynote for yourself. It is so amazing. It’s just exciting to watch. Watch it here.

120GB Apple TV

A tipster told Engadget that he was able to upgrade the 40GB drive in his Apple TV to a 120GB hard drive. That seems a little bit better doesn’t it. I always thought that the 40GB hard drive was a little small, my iPod has a bigger hard drive than that.

Engadget