Feeds

Expect a wave of Apple TV imitators waving Atheros chips

More to come

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Comment All the talk this week about Apple TV has been highly entertaining. Will it or won't it create a new genre for watching TV wirelessly? But there are two problems with all the talk. Firstly, most of it is about the wrong product and, secondly, much of it is about the wrong company.

People keep on pointing out to me that it is already relatively easy to generate a PC-based video file that can play in the interlaced world of TV, and just as easy to make a wired s-video connection to deliver it, so why get so excited about a wireless way of doing the same?

The truth is that the relatively intricate job of connecting PC-held files to a TV using wires hasn't taken off. But already, with the Apple TV product less than one week old in terms of being delivered, there are already help sites and FAQs for connecting the gadget to different types of TV, and even hacks for replacing the paltry 40GB hard drive with a 500GB monster.

And there are just as many suggestions about what Apple should do next with Apple TV. For instance, could a software upgrade turn the device into a DVR? Well, it would need a couple of tuners for that and it would make it more expensive.

Can it support even higher HD TV resolutions, not just 720p, and can it support multiple HD streams, not just one? Could iTunes just appear on the TV screen and could customers bypass the process of downloading internet content to a computer? Can the iTunes store then offer rentals, and not just download-to-own content?

Could Apple TV support more video formats, not just generic H.264, perhaps a bundled video converter that recognises DiVX and Flash 8 and Windows Media video formats and converts them on the fly? Can it be enhanced to give DVD burning? Blu-ray even?

Can the USB port on the side of the Apple TV be doubled up and allowed a copying connection to portable players? And can customers have more storage, more storage, and more storage?

And the truth is that not all of this is going to be delivered under Apple's current philosophy. For a start it hates other video formats and it won't touch them, it already has a strategy for larger storage, through attachment to its new Airport Extreme, and it already offers format conversion through its Mac-based QuickTime Pro and DVD burning. Take those away and you may take away the need for a Mac. That's not going to happen.

But all of these ideas can be delivered, if other players come into this market and apply pressure on Apple to keep up, and in this market, unlike the iPod market, they will.

Sending TV over Wi-Fi is a notoriously tricky business. In short, it just doesn't work unless you offer some improvements to the basic Wi-Fi. Those improvements, for the most part, need to be in the way that the wireless signal avoids interference and in the way that it prioritises a variety of data types.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet
Buffer-rage sends Aussies out to experience road rage
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
MOST iPhone strokers SPURN iOS 8: iOS 7 'un-updatening' in 5...4...
Guess they don't like our battery-draining update?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.