Apple TV makes it’s debut

by Don Burnett

Well AppleTV has made it’s debut and shortly after in a moment of internet mayhem and DMCA occlusion the boot screen animation and most of the graphics made their way to the internet on various websites. Which since a ZDNET blog post have now disappeared. Gotta give those Apple guys credit for plugging up the holes instantly.

However that hasn’t stopped Unix hackers who have already put up and AppleTV Hack Site. Some of the functionality is nice, someone has already described how to boot the OS from a USB key. Other things include booting an apache web server and enabling remote desktop.

If you want to know more PC Magazine has a review of it.. There were several points I didn’t agree with however..


  1. that Xbox Live has less content available. Sometimes less is more, I think the offerings Microsoft has up there are very strategic and winners. Also, the resolution (at least on my X-box 360) is better for content playback.
  2. AppleTV doesn’t play NFL 2K7 or Dance, Dance Revolution: Universe at the moment. Although some enterprising hacker will no doubt port SDL to it and a bunch of unix/linux games.
  3. Their method of communication with the PC or Mac looks possibly  like “infringement” to me. You have to type in a 5 digit number to connect the two. Considering that this is an Apple product I thought they’d make this more plug-n-play. That isn’t the easiest setup for streaming. Apple could have done better and made you not think about it. Instead it’s a copy from the Microsoft Media Center Extender Playbook. This stuff should link up by just recognizing the device out there and asking if it wants to connect.
  4. I miss dvr functionality. I think that should have been a feature from the beginning. I wonder what enterprising hacker will put the TiVO software on this system and enable TiVO playback first..


I really look at this and wonder what the cable company is thinking about this product. Apple basically has their own “Pay Per View” box now for $300 on conceivably every TV in America, and besides the monthly broadband fee they aren’t getting their usual monopoly cut.  Because of the ease of use factor I predict that the cable companies will be the next to try to partner with Apple.

Verizon already has entered the IP based streaming tv market with their FiOS product that streams television over broadband for a cheaper $42.99 a month and you get over 200 channels. Sounds like a great deal, they don’t seem to have caught onto the new nifty jargon that Apple is using yet because their ads mention “cable boxes” and other terms to make it sound just like digital cable tv which they are selling against.

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