5 Reasons Why I’m Not Buying An AppleTV


I’ve come to the conclusion that I won’t be buying an AppleTV for my own personal use. I may still buy one at some point to review if people keep asking me, but right now, here are the 5 reasons why I don’t want one…

1. I already have an MVIXUSA MX-760HD wireless media center. It allows me to put any capacity HD in it that I like. The AppleTV just has a 40GB drive. Also, the MVIX has higher resolution and can play more video formats that the AppleTV.
(Review to be posted tomorrow if all goes as planned)

2. I already have a Mac mini connected to my TV that can do way more than the AppleTV.

3. I have a DLO HomeDock Deluxe that can play the music, TV shows and movies on my 5th gen iPod.
(Review to be posted sometime next month)

4. I still have satellite based broadband (i.e. crapband), so I don’t buy movies and TV shows from iTunes because transfers are slooooooooooooooow and my download capacity is capped. However, this will change next month when my T1 finally gets installed.

5. I love Apple hardware, but this one just doesn’t do it for me. I just don’t get the whole sync with your main computer concept. Why do I want to have my content on 2 different devices?

So there are my reasons for not jumping on the AppleTV bandwagon right now. What about you?

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Ben Steeves March 22, 2007, 7:54 am

    I agree with you on all points. Why would I want to buy something that forces me to buy from iTunes Music Store everything I want to watch? My MythTV media centre does everything AppleTV does and a lot more, supports way more video and audio formats, and is mine. I can open it, upgrade it, etc.

    Why would I want to buy hardware that shackles me to Apple’s DRM? I just don’t get it.

  • Jim Latimer March 22, 2007, 8:05 am

    “I just don’t get it.”

    It’s the Apple reality distortion field…. 😉

    But really, there are those who are true Mac Zealots that will buy anything (no matter how overpriced or underpowered) if it has the Apple logo and it comes from Steve Jobs. Do I love my ipods (family has 4 1st gen shuffles, 2 2nd gen, 2 2nd gen minis, 1 2nd gen 10gb and a 4th gen 30gb)…..absolutely. But if a better piece of hardware came out that was as easy to use and cheaper, I’m off the applecart in a heartbeat.

    Same is true of the iphone. Will itv and the iphone sell? Yes….there’s a built-in market of Apple purchasers. But is it truly useful? I think Julie and Ben have answered that to some extent.

  • Joe Ruszkiewicz March 22, 2007, 8:34 am

    I don’t think this is the target audience for an AppleTV. This seems more like an iPod for your TV. Simple to setup and keep up to date with your latest music, photos, movies and shows from iTunes.

    The other options mentioned have greater flexibility, but are not as simple or elegant, IMO.

    • Joe
  • Tyler Puckett March 22, 2007, 8:52 am

    Ben: I don’t really believe Apple is crippling their DRM for video because they want to, it’s because they have to. If the movie and TV companies would allow Apple to let customers burn the content to DVD, then I’m sure they would allow it. However, they haven’t, so Apple introduced the AppleTV.

    Also, the AppleTV will play anything iTunes will play, not just DRM’ed content. That includes QuickTime movies, MP3 files, Apple Lossless files, etc. You’re not “shackled” to Apple’s DRM unless you WANT to be; you can buy DVDs and CDs, rip them to your computer, and play them over AppleTV. Now, if you have a MythTV system (as you do) then it’s not useful, and I agree. Just because something isn’t useful to you doesn’t mean it isn’t useful at ALL.

    The sync to your computer idea is a pretty simple one: you transfer all your content to the AppleTV, and it in effect becomes your media server. If I understand it correctly, you can stream content over 802.11n or Ethernet from the AppleTV to any computer in your house with iTunes installed, regardless if it has the content on the machine already or not. A centralized source for all your media.

  • Julie March 22, 2007, 9:11 am

    I think the DLO HomeDock Deluxe solution may be an easier on. No need to sync the files to another device because you just plug in your iPod and you’re ready to view them on your TV.

    But the AppleTV only has a 40gb drive capable of holding up to 50hrs of video content. So it won’t be able to hold some people’s (mine) entire collection of audio/video/images.

  • Joe Olson March 22, 2007, 10:46 am

    Julie: The DLO HomeDock may be easier but
    1) It won’t be marketed as much, and
    2) It’s only easier once you GET the movies onto the iPod – not that easy for most people.

    Here is a rather simple solution where someone can download a movie or TV show that they missed from iTunes, sync it over to AppleTV, and watch it.

    Sure, there are other solutions that do way more (some have been listed above). But this is simple, elegant, and it’ll be easy for the people who aren’t tech saavy.


  • Lawrence Chen March 22, 2007, 12:46 pm

    Yeah…after I had said I wanted one, except that there doesn’t seem to fall under educational pricing….I’ve decided that I don’t really want one. Because it is too limited on what it can play…. So, I’m back to wishing for a Mac Mini, though component video was a plus….guess I’ll have to break down and see about an DVI switcher for my TV.

    The Dreamer.

  • Vikash Bhagwandin March 22, 2007, 1:32 pm

    Tyler & Joe: I agree with you, the Mac platform is all about bringing simplicity and elegance to computing. Apple has never been known for having the most bells, whistles, features, and compatibility, but the ease-of-use and spanning user base ranges from a 5 year olds to a 80 year old users who don’t even know what computers are, and guess what, outside the 7% marketshare that Apple has, there is still a lot of users who need to be enlightened by the ‘Mac’ experience.

    Tyler: I have yet to see how you can ‘RIP’ dvd’s to iTUNES and stream it over to Apple TV. I have nearly 400 DVD’s and I would like to ‘RIP’ them to a hard drive and stream them. If you can give me the method that would great. ‘Mac the Ripper’ only ‘RIPs’ in .m2v mode which is not compatible with iMovie, Quicktime, or iTunes. If this works i’ll spring 300 bones easily!

    Everyone: Keep in mind Apple never throws the kitchen sink at the public. They you feel you out first, and then they bust out tons of options. Mac mini is double the price, requires keyboard, mouse, no wireless 802.11n, no HDMI for high-def, no component video, no fiber optic connection for 5.1 audio, and a tad more tricky than the AppleTV.

    Keep it comin’

  • Tyler Puckett March 22, 2007, 2:53 pm

    Vikash: Try HandBrake, http://handbrake.m0k.org/ . It rips your DVDs into MPEG-4 standard.

    Julie: It doesn’t have to hold everything. You keep your more-often used stuff on the HDD, and stream things you watch infrequently or just on a whim. That’s why it uses the newest, fastest WiFi standard.

  • Lawrence Chen March 22, 2007, 3:08 pm

    I’d like to find something that’ll do high res (HD) Xvid files with 5.1 sound…..wonder if the Netgear EV8000 is it, or how about the MVIX?

    My current gadget won’t do these files (Momitsu V880N)….

  • Vikash Bhagwandin March 22, 2007, 3:55 pm

    Tyler: Does handbrake MPEG-4 standard retain the AC3, 5.1 dolby digital encoding? Does it lose image quality? When I stream my DVD content i’d like it to send the highest quality video with the best sound as well.

  • Rob Tillotson March 22, 2007, 5:03 pm

    Vikash: Handbrake can retain AC3 audio, but only in AVI output files. You can play those back in Quicktime if you have a couple of add-on codecs, but AppleTV support is doubtful. In .mp4 output files you get AAC stereo audio. Image quality should be very good if you use AVC/H.264 (but of course it will vary especially if you try to compress stuff to be too small); MPEG-4 will not be as good but should still be fairly acceptable in exchange for taking much less time to compress.

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