Monday, September 20, 2010

Apple TV: New vs. Old

Recently Apple launched its new Apple TV for the amazingly low price of 99 USD (75 EUR / 1865 Kč). The previous Apple TV was considerably more, depending on the amount of storage you wanted. But, that's no longer an issue with the lastest Apple TV, because they no longer include ANY storage, so now you don't have to pick. ;-)

I could list the plethora of differences between the "old" (and my opinion) Apple TV and the new one, but the fine people over at Digital Trends have done a pretty good job comparing the New Apple TV vs. Old Apple TV.

What I will say is this -- cloud computing (ie... all of your hard drive storage is on the internets, not on your local computer) overall is pretty cool and I'm definitely not a cloud computing hater. I like it. But, Apple TV's new "stream only" approach is kinda limiting in some ways. What if I want to buy a movie? I can still buy movies on the old Apple TV ... and even via iTunes on my PC. But I cannot do it directly via the new Apple TV. I can only rent. This means I have to go into my office, turn on my computer, fire up iTunes, BUY a movie ... download it in total, and THEN! I can stream it from my PC to my new Apple TV and watch it in my living room on the large LCD TV ... seems like a longer process just to watch a movie (more steps in the revenue cycle, I think, aren't usually wise). Doesn't look like I can lug the new one to my mountain cottage either to watch movies (would need an internet connection to watch movies). I guess the limited internet connection mountain cottage types aren't their target market.

On the other hand, it removes some of the craziness of "syncing" content between systems (I mistakenly deleted a purchased movie off of my iTunes on my PC, and it then "synced" (deleted) on my Apple TV, so I lost the movie I purchased) ... so from this side I think it's cool. The netflicks integration seems pretty cool tool.

All in all, still a pretty cool device with very limited competition ... but, with a 99 dollar price tag, I think Apple TV is really going to cross the market place chasm now ... just wait and see. But I don't think they needed to remove some of the cool stuff they had before ... they could have just improved what they had, instead of cleaning the slate so to speak.

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