On the problems with Apple TV


Another great article from Fortune magazine – it outlines issues people are experiencing with the Apple TV. Apple TV could have been much more than it is, but it has glaring problems and omissions which just make it unusable as part of an entertainment system. This article went so far as to point out some things I wasn’t aware of.

Why Apple TV is a dud

And there are other issues which the article doesn’t mention, but which would break the hearts of home theatre lovers everywhere. For example:

  • While Apple TV plugs into HDTV’s, it doesn’t support 1080i or 1080p. Only 720p.
  • While Apple TV has an optical audio port, it only supports Dolby ProLogic II by default.
  • As the article mentions the Apple TV is best used with iTunes purchased movies. Attempting to play higher quality H.264 on it will result in stuttering video, as the machine is not really powerful enough. By extension, this means that while Apple can upgrade the software capabilities of the device, the machine will never be able to play really high-end content.
  • Apple TV neither contains nor supports TV tuners or PVR functionality. You have to use a separate device for these purposes, which lacks sense. The device would be the perfect vehicle for recording TV shows and encoding them for viewing on an iPod later (that is, if it had the horsepower to do so – see the last point).

I hope there will be a second revision of Apple TV which addresses these issues.


2 responses to “On the problems with Apple TV”

  1. Hello. Just bought an Apple TV (newer, 160GB), and it’s just to tell you that mine does support 1080i (not 1080p, but I guess my Samsung LCD doesn’t even support that). The TV is connected to the TV with a HDMI->DVI cable.
    The options I have are:
    1080i
    1080i (50Hz)
    720p
    720p (50Hz)
    576p (50Hz)
    480p

  2. Bruno: Good point. Interestingly, Apple’s spec page also reflects support for 1080i connection, which I either missed before or was recently updated…

    http://www.apple.com/appletv/specs.html

    The specs page indicates a maximum of 720p as far as playable content goes though. But this could be uprated in the future simply via a software update. I wonder whether other items within the device were upgraded with the introduction of the 160GB model…