Apple Turns to Hollywood

itvHaving already conquered music downloads in the U.S (and abroad) I suppose it was just a matter of time before Apple offered movies via iTunes. Apple did just that today and while I’d like to get excited over the premise of streaming movies from my desktop to the mini, I cant say as the idea of “near DVD quality” really excites me, especially when I have HDTV sources on-tap.

No I cant say as 640×480 has me ready to box up all my physical media just yet but the big announcement of the show (as far as I’m concerned) could have much bigger implications. Apple’s iTV set-top box with 802.11(?) wireless networking, USB2, ethernet, HDMI connector, component video and digital audio outputs could signal even higher resolutions for movies from iTunes, or perhaps something even more compelling.

The iTV set-top box would seem to indicate Apple is taking a wiser, dare I say safer path to the digital living room forgoing the very un-consumer-friendly, HTPC route. While I would have preferred a max-mini I can definitely see the logic with a move like this.


One Response to “Apple Turns to Hollywood”

  1. manpan Says:

    I have a Mac Mini it was purchased actually before the Apple TV’s release. However, I recently bought an Apple Care Protection Plan for my Mac Mini to extend the warranty till September of 2009. Otherwise it was set to expire in a few months (August – September period) since it was bought September 2006. The Mac Mini has a lot of advantages over Apple TV besides cost. The Mac Mini can both be used as a media center Mac and/or a computer just like the iMac and other Macs with Front Row capabilities.

    Up until the 160 GB model of Apple TV was released it also had the advantage of having more hard drive storage than an Apple TV. I have the 80 GB Apple TV with Intel Core Duo processor. Of course the Apple TV costs and weighs less than an Apple TV but has limited codec availability. On Mac Mini I can play virtually any media format on my Mac including WMV using Windows Media Player for Mac or Flip4Mac WMV Components for QuickTime. I can also play AVIs, MOVs, M4V, MP4 video etc.

    To get video to play on video iPods including iPhone and Apple TV media extender the video must first be converted to MP4 or M4V to work with iTunes and iTunes capable devices.

    Either videos must be bought in iTunes Store (already in a compatible format — which have copy protection) or non encrypted videos the user already has without copy protection must be converted to play in iTunes and on iTunes compatible devices. However, the Mac Mini can play many major video file formats even those unassociated with iTunes — conversion is not neccessary.

    My main concern with Apple TV is overheating there are reports about heating issues with the devices and they need to be in a very well air conditioned room. Some suggest using either Mac Mini or Apple TV for media. It does seem pointless to get Apple TV when already having a Mac Mini since you can use it as a media extender — can buy third party products including a TV Tuner to plug into Mac Mini to enhance the media experience and use this instead of buying Apple TV. However, for users that have a Mac Mini but are willing they can also add Apple TV to their setup but it would be slightly more expensive – it depends what makes more sense to you choosing either Mac Mini or Apple TV or going with both.

    The Mac Mini is my first complete Media Center Mac although I have a PowerBook G4 it did not have Front Row. I plan for my next Media Center Mac to be an updated Mac Mini if Apple hopefully makes and releases one and/or a new iMac.

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