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So Apple TV started shipping yesterday. I'm intrigued, of course, because the ability to play high quality digital content from my computer on my TV has always been an admirable goal to achieve. Certainly, Apple is not the only company who makes a product that allows digital media stored on your comptuer to be viewed on your TV. In fact, Microsoft has an entire version of their OS designed to run a dedicated media center computer. I will applaud the optial audio output, component video output and HDMI connector options. The ability to sync wirelessly is certainly useful for those who have computers in different rooms from TVs, but I'm supremely glad they didn't make the classic iMac blunder (claiming that floppys were obsolete and not including a drive for them) and do away with a standard RJ45 jack. My two biggest issues with this new Apple product are hard drive size and multiple user support. A 40 gig HD seems woefully shortsighted. Especially for something that syncs automatically. What happens when it fills up - does it delete older things from its cache, do you have to do it manually? I have 20 gigs of MP3s on my computer and I've only ripped half the CDs I own. I have several gigs of digital photos. And now where are all these videos supposed to go? It's not hard to see that 40 gigs is going to fill up very quickly, especially as more and more high resolution video becomes available. I know Apple was trying to meet a $300 cost point and had to find a drive that would meet that, but with a 200G SATA disk available for around $50, why wouldn't you find a way to integrate a higher capacity drive? At the very least, I hope Apple has a plan to upgrade storage capacity of their production units periodically. Secondly, how does this little box handle having 2+ computers up and running with iTunes, each with their own set of digital media? Surely Apple doesn't expect the consumer to shell out $300 per collection of media or that each household will only have a single computer. Now, it's entirely possible that Apple TV already handles multiple users seamlessly, but I've seen nothing in the press releases or on their website even addressing the issue. And even if it does, it brings us back to the first problem (multiple users are going to swamp a 40 gig drive in no time). Let's say mom and dad have a computer, 17 year old Billy has his own computer, and his kid sister Jane has a box full of horrible Hillary Duff movies and correspondingly horrible records. Mom and dad (mostly mom) want to watch the love-of-mush movie they downloaded (let's assume they're even remotely computer-savvy), Billy wants to watch his music videos with his friends, and Jane wants to do sing along with the worst music on earth. Wouldn't it be nice if they could all sync their iTunes libraries and then watch or listen to whatever they wanted in thw family room? Maybe even *gasp* together as a family! This is something that Nintendo is capitalizing on big time with their slick Wii ads showing an entire family playing video games together (and usually the teen male losing). Anyway, certainly I'm interested in the capabilities of Apple TV, especially when you consider its small footprint and high-def output for a much lower price than any comparable competitor, but I also see a lot of drawbacks that I haven't seen addressed at all. Perhaps a more thorough Googleing is required.

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  • I'm Rev. Adam
  • From Oakton, Virginia, United States
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