Now that post-keynote reality is starting to sink in, it's occurring to me that Apple's HD movie rental announcement has a big string attached named Apple TV. In order to rent HD-quality iTunes movies, it seems that you'll have to buy an Apple TV. People who just want to rent HD iTunes movies to watch on their PCs (or send to their TVs using non-Apple hardware) are left out, and will instead need to buy an Apple TV and then transfer the content to their laptop or iPod. While it makes sense that most users will only … Read more
Update: Check out three related videos with more info on the forthcoming Apple TV upgrade: Steve Jobs comments during his keynote address; the video guided tour on Apple's Web site; and a summary from CNET's Donald Bell. This post has also been updated since its original publication with additional information.
The Apple TV just got a whole lot more useful.
Steve Jobs unveiled a major feature update to the Apple TV today during his Macworld keynote address in San Francisco that aims to transform the device from a TV-based iTunes media viewer to a more full-featured media-on-demand device. The hardware will remain the same, with the entry-level 40GB model dropping from $300 to $230, but a free software upgrade--available in two weeks--will add the following functionality:
With services like Movielink, Netflix, and Vudu, the opportunities seem endless for companies that endeavor to turn the corner in the movie rental business. And while all of these companies positioned themselves in the market, Apple was quietly lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce on January 15, 2008.
After showing their hands to arguably the world's most capable CEO, every other movie rental service created an environment where Steve Jobs could pick and choose what features he liked and create a more robust offering.
After all, with rentals ranging in price from $2.99-$4.99 depending on release date and quality, and a 30-second buffering much like we've seen with the Vudu box, why would anyone even consider buying rentals from any other service besides iTunes (with the one exception perhaps being Netflix)?
Simply put, Jobs is poised to conquer yet another industry.… Read more
Among the new product announcements at the Macworld 2008 keynote, iTunes received a brand new feature: movie rentals! With the latest version of iTunes for both Windows and Mac, you will be able to rent movies from all the major studios including Touchstone, MGM, Miramax, Lions Gate, Fox, WB, Walt Disney, Paramount, Universal, and Sony. Apple was able to strike a deal with studios which allowed iTunes to receive new releases 30 days after the DVD release. The first wave of movie rentals will launch by the end of February with over 1,000 titles.
Once you find a movie … Read more
If you find yourself even vaguely interested in this multimedia remote watch, there may be some 12-step programs to consider. What's even more disturbing is that it's not the only one of its kind on the market.
Unlike the previous touch-screen version, this one apparently doesn't need a stylus because it has buttons more like a full-size remote, which can work up to 5.5 yards away, according to GeekAlerts. But we still don't know why any sane person would need to keep a remote attached to the body at all times, unless tthere's a … Read more
Sometimes--just sometimes--we have a thought that isn't so crazy after all. When we first heard of Philips' "Ambilight" TVs, for example, we wondered whether it was worth paying a premium for the feature--and whether it would be possible to develop something similar as a separate product.
Lo and behold, someone else had the same thought. A company called Illuminaire offers an LED system that claims to provide similar backlighting (which supposedly reduces eye strain) in a variety of colors that can change continually or even strobe, according to Tech Digest. Perfect for the first time you … Read more
What was arguably the biggest story of CES 2008 occurred three days before the show actually opened for business: Warner Home Video went Blu-ray exclusive, leaving just Paramount and Universal (and smaller DreamWorks) as exclusive HD DVD content partners. Indeed, in the days since, the issue of those studios following Warner's lead seems to be one of when, not if. Blu-ray seems on the verge of a complete victory in the HD disc format war to become the high-def successor to DVD. As a result, combo players--including a newly announced model from Samsung--were greeted more by yawns than … Read more
The whirlwind of CES 2008 is finally over, and now that we've had a few seconds to gather our thoughts, let's reflect on some of the major HDTV trends we observed at the show.
Thin is in
Flat-panels are popular for a reason, and part of it is people love thin screens. While plenty of people are satisfied with standard 6-inch-deep screens, HDTV companies are betting there's a market for ultrathin sets measured in millimeters rather than inches. The most impressive thin TV tech we saw was Pioneer's "Project Kuro" prototype plasma, which measures … Read more
In our day, most dorm rooms got by with makeshift "kitchens" that consisted of a hot plate and maybe a toaster oven. But that was back in the days when space was at a premium because the stereo--and stacks of vinyl LPs--took up half the room.
Now we have "personal" microwave ovens to do the job, some of them barely bigger than a breadbox. The "iWavecube," for example, will heat up frozen pizzas like the best of 'em while occupying under a cubic foot of space and weighing just 12 pounds.
It may not … Read more