If you’ve been following my 30 Days of AppleTV posts at all, then you can probably tell that, while I like the AppleTV, I think there is certainly room for improvement . I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and I think there are several ways that Apple could improve the entire AppleTV experience, and turn this device into an absolute MUST HAVE product. So, I’ve compiled this list of 5 things that I think are essential to the AppleTV being a success.
5. DVD Streaming – I have already gotten used to my AppleTV interface, and I find it annoying when I have to switch over to my DVD Player to watch something I have on a disk. With Front Row on my Macbook Pro I can just select DVD and watch away, but currently the AppleTV doesn’t have any DVD support. I think this could be a valuable addition to the device, and I think it should be fairly easy to implement.
Having DVD support on the AppleTV will also help keep my entertainment center set up nice and clean. If I didn’t have to have a DVD player there, then I’ll I’d have is a big TV with two tiny white boxes next to it. My AppleTV and my Wii. Ah…bliss.
4. Direct iTunes Purchases – I can already stream the 30 second previews of the top shows to the AppleTV to check the encoding quality (which I recommend everyone do), but I want to purchase shows directly from the AppleTV, have them download, and be able to watch them without having to have the Mac involved. It would additionally great, if the files would then sync back to my iTunes library during the next Sync, so I could back the fles up.
3. Movie Rentals – Xbox 360 has it. Amazon+TiVo has it. Apple needs it. Renting movies from the AppleTV could be a snap. just look at the way you can currently view trailers. Click on the trailer, choose to rent the movie, start the download. It couldn’t be simpler, and Apple needs to get on the ball making this a reality for us.
2. Lower Price Point – $299 is just a little too expensive for what the AppleTV does. I expect it to go down, and I think it could work at $199 really well…but that extra hundred bucks is going to turn a LOT of people off. I mean, when you think about it, you could have another Video iPod for that, and the AppleTV doesn’t even have a screen.
The $299 early adopter price needs to go away quickly if Apple wants to get this thing in home all over the world.
1. Better Quality, more Consistent iTunes Content – Right now, it’s hit or miss when you download a show. Maybe the quality will be good…maybe it won’t. Some episodes of shows might be encoded better…some might be in widescreen while others aren’t. They need a consistent quality to this content to make it worth purchasing. They need to get things moved up to HD pretty quick too. If the Xbox 360 can do it, I see no reason why iTunes can’t get HD downloads coming our way too.
In a nutshell, these 5 features are what I need to recommend this thing to others. Recent rumors of other internet functions like Weather and what not are fine, but they’re not going to be influencing my (or anybody else’s I would imagine) opinion on if the AppleTV is worth the money or not. I think Apple needs to focus heavily on the content in iTunes, and make sure that every file is worth downloading…they still have a long way to go with this thing…but I think they can do it.