YouTube Connectivity and Bigger HDD for Apple TV

Apple TVApple just announced the update or refresh to the already new Apple TV. A 160GB hard drive for an extra $100 US should suit those who want to keep all or at least most of their media content locally. Those who don’t mind streaming their movies or music over a decent 802.11g or 802.11n wireless network would best go with the 40GB model and save that cash for something else.

Also announced by Steve Jobs was the soon-coming ability to view YouTube videos on your Apple TV. Take note that you won’t want to exactly be doing this much on your large plasmas or LCD TVs, as the resolution and compression makes the video look terrible on anything other than your computer screen (and even then it’s not great).

Another question that people are always asking since the release of videos on iTunes is the possibility of High-Definition content. Since the Apple TV is capable of both 720p and 1080i, many have speculated that it is only a matter of time before HD content will be available. Already many podcasts are made available in HD such as Macbreak, a technology podcast. Steve Jobs said:

“You can buy movies off iTunes as well. It’s pretty good quality — we arent selling high def… at this point. But I think in the future that might change!”

It seems pretty clear that HD content is on its way; however the question is when? No more than a few more months hopefully – iTunes has just been updated to version 7.2, with music available for purchase without software restrictions (Digital Rights Management). This could mean that they are busily working on the next big-thing for iTunes – HD content? We can only watch and wait.

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2 Responses

  1. Of course Apple should be selling hi-def (720p) content. If you’ve seen some of the sample footage, such as hi-resolution film trailers, you’ll be convinced as I am.

    So, what’s the hold up. I am guessing that Jobs believes that 3-4 times the pixel count might equate to 3-4 times the bandwidth. Granted Steve, no one wants to download 2.5GB or so for an 40min episode of Heroes or Lost.

    However, as you’ll see if you search for the few sample of “Apple TV 720p” content via torrents, you’ll see that for the same size file (!!) of 500MB, it is possible to achieve a *much* clearer image – truly approaching 720p, and definitely better than DVD (if even with good upscaling).

  2. I certainly agree with you there, Justin. I’d like to also point out that the compression means everything. You can have something encoded at 1080p and ti could look horrible, full of macro-blocks.

    This is why I think that 720p is the best format for a transition to 1080p in the living room, and also for a future web standard. Leave the 1080p for the Blu Ray and HD DVD’s.

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