You're right. Netflix keeps going strong. The press has been unkind the the AppleTV announcement. The only problem I see is that Apple has pretty much cut out the PC. It does keep Apple in the game and unites all of the other Apple devices into the movie experience simply and cheaply. I'm going to stay with my Mac-based AppleTV and continue to look for a reasonable solution to streaming any and all content from my PC.
I see this as more of a win for Netflix than for Apple. I can't believe that Jobs is happy about opening one of his platforms to foreign media, but Netflix has the media deals and the critical mass they needed. You have to wonder if Jobs is going to eventually stab them in the back or buy them out. The only way that this status quo will last is if Jobs doesn't really care about movie streaming.
So what to you think? New AppleTV-cool or yawn?
Incredibly small, A4 chip, no sync, streaming only, rent movies and TV shows from Apple, Netflix streaming,YouTube,plug-and-play, all for $99. No computer involved could be attractive to some, maybe even many. I've had an AppleTV for a few years and have used it quite a bit and I doubt that I'll spring for the new one. But it will be interesting to watch its impact, if any.
Hulu & Netflix , provide my dose of free viral and vintage video programming ( more reminiscent of old TV commercial sponsored programming), whereas netflix provides our family a more cost effective delivery medium of contemporary entertainment medium directly to my desktop PC and Vizio TV set.
What troubles me is the bandwidth requirements from wifi infrastructure that video demands from the increasing population of portable devices. Something that I can not comprehend is the irrational appeal of video on tiny screens, which will explode (despite of the video size formats), and place an incredible burden and overcrowd regular telephony.
User interface and typing text for TV is a bottleneck. However, with power of current embedded controllers and easy availability of touch screen functionality, can we incorporate smart remote controller with touch screen capability? With this, User Interface to TV will be very much like that to typing text on mobile phone. Again, this remote controller can be easily implemented with modules from mobile phone. It may incorporate some more intelligent functions for TV.
The Financial Times today reported that Google with its YouTube video site is negotiating with Hollywood movie studios to offer pay-per-view video service by the end of this year. Let's see what news Apple's announcement tomorrow brings.
WiDi has two big problems. First, you can't play a DVD or Blu-ray disc over WiDi due to the DRM issue. That is a deal-breaker for most people.
The second issue is that WiDi just lets your TV set display what's on your computer, so it doesn't address the UI issue. Web browsing and watching TV are very different experiences, even when the goal of the web browsing is to watch a TV show. The industry has been struggling for many years for the best way to merge these two different activities.
The marketing people understand that when you talk to someone about watching a TV show or movie in their living room, as soon as you say "first you have to type this on your computer", you will lose 90% of the audience.
MythTV and SageTV are the other major names, but both of these "suffer" from the lack of DRM support. This means that they can't (until recently) get access to CableCard content. This didn't really matter much before the Ceton card was released, but suddenly it is a big deal. What changed is the recent relenting of the rules to make "copy freely" media available without requiring DRM.
As to Microsoft's lack of interest, I believe that it is because MCE straddles the line between computer stuff and consumer stuff. Their XBOX group are the consumer guys, but they are busy pushing that platform as the new STB. We people who want to use full PCs for that are largely left out in the cold.