Finally: New Apple TV At A WTH Price

May 28, 2010

Having a mini-orgasm, as rumor has it the Apple TV is finally about to get a big upgrade. Specifically, cloud storage, fast chips similar to the iPhone and iPad, and a killer price: $99.

I’ve written before about my “WTH” (what the heck) price point of around a hundred bucks, which is the amount I’m willing to drop on a new product, and if it doesn’t work out, it’s no big deal. One tellingly similar product, the Netflix / Roku Watch Instantly box was that price, which turned out to be one of my best recent tech purchases.

And like the Roku box, the mention of “cloud storage” implies that Apple is moving away from locally stored, downloaded content and toward streaming model. I prefer streaming as it does away with space running out, file management, and frankly, a lot of video content isn’t really worth owning since it’s watched only once. Hope Apple keeps the media bridge functionality and augments it with a new focus on streaming video. And icing on the cake would be a move toward subscriptions.

Using the iPhone OS inspires some tantalizing thoughts like compatibility with an iPhone or iPad (use both as a remote control or stream content to an Apple TV), and obviously: apps.

But getting back to the price: really hope it’s true. At that price point, it’s almost irrelevant what the new Apple TV does; I’m guaranteed to get one. And I really hope it’s announced at the start of the WWDC.

Comments

  1. JC says:

    Yeah. This may only be a rumor, but it’s one of those rumors I really HOPE proves true. Sounds like a great new direction for the Apple TV.

    At this point, my Apple TV is really old. (I have a first generation one.) It’s getting cranky in its old age, to the point where I pretty much have to restart it every day or two. Probably because it’s been running very hot on idle for 24 hours a day for years, despite the fact that I actually only use it sparingly, since I don’t watch TV that much.

    I’m a bit skeptical of streaming, only because I hate the idea of hiccups when I’m trying to watch something. If the connectivity is smooth, and the box really is as small as an iPhone, it could be a real winner.

    The iPad runs cool as a cucumber. Without an internal hard drive and with the A4 driving it, this new box could be just as cool. And making it some sort of app-capable device would be a great bonus. I can see using your iPhone or iPad as a controller for video games on it. That would be pretty cool.

    • Our Apple TV is still kicking, but definitely use it less and less in comparison with the streaming Roku Box and the Hulu app on the Mac Mini. The connectivity is pretty solid on both, but mileage may vary depending on connection. Just based on personal usage patterns, streaming is ahead.

      The Apple TV heat is something that has always bugged me, plus with the lack of a power button it’s just cooking all the time in the entertainment cabinet. Definitely, well overdue for an update. The iPad is almost too cool – sometimes the aluminum back chills my hands!

      The best part about this whole scenario: it implies Apple has been working on this product for a while now, based on the lack of updates to the existing Apple TV. And if it goes on sale as soon as July, it will beat Google TV to market, which will then have that $99 price point to contend with.

  2. Jeff says:

    Yes, I love the AppleTV, still use it to stream thousands of songs from itunes 24 hours a day (it’s always broadcasting from a Sennheiser 900mhz transmitter to either wireless Sennheiser headphones or wireless speakers) with the bonus of being able to control playback and playlist selection via the Remote App on iPhone or iPod touch. Have tons of my own movies ripped onto the 160GB HD as well. You can use it as an Airtunes device, too.

    Also use it to rent the occasional 99 cent iTunes movie, listen to web radio stations and watch video podcasts like GeekBrief TV! Or to check out the latest HD movie trailers. It is very convenient since you don’t need an expensive Mac running 24/7. It does run hot but you need to place it in a well-ventilated area.

    Still get lots of use out of the older model…This new rumored AppleTV will be a definite “WTH” purchase to see how it works. If you can connect it with an Apple Airport Extreme Time Capsule with 1 or 2TB of storage, that would be excellent!

    • Yeah the media bridge is a main use for the apple tv, likewise I got a 500GB hard drive filled with stuff. And the interaction with all the other gear (Macs, iPhones, iPad) will be very interesting.

  3. Timmargh says:

    This would be better than brilliant and a definite addition to my (ever growing!) tech shopping list this year.