i’m not buying an apple tv

at least not yet, i’m not.

i know–heresy.

i have my reasons.

the apple tv is a not-unattractive box that wirelessly connects your computer to your widescreen hdtv. that allows you to listen to your itunes music, and watch your itunes videos, all on your tv. pretty cool, huh?

really i think it is pretty cool.

and i have a widescreen hdtv, and i have a mac, and i have itunes with lots of music and even some purchased video (notably, season one of wonder showzen). and i recently cancelled my cable television subscription, retaining only a 768k broadband internet connection.

so what’s stopping me?

i went to the fifth avenue apple store and looked at one, that’s what. and i watched a few seconds of lost, and a few seconds of the incredibles. and it looked like crap. i’m no videophile, but there were noticeable blocky areas and jaggies and dark indiscriminate areas and i’m not paying for that.

and i’m too honest to limewire content. it feels like stealing to me, even if there’s a good argument that it’s not. plus it takes forever, it takes up enormous gigs of hard disk space, and then you watch it once or twice and have to figure out what to delete and what to keep. too much trouble.

and i am far too lazy to rip my own video content from dvds to watch it later. i honestly don’t see the point in that. and all that crap would still litter my hard drive. it’s much easier just to put the netflix dvd in the player, and send it back when done.

and you can’t watch video on the internet. oh, i know. you can hack your apple tv so it can play other video formats, and run joost to watch internet tv, and all that. but apple tv doesn’t do that out of the box, and i’m not a hacker. i want a solution that works, not one that i have to fiddle with and void my apple tv warranty to get going.

the apple tv music streaming would be nice, and i’m sure kirk would love to have a break from the constant drone of npr, which i listen to non-stop since there’s no tv to watch. but the truth is, just like i’m too lazy to rip video, i’m too lazy to rip my cds too. i would probably listen to more music if i organized it digitally. but i have hundreds and hundreds of cds, and the thought of ripping all of it is just too daunting. and the vinyl? my god, the vinyl. and the cassettes.


some weekend i’ll get up the gumption and set up an assembly line of sorts and rip all the cds i own. and i’ll selectively make mp3s out of some of the vinyl, at least the stuff that’s ultra-rare. that day is coming soon. but music is different than movies and tv. music, i’ll listen to many, many times. it’s worth the time investment to digitally organize it.

movies? tv? i can count on one hand the number of movies i watch repeatedly.

and don’t tell me to buy an xbox, or a slingbox, or a media center pc, or whatever. i could care less about all the tinkering i’d have to do to get those things running. i want an apple solution, because i know it will just work easily, and work right. that’s my prerogative as a consumer, to wait for what i want and do without until i get it, even if that’s never.

i want democracy tv, or the equivalent, to work through my apple tv.

my point is this: at some point, i’m betting the apple tv will be a conduit for all manner of online video content. some of it will be crappy and free, and some of it may be decent and free, and some of it may be hd content from the itunes store.

when i have better apple tv video options provided by apple, they will get $299 or $499 or whatever from me. i hope i don’t have to resort to buying a mac mini to hook up to the tv. that would be an ideal solution, but it feels like expensive overkill.

for now i’m taking a raincheck.

and if, as i suspect is true, the apple tv will only ever officially be tied to purchased video content at the itunes store?

i might still buy an apple tv, if the content looked good and the price was right.

and if it was rental video content at the apple store?

sold. one apple tv in jamie’s living room.