Apple is in your [den | living room | car | pocket ] (plus bathroom, if you look at the iCarta iPod holder). What's missing? Your workplace.

My prediction: the next serious Apple push is showing Parallels running those things you needed Windows for. Games, Bespoke Software, etc:

PC: "Hi, I'm a PC."

MAC: "And I'm a Mac."

PC: "Why are you wearing a boiler suit?"

MAC: "Well, I've been able to do office stuff for years, but now I can run the software intended for PCs only, like power station control, industrial robot operations, that sort of thing."

(An army of car building robots form up behind Mac, obviously under his complete control and loom...)

MAC: "We were thinking of calling this Skynet."

(PC is wearing a colander on his head and looks terrified.)

(Massive robots suddenly become cool in apple anodized aluminium with iPod Nano colours.)

MAC: "But in the end we just went with Parallels."

(Robots do cool stuff. With kids. And little fluffy wabbits. PC tries to hide the bottle of Wild Turkey he's been slurping from.)

Seriously, this iTV box looks awesome. You want to show people your holiday slides? On your TV in the living room. Browsing through movie trailers on your home cinema? I bet plenty of people would buy it just for that. Have all your music on shuffle for dinner parties? I've actually been tempted to station the Mac Mini in the living room to do just that, so a little box which puts all your media on the big screen in the living room would be just the ticket.

There is one thing I'm not sure about though: 640x480 is fine in a small window on your ipod or a laptop, but on a large flatscreen TV, you'll see just how low that resolution is. HDTV screens are *minimum* 800x600 and I've seen a lot of 1366x768, and 1440x900 screens here recently. And there are the new Sharp TVs which are 3.15 Megapixel displays. (That's 30" Apple Cinema resolution: 2560x1024.)

You know what 640x480 looks like on that? Crap, that's what. Pixels the size of your thumb. It'll look like a bootleg VCD.

Apple aren't stupid. Jobs couldn't quite hide the catch in his voice when he said 'near DVD quality', and there are already HDTV downloads from the Quicktime trailers site, so I'm expecting higher resolution downloads very soon. Probably just after the iTV comes out. "You've already bought the movie, so you can re-download it at the resolution of the device you want to watch it on."

But there's one big thing I want to know: right now, I can rip my own music to iTunes and then I could (with this new iTV) play it in the living room. Could I rip Movies I already have on DVD (or VCD) and play them via the iTV? The kids want to watch Madagascar? Sure — there's the Front Row Remote. No more DVDs to wear out, or DVD players to break. (Or devices with slots to have toast and postcards inserted.)

Nope. I just popped in Ghost in the Shell, and it was played with no option to rip it. An Audio CD was automatically ripped.

One more thing...

I'm sure the free download of album cover art is nice, but it's restricted to places where the iTunes Music Store is supported, which means not Hong Kong. Bummer.

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This page contains a single entry by dave published on September 13, 2006 10:06 PM.

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