More Apple TV for Your Money

By  |  Monday, September 14, 2009 at 10:23 am

Apple TVI can’t remember if anyone onstage at Apple’s press event last week even mentioned the words “Apple TV.” It certainly didn’t announce any major news associated with it. But the product which Apple loves to tell us is a mere hobby is now a better buy. Apple has discontinued the 40GB model (the one I own) and cut the price for the much more capacious 160GB version from $329 down to $229, the price it had been charging for 40GB.

Depending on how you use Apple TV, you might or might not find the 4X jump in capacity for your buck to be a boon–if all you do is rent the occasional movie, store a typical music collection, and stream stuff from other computers around your house, 40GB was plenty. 160GB starts to sound like enough space for a sizable movie collection (although it’s still teensy compared to the space offered by pricier media services such as HP’s MediaSmart Home Server.)

Apple TV is a fun and well-designed product, but it hasn’t turned out to be an iPod-like transcendent hit. Then again, neither has anything else involving bringing the Internet into the living room. I find myself using Roku’s $99 box more than Apple TV, mostly because its Netflix Watch Instantly integration lets it provide all-you-can-view access to a ton of content for one low price. Other than video podcasts, most of Apple TV’s content is priced per title, making it impractical to gorge on movies and TVs as you can do with Roku. I wonder if Apple has ever considered offering some sort of Netflix-like subscription plan, at least for a subset of stuff?

Time for a T-Poll:


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7 Comments For This Post

  1. tom b Says:

    “Apple TV is a fun and well-designed product, but it hasn’t turned out to be an iPod-like transcendent hit. Then again, neither has anything else involving bringing the Internet into the living room”

    You nail it. When the iPod launched, lots of MP3 players were already being sold, and the shortcomings of these players were obvious to Apple. TV viewing habits and modalities are FAR more complex; I see NO companies “winning” this battle–yet.

  2. Relyt Says:

    Not enough storage – The most basic Apple Laptops ship with a hard drive that same size.

  3. bacon salt Says:

    What are you smoking? How is 40 GiB enough for a typical music collection? How many people do you know who only own a hundred or so CDs/records? I have my music in shitting mp3 v0 and it still takes up over 300 GiB. Don’t get me started on movies. At about a gig a film, how is 40 GiB going to be enough for anyone?

  4. Finn Jack Says:

    Apple has not yet announced any information regarding Apple TV. So it is better to avoid expectations about this Apple product, as it may too disappoint like the recent Apple event’s products. But sure it would provide a good entertainment.

  5. Dale Larson Says:

    I’d love an AppleTV with more storage and that served iTunes files to other computers on the network (since our Mac Book Airs do everything we need except have space for all our music)!

    I’m surprised you think 40gb is adequate. We rented an HD movie from iTunes over the weekend: 4gb. Our music collection is over 100gb. Even 160gb simply isn’t enough storage at our house.

    But $229 sure is sweet. Would much rather have gotten closer to that price point than to the $800 we had to spring on a Mac Mini.

    Do game consoles come close to being able to serve the same functions, but to also play games, for a similar price?

  6. Mike Hill Says:

    I’ve added ATV Flash, which enables the USB port for hubs, external drives or keyboards, as well as adding other features such as a browser, ssh and ftp access, etc. on mine.

    I had hoped to be able to stream from Apple TV to other computers in my home, so far this isn’t an option. Remote management from iTunes is kinda clunky.

    Since this connected to the home stereo, my music collection is sync’d as well, using the Apple remote application on the iPhone is awesome.

    The content from the iTunes store is very good, I have purchased a couple of TV show subscriptions, I wish they would had more of .99 rentals.

  7. Fanfoot Says:

    I like my Apple TV. I think the update is nice enough, if rather tepid.

    I don’t use it much though. Most of the time when I look to see if a movie is available on it, it isn’t.

    And when I’m looking for a TV show, its more likely to be available on Hulu when I want to watch it (usually I just missed it) than on the Apple TV.

    I think Apple could make a bigger splash if they fixed either of these things–movies closer to DVD release, and some kind of support for flash video streaming sites.

    In the absence of some kind of update to add either one of these, I’ll probably move onto something else eventually. No idea what though. A STB offering Comcast’s TV Anywhere service?

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