Apple TV Still Looks Like a Hobby: 10 Reasons Why

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-10-01 Print this article Print

News Analysis: The Apple TV was not supposed to be a hobby. But the entire Apple TV package lacks the kind of features what would make it look more like a serious contender in the home entertainment space than a half-hearted hobby.

Since the original Apple TV's launch in 2007, Apple executives have said that the device is a hobby for those that want to enjoy more entertainment in the living room. To further bolster that point, Apple has hardly paid attention to the set-top box, instead favoring products like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. 

But now Apple is offering a new Apple TV that it says isn't the hobby that the first model was. In fact, Steve Jobs seemed to indicate at an event announcing the device last month that the company that the company plans to make it a key component in the living room.

But as the set-top box starts arriving at consumer doors, it's quickly becoming clear that the Apple TV is still a hobby. That situation likely won't change until Apple revises its strategy. Read on to find why the Apple TV is still nothing more than a hobby.

1. No storage 

The obvious issue with the new Apple TV is that it lacks on-board storage. That means that consumers who want to be able to store music, videos, or other content on the device won't be able to do so. Instead, all content must be streamed to the device. That's a mistake. And it could be the main reason why consumers opt for an alternative. 

2. DVR functionality 

Before the new Apple TV launched, rumors were swirling that the device would allow users to record television content. Unfortunately, that feature never came to the new Apple TV. For most consumers that are looking for an all-in-one product, rather than several different set-top boxes, it's a major omission that puts the Apple TV back into the "hobby" category. 

3. DVR integration 

Apple should have found a way to link the Apple TV with a DVR. After all, Google TV allows users to access programming guides from their devices and even set their DVR to record. It's not full DVR functionally, but it's at least one step closer. If Google can do it, why can't Apple? 

4. Applications, anyone? 

The fact that Apple is not allowing apps to run on the Apple TV is a major issue. The company has made it clear with each new product release that apps are integral to its future success. And yet, it decided to leave them out of the single product that could help it complete its dominance of the home. It makes no sense and it speaks to how Apple really views the set-top box. 

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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