Apple TV Looks Half Baked

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


5. Studios aren't signing on 

Currently, content from ABC and Fox is available on the Apple TV. For television lovers, that's not enough to justify buying the device. Steve Jobs said he expects more studios to sign on eventually, but so far, that seems rather unlikely. With such little content from studios, it's hard to see how the Apple TV could be classified as anything but a hobby. 

6. Full HD support 

A slew of televisions today feature 1080p compatibility. And yet, Apple decided to make all of its content on the Apple TV offer 720p resolution. At first glance, that might not seem like a problem. But some Apple TV's competitors, including the Roku XD|S, boast 1080p output. It's not Blu-ray quality, but it's close. It has to make some wonder why Apple didn't offer 1080p content in its own set-top box. 

7. It seems half-finished 

The Apple TV doesn't seem complete. On one hand, it has a nice design, but on the other hand, it lacks content. It has a simple interface, but there are few worthwhile features. It boasts Netflix, but doesn't allow for on-board storage. Simply put, the device is a tale of good and bad that makes it feel rather unfinished. 

8. Netflix isn't everything 

Netflix simply isn't enough to justify purchasing the Apple TV. Currently, Netflix's Instant Streaming service is available on HDTVs, several set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, and game consoles. Bringing that service to the Apple TV isn't helping Apple set itself apart. In fact, it's just following the competition. That's not typically something that Apple does. And consumers will quickly realize that. 

9. The content isn't there 

As mentioned, the Apple TV is having a hard time attracting studios to the device. But even those studios that have content on the set-top box are unwilling to share their top content. In fact, there are several major films, like Iron Man 2, that have yet to make their way to the Apple TV. Even prominent television shows aren't available yet. When consumers see a studio's content available, they expect certain programming. If the Apple TV doesn't deliver that, the company will have even more trouble convincing folks that it's not just selling a hobby. 

10. It's priced like a hobby 

Apple might be trying to make its set-top box easily affordable to consumers that want simple functionality in their living rooms, but a $99 price tag from the company tells folks everything they need to know about the device. Apple is a provider of premium products. It includes the most-desired features in a device that's usually more expensive than alternatives. But the Apple TV is on the cheaper side of the set-top box market. Because of that, some might rightfully

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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