Apple TV Still Looks Like a Hobby: 10 Reasons Why

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-10-01

Apple TV Still Looks Like a Hobby: 10 Reasons Why

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. 

Apple TV Looks Half Baked


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

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