MacWorld 2007 Predictions - AVS Forum
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Old 12-27-2006, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
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It's almost that time of the year -- so lets have at it --
Here are mine:

iLife/iWorks '07
Leopard release date announcement
iTV release date announcement
iPod/iPhone enhancements/announcement
Additional studios join iTunes movie store

Possibilities:
HDMI equipped displays
MacPro bump
Mini with HT enhancements
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Old 12-27-2006, 10:29 AM
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I predict that a handful of AVS forum members will complain that Apple has missed the boat because an announced product did not fulfill their deepest desires. The majority of the complaints will fall on the shortcomings of the iphone, the lack of a touch screen ipod, and no tv tuner integration in the iTV or any mac product line.
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Old 12-27-2006, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Todorov View Post

Mini with HT enhancements

That would be a nice announcement. I'm waiting for MacWorld so that I don't buy my mini too early.
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Old 12-27-2006, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew67 View Post

I predict that a handful of AVS forum members will complain that Apple has missed the boat because an announced product did not fulfill their deepest desires. The majority of the complaints will fall on the shortcomings of the iphone, the lack of a touch screen ipod, and no tv tuner integration in the iTV or any mac product line.

You've made the safest prediction of all My prediction for the #1 complaint: iTV 1.0 is not HD, and only supports iTunes, not 3rd party products like VLC or EyeTV.

But I'm still looking for the harder kind of predictions -- what Apple will actually announce.
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Old 12-27-2006, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Todorov View Post

You've made the safest prediction of all My prediction for the #1 complaint: iTV 1.0 is not HD, and only supports iTunes, not 3rd party products like VLC or EyeTV.

But I'm still looking for the harder kind of predictions -- what Apple will actually announce.

Yep, no matter what the Steve announces, somebody will be disappointed inevitable.

That being said, the iTV, iPhone (maybe just a statement--if SJ doesn't comment on this, all else is moot and will be drowned out by the cacaphony of the dispossesed ), and Leopard are givens. What is a little more intriguing would be the following:

* Dual quad core Mac Pro (8 cores!)
* New form factor that would serve as a server or gamer machine. 1/2 the size of the Mac Pro case. Single dual or quad core processor with expansion slots. Geek tweeker special.
* 12" ultra thin laptop, in new design. Possible new design for MacBook Pro.
* Spreadsheet addition to iWork '07, ship same time as Leopard
* Expanded iTunes Store capabilities to match iTV features--one click movie downloads from the strato lounger. SD at first, to be followed later by HD. Stream from iTunes Store to your tv via enhanced Front Row interface. Possible integration with Google Videos.
* New line Cinema high res monitors (17, 20, 24, 30"). Possible 1920x1080 37-42" monitors.
* Enhanced wireless/IR remote for Front Row.
* And one last thing...???
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Old 12-27-2006, 09:43 PM
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I'm holding off buying a MacBook Pro because I think Apple will be announcing something new in the laptop line. Or, at the very least, another speed bump for the MB Pros.

Mark
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Old 12-27-2006, 09:47 PM
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These are good predictions and I'm not sure I can top them. The iPhone and the iTV are the big unknowns, not sure we'll see either at the show.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildrock View Post

* Dual quad core Mac Pro (8 cores!)

Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildrock View Post

* New form factor that would serve as a server or gamer machine. 1/2 the size of the Mac Pro case. Single dual or quad core processor with expansion slots. Geek tweeker special.

No.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildrock View Post

* 12" ultra thin laptop, in new design. Possible new design for MacBook Pro.

Possible, and I'd say it's a better than 50/50 shot of happening.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildrock View Post

* Spreadsheet addition to iWork '07, ship same time as Leopard

Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildrock View Post

* Expanded iTunes Store capabilities to match iTV features--one click movie downloads from the strato lounger. SD at first, to be followed later by HD. Stream from iTunes Store to your tv via enhanced Front Row interface. Possible integration with Google Videos.

Yes and No. I simply see this as iTV functionality. The big question is... will the iTV be released or simply reannounced? Anything less than a release will be a downer, but I'm not convinced that it's ready to go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildrock View Post

* New line Cinema high res monitors (17, 20, 24, 30"). Possible 1920x1080 37-42" monitors.

Good chance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildrock View Post

* Enhanced wireless/IR remote for Front Row.

Only if it's part of iTV.


The only thing I would add would be new iSight cameras and the possibility of an iChat handset. Although an iChat handset is a reach. Not sure the market is there, and it also could impact iChat with fees (e911, etc) and headaches. I don't see an iChat handset selling macs so there's no real point to it.
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Old 12-28-2006, 07:39 AM
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Lets just hope that Jobs isn't in prison!! The rumor pages are making him look like he did something really bad.. I really hope not. With all the ass that Apple has been kicking, I would hate for anything to screw with their momentum.
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Old 12-28-2006, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew67 View Post

I predict that a handful of AVS forum members will complain that Apple has missed the boat because an announced product did not fulfill their deepest desires. The majority of the complaints will fall on the shortcomings of the iphone, the lack of a touch screen ipod, and no tv tuner integration in the iTV or any mac product line.


A handful? I'd feel safe in wagering a substantial bet that if you're a Mac fan and have an account here on AVS then you WILL be disappointed with whatever Apple releases HTPC wise.

Things that I'd bank on:

Cable/Broadcast TV Support
----------------------------------
- No HDTV (QAM) Tuner
- No TIVOish Feature
- More than likely no TV Tuner at all

DVD Support
----------------
- No DVD Ripping at full quality
- More than likely no DVD ripping at any quality above the all but useless iPod rez
- No support for VIDEO_TS folders for DVDs you ripped by some other means

Sorry... but being a Mac user since -forever- I've learned to be quite pessimistic when it comes Apple's version ONE dot ZERO products (software or hardware) feature sets. Most products are introduced at v1.0 with a VERY basic and limited features and if successful future versions will evolve with features that should have been their since day one.

On the plus side it will usually contain 'something' that nobody has ever done before and after we all get to see that 'something' feature we'll all say 'DUH!! That's so cool or obvious or elegant a feature!! Why on earth didn't anyone else think of that -)

Yep... I have to assume that most of us here on AVS will be EXTREMELY excited by whatever gets demoed but at the same time be VERY frustrated that it falls way short in many other ways.

Dave
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Old 12-28-2006, 08:23 AM
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This gave me the best laugh of the morning...

Don't take this too seriously.
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Old 12-28-2006, 09:11 AM
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Nice To Have:
Leopard to include HD-DVD/Blu-Ray playback software and supports BYO-drive (don't know why it wouldn't).
Desktop Macs/iTV (at least) are HDCP-compatible for hi-def video.
iTV can play HD MPEG2 (i.e. EyeTV recordings) and can play files from a NAS drive, no Mac needed.
802.11n Airport base station (functionality built into iTV?)

Like many others, though I would love to be pleasantly surprised by Apple supporting HD (optical or recorded) but don't expect to be. Although we may expect that Apple will transition iTunes video to high definition, I think it has to be Apple's plan as well for them to produce the iTV with that capability in mind.

My credit card's sitting safely in my wallet, but you can bet I'll be catching as much of the keynote as I can get.
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Old 12-28-2006, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

Things that I'd bank on:

Cable/Broadcast TV Support
----------------------------------
- No HDTV (QAM) Tuner
- No TIVOish Feature
- More than likely no TV Tuner at all

I'd agree with you here, but for different reasons. I think that Apple will try to disrupt the current model of content distribution of video in all forms. The era of the channel is dead. No need for tuners or time-shifted content. All content will be available 24/7. No commercials. PPV, buy to own, or subscription models and/or a new model will take over. All delivered over IP.

This would be the true undoing of the current model where the networks control content, the cable companies and satellite companies and advertisers deliver revenue and in conjunction with networks control viewing schedules, access to content, and even the content creation itself. Throw out the middlemen (tiered programming monopolists and their "bundled services" telecom partners), the advertisers, the networks, and work directly with the studios, producers, and alternative IP-based content aggregators (i.e. Google Video). Let good, creative content rise to the surface, as the rest of the network/cable channel produced, ad-supported pablum sinks in mediocrity.

Has anyone else wondered why the other major studios than Jobs-affiliated ones have yet to throw their content into the iTunes Store? It has nothing to do with DRM, and everything to do with who controls the direction of a new model of delivering content in the 21st century. The battles for control are starting to rage. But Apple has the technology, experience and vision to drive this beast. Jobs' experience with Pixar and now Disney combined with his leadership at Apple uniquely qualifies him as an individual quite capable of a total market disruption here. Watch the studios, networks and indy producers get on the bus when they see it start to leave town. They will all love Apple on one hand, as they did with the iPod and iTunes Music Store, and may loathe them on the other, as they don't like change from the tightly controlled media world they once owned, and are suspect of a future in which they don't ultimately control or create. Apple will hand over the reins to the consumers, who will choose what they want to see, and how they want to pay for it, opening the way for a new model.

And Apple has all of the pieces to put together such a scenario. It is just starting to unvei them and put them together. And it won't be totally obvious from the outset, and people will be confused by what they will perceive as the apparent misdirection of Apple. But I think that 2007, starting with Jobs' keynote, will set the stage for this disruption.

The era of the channel is over. Nielsen is dead.
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Old 12-28-2006, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildrock View Post

I'd agree with you here, but for different reasons. I think that Apple will try to disrupt the current model of content distribution of video in all forms. The era of the channel is dead. No need for tuners or time-shifted content. All content will be available 24/7. No commercials. PPV, buy to own, or subscription models and/or a new model will take over. All delivered over IP.

The era of the channel is over. Nielsen is dead.

I would tend to agree, and I see it coming, but I don't like the replacement model. I don't want to pay $1.99 for every episode of every show that I want to watch. I like the "shout it out" method that cable and satellite offer now, where I can set my own DVR to record what I want it to, then watch on my own schedule.

Now, if someone can develop an all VOD system where I pay a flat rate per provider/channel or grouping per month, then I grab what programming I want when I want it, I'm ready to sign up today.

I just don't like the model of $1.99 per episode for whatever show you want. I pay less on average for that episode of Grey's Anatomy via satellite or cable than I do via iTunes. I lose some immediate flexibility in where I view it, but I paid a lot less on average for it.
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Old 12-28-2006, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildrock View Post

The era of the channel is over. Nielsen is dead.

I think that can be true once iTunes graduates to DVD quality.

Right now it simply doesn't look good enough.

Any guesses on when the DVD quality will arrive, and whether the main obstacle to it are Apple's concerns over bandwidth cost/download time or studio/network objections?
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Old 12-28-2006, 05:18 PM
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I really really hope they announce burnable bluray drives standard in MBPs.

A 12" MBP seems like it would be interesting.

A faster 3d card in the MBP is a MUST.

Yeah, I've got MBP envy =)

Sam

Buncha savages in this town....

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Old 12-28-2006, 06:00 PM
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Other than the obvious speed bumps and maybe an new iPod, I'm banking on 802.11n AirPort Extreme and Apple's announcement that it bought the rights to ReplayTV (TiVo's interface sucks).
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:47 AM
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My predictions:
1. New Mac media computer w/HDMI, 256MB video, Blu-Ray, 2-expansion slots, 2-internal HDs (pizza box or small tower) $1299
2. Mac mini updates (Intel Core2 Duo) w/HDMI, Blu-Ray @$699 & $799 supplements basic $499 & $599 models
3. iTV w/internal HD(s), 802.11n WiFi router, dual (gigabit) Ethernet LAN/WAN ports (replaces Airport Extreme, doubles as NAS device) $299-$599
4. Apple-branded NAS storage device or SOHO Xserve $699-$1299
5. New HDMI-equipped LCD displays (up to 42-inch); possibly 50- and 61-inch plasma displays
6. 802.11n Airport Extreme, Express routers (Flash upgradeable to final standard; see #3 above)
7. iTunes HD (720p) or DVD-quality (480p) movies w/ new quick-download technology that uses Mac customers' Xgrid in (Network) Sharing Preferences
8. Major Front Row update
9. New keyboard/trackpad/gaming input device for sofa
10. iPod video w @3.5-inch display
11. iPod phones (2) w/WiFi, iChat AV; (GSM and CDMA versions)
12. Gaming system (new platform or partnership with Sony)

OK. It's a wish list.

Geo
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Old 12-29-2006, 10:19 AM
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iTunes DVD-quality (720p) movies

720p is HD, DVD quality is 480p

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Old 12-29-2006, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmwedding View Post

My predictions:
1. New Mac media computer w/HDMI, 256MB video, Blu-Ray, 2-expansion slots, 2-internal HDs (pizza box or small tower) $1299
2. Mac mini updates (Intel Core2 Duo) w/HDMI, Blu-Ray @$699 & $799 supplements basic $499 & $599 models
3. iTV w/internal HD(s), 802.11n WiFi router, dual (gigabit) Ethernet LAN/WAN ports (replaces Airport Extreme, doubles as NAS device) $299-$599
7. iTunes DVD-quality (720p) movies w/ new quick-download technology that uses Mac customers' Xgrid in (Network) Sharing Preferences
8. Major Front Row update
9. New keyboard/trackpad/gaming input device for sofa

OK. It's a wish list.

These would be nice. Either 1 or 2 would be perfect for me, as I'm currently upgrading my home entertainment center and will be getting a Mac HTPC shortly after MacWorld. Not sure that we will get a Blu-Ray drive in a computer, however, at a 699 price point. The standalone players are still at $1000+
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Old 12-29-2006, 01:13 PM
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Not sure that we will get a Blu-Ray drive in a computer, however, at a 699 price point. The standalone players are still at $1000+

I would love to see Apple offer a Blu-Ray drive, either in a shipping product (make it a Mac Mini add-on please!) or as a BTO add-on. iSupply did a breakdown on the PS3 and lists the price of the BD optical disk player as $125. The high cost of the shipping players is due to the fact that they basically have to pair the drive with a computer in order for it to do what it needs to. And with a Mac Mini, say, you already have all of the computer, you just need a drive.

So a Mini with a Blu-Ray drive could actually be quite price competitive with current integrated BD drives (<$1k). Availability of such a drive to Apple, on the other hand, most likely would be very limited as the market is constrained on the supply of the blue diode lasers. So add the $125 BD cost to the cost of the Mini, minus the $25 or so of the cost of the SuperDrive, and you get the Mac MiniHT for just a hundred bucks more than what's available now. Add upgrade to C2D procesor, eSata, 802.11(n), an enhanced remote, HDMI, and whatever software interface (upgraded FrontRow??) the iTV will have, and you've got everything you need for less than the cost of a shipping BD player. And for those wanting BD on other Macs, it could be a $200 BTO option.

One of the problems I see with this for Apple is how they differentiate this from the iTV. Or is the the iTV on steroids that we here rumours about?
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Old 12-29-2006, 01:44 PM
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I hereby predict the following will not be announced (but should):

A mac mini HTPC in a box the same size as a standard DVD player with
1. No &*&%*^%*& power brick.
2. HD-DVD and Blu-Ray playback.
3. ATSC/QAM HD dual tuner
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Old 12-29-2006, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildrock View Post

One of the problems I see with this for Apple is how they differentiate this from the iTV. Or is the the iTV on steroids that we here rumours about?

I think the iTV will be similar to what gmwedding refers to above, with internal HDs, etc., but probably no optical drives at first. They don't want you to rip your own movies to the drive, but want you to share the content from other computers, so basically a video Airport device is what it will be. You might not even be able to directly access the device through your network, just share via iTunes to the device. Then step up to the mini for optical drive, full HDTV support, networkability, etc.
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Old 12-29-2006, 02:20 PM
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There is one report on the Apple discussion board that the nVidia 7300GT card in the mac pro is already HDCP compliant. So, Apple just needs to release the playback software and a BluRay drive (or a 3rd party might step forward with a drive) and OSX is good to go for BluRay movies (oh, also assuming one uses a HDCP compliant display for 1080p over digital connection).
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Old 12-29-2006, 02:43 PM
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There is one report on the Apple discussion board that the nVidia 7300GT card in the mac pro is already HDCP compliant. So, Apple just needs to release the playback software and a BluRay drive (or a 3rd party might step forward with a drive) and OSX is good to go for BluRay movies (oh, also assuming one uses a HDCP compliant display for 1080p over digital connection).

How about GMA3000 graphic chipset for the Mini? Looks sweet
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Old 12-29-2006, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightowl View Post

I think the iTV will be similar to what gmwedding refers to above, with internal HDs, etc., but probably no optical drives at first.

I predict that the iTV will have no internal drive, optical or magnetic.
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Old 12-29-2006, 03:48 PM
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I predict that the iTV (or MacTV, is my prediction) will NOT play any HD files that are not purchased from the iTunes store (with the exception of QT movie trailers).
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Old 12-29-2006, 06:43 PM
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I predict that the iTV (or MacTV, is my prediction) will NOT play any HD files that are not purchased from the iTunes store (with the exception of QT movie trailers).

Well that wouldn't make any sense. Why would Apple have iMovie HD and other software that can work with consumer generated HD and then not allow you to view it? I think that as with iTunes, Apple will allow you to view most any non-DRM files that QuickTime can play (including with plugins like Flip4Mac, etc.).

The day Apple starts closing the door to outside content is the day that others will step in and fill the void, and Apple begins to wither. Why become more Microsoft-like, when it obviously hasn't worked for them? Without the value of being able to, i.e, burn your own cd's, listen to generic mp3's, and listen to other sources than iTunes Store songs, the iPod would never have taken off like it did. Apple really doesn't make much money on the iTunes Store, nor does it have to for the iPod to be successful. It is a convenience and added value bonus for iPod users. I would likewise suggest that the iTunes Store would play the same role for Apple's iTV, iPhone, and any other AV device they might come up with. The money for Apple is in selling the hardware, and backing it up with a computing platform that integrates it all.
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Old 12-29-2006, 07:16 PM
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Well that wouldn't make any sense

Like it made sense for Apple not to build recognition of video_ts into Front Row? MickeyDora is closer to being correct than not, I'm afraid. An EyeTV recording of a network show in HD won't have any DRM--want to bet it can't be streamed to the iTV? The "what Quicktime can play" limitation is already tired, most of us have moved past it.
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Old 12-29-2006, 07:53 PM
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Like it made sense for Apple not to build recognition of video_ts into Front Row? MickeyDora is closer to being correct than not, I'm afraid. An EyeTV recording of a network show in HD won't have any DRM--want to bet it can't be streamed to the iTV? The "what Quicktime can play" limitation is already tired, most of us have moved past it.

I was just taking his words "will NOT play any HD files that are not purchased from the iTunes store" literally. I fully expect that Apple's iTV will play other HD files than those purchased at the iTunes Store. It most likely won't play all HD files, just like the iPod doesn't play ALL music files. We can argue about the fine points of file support, but I don't agree that "most of us have moved past it." Those of us that use QuickTime professionally have to deal with the environment and workflow tools provided to us, and integrate them to do our work. Move on to what? Windows?

And if you want to talk about Front Row limitations, there are a slew of them. But to be fair to Apple, I'm sure that the next incarnation of it, either to be released with the iTV or with Leopard will address many of them. How would opening it to third party developers for plugin integration suit you? Now that would push it right along. Got a file type, we'll have a plugin to support it. If Apple won't do that with Front Row, maybe Center Stage or another product will. Front Row isn't the only show in town.

There's a MacWorld prediction for you. Plugin support for Front Row. Lots of people have been talking about it and rumors abound.
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by chefklc View Post

Like it made sense for Apple not to build recognition of video_ts into Front Row?

Apple has already done that with the iPod. You can't buy music from the Zune store, Napster, Rhapsody, etc and use on your iPod, only the iTunes store. And last time I checked, they have been really successful in doing that. Why would the video equivalent be any different?

Any non-DRM stuff we would be able to view through the iTV, but we'll have to go through a few hoops to make it work.
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