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I just came across this May 12, 2005 commentary by PBS' Robert X. Cringley ( http://www.pbs.org/cringely/archive/ ) and think the speculation about Apple technology that could be used for HD video services is interesting, and relevant to this group. In the next few months, we'll see if the theories play out. Already, more recent speculation has centered around Apple rolling out some sort of movie AND video service that also could include network HDTV programming. This could be an alternative to paying Comcast or TiVO to rent a DVR to place in your entertainment system cabinet:


...A Slashdot poster (it's in this week's links) [May 12] purporting to be an Apple employee dropped a couple tidbits that fill-in the blanks for understanding Apple's still unannounced movie download service. The man or woman said that Apple would be fudging somewhat its definition of High Definition video to save bandwidth and required processing power, starting instead of 720p-24 with half-HD and anamorphic 720-by 486 (look in the links for what anamorphic means). Apple may well offer those sub-HD versions of HD, but from the music videos they are already starting to offer in HD I think they'll offer 720p and 1080i, too. Remember, the real market is download-and-play, not streaming.


The more interesting item in this Slashdot post, however, was the idea of Apple doing a video equivalent of its AirPort Express WiFi repeater that has audio output to link iTunes to your stereo system. This AirPort extension is the last piece needed for Apple's video service and answers a lot of questions. Why doesn't the Mac Mini have an optical audio port? Because the AirPort has one, instead. Why isn't the Mac Mini more powerful? Because it doesn't have to be. The Mini becomes a storage and downloading device and H.264 decoding is handled in the AirPort gizmo using one of the H.264 hardware decoder chips coming on the market for around $20.


So Apple takes over video and movies while Yahoo threatens with a low-priced music subscription service and Google threatens to take control of, well, everything.


And Microsoft? Microsoft kicks the dog...
 

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That's interesting. THe piece described sounds alot like the Elgato EyeTV, no?


TM
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by anthonymoody
That's interesting. THe piece described sounds alot like the Elgato EyeTV, no?


TM
No. :) The EyeTV unit only receives and demodulates OTA (H)DTV signals. It does not assist the MPEG decoding process in any way. This post is about a device which provides hardware MPEG-4 (H.264) decoding as a companion to the Mac Mini. It's a nice architecture - the Mini is good at being a computer and shoveling data around, the video airport thing is good at consuming that data and spitting out A/V signals.
 

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A $20 chip does not a cheap component make. Uncompressed audio is task enough to stream wirelessly. Decoding for Mpeg1/2/4/H.264/divx, using a Mac as a server, multiple outputs for DVI/Component/whatever, remote control. Sounds like a dream come true. Hopefully that doesn't render it impossible. I'll wait for the Paris Expo before I buy a LinkPlayer; I'll do that much.
 

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arock,


I guess I am materially misunderstanding what the eyehome unit does. From their webpage:


"EyeHome directly accesses all the content in your Movies folder. You can scroll through your list of movies or search through your video library by using the Search command at the top of the screen. EyeHome supports the most popular digital video formats MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4."


Please clarify? NB I'm talking about the "EyeHome" device, not the EyeTV.


Thanks,

TM
 
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