Thursday, May 31, 2007

Dealbreaker dogpiles on Apple TV

I was away yesterday or I would have commented on this earlier. How do you like them sometimes rotten apples?
It’s refreshing to see, at least for anyone who prefers a little balance in the technological world order, that not everything Apple touches turns to gold, which has been the case since the iPod (although the Power Mac Cube was shelved just as the iPod was launching in 2001). The Apple TV, which is a $300 doorstep, furniture leveler or sushi platter according to Fortune’s Brent Schlender, is Apple’s very own Zune, crammed with features that are unusable because of compatibility issues and lacking common sense controls – like a volume gauge on the remote.

I think that this is unfair, as did a couple of commenters of Dealbreaker's site.

For starters Apple TV is a first iteration product. I know that some people ignore the maxim of "never buy the first generation of anything," but I expect Apple TV to grow legs, gain traction, and maybe develop a couple of new marketing cliches in the next model offering.

Secondly, sure it's slightly odd that Apple chose to not make their remote programmable to tun your tv off and on, and control the volume. However, from an integrator's perspective, Apple had the decency to make Apple TV's remote operated on IR, which means that it, your television, and your stereo can be controlled with either a simple programmable remote like a Harmony, or a more sophisticated home control system, like Crestron. This is the opposite of Sony, who opted to use Bluetooth in their remote for Playstation 3, which is a colossal pain in the ass to integrate.

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1 comment:

Flatland Pastor said...

I agree that there's a definite "sour grapes" attitude towards Apple's recent string of successes in the Dealbreaker article. Or maybe they were expecting a more "fully baked" product. In either case, I still won't be an early adopter - I'll claim religious beliefs, my favorite rationalization *wink*. Maybe Apple knows that many of us will react this way, so they put out a product with an intentional lack in it confident that we'll all answer the bell like salivating Pavlovian canines when the 2nd gen until hits the shelves with all the bells and whistles finally included. (Did I just write a treatment for Oliver Stone's next conspiracy theory movie?)

All I know is I (and I think lots of people) would like to see more of the product development of all kinds of new products take place in the R & D lab and less in our living rooms.

(It's not just for breakfast anymore.)