There has been a lot of talk about the iTV announcement in the past week since the announcement. I am not that impresses with it. The functionaly is not any more than FrontRow running on a Mac mini. Also price is not really a factor when compared to a Mac Mini, since there has to be a Mac running somewhere in the house anyway. The one thing that the iTV has over the Mac mini, is that it can be silent. There shouldn't be a need to have a fan in it at all.
There are a few things that I think would make the iTV worth the money.
- Be able to "stream" a mounted DVD. - You could insert a DVD into the mac that is not attached to the TV, and this mac would make the DVD volume available over the network. Then the iTV would be able to play the video content from the shared DVD.
- Play purchased content from Apple. I believe that when Steve Jobs talked about how long a iTunes Store purchaced movie would take to download, he gave the example for a user who had a 6Mbs download speed. If Apple is assuming broadband speeds of this rate, I think that:
- Every song and video that you purchase from the iTunes Store should me made available on your iDisk.
- When you want to view your content, the iTV could access it directly from your iDisk.
This would mean that you don't need to leave a Mac running when ever you want to view you content.
- License Sling Media's playback technology - This would allow the iTV to play content from any video source attached to a Slingbox
[Picture via flickr]