Just a quick geek note- I went to the local Apple store over the weekend and saw the "Apple TV" in action. Pass. This is one of those "close but no cigar" kinds of deals that may be done properly in future revisions, but here's my core beef- no high defininition. Those of you who know me in "real life" know I've been beating this drum for a while, but damnit, Apple said 2006 was to be the "year of HD". Bullshit. The video on an HD screen looks like shit when the source is standard def. I saw The Incredibles at the Apple Store and it was painful how badly the image quality looked on the 30ish inch LCD screen.
I have had an HD telly for almost three years now, and apart from it not having an HDMI interface (DVI for me), it's still of contemporary spec's. We enjoyed the VOOM HD cable service while it lasted, and Dish and DirecTV still have not gotten back to that level of quality and variety. The point is this- Apple is the nearest thing to a corporate champion of HD, and they blew this opportunity.
Here's what I'm waiting for:
#1) The iTunes Store needs to sell movies in HD (yes, I know the bandwidth costs will be big), and you should be able to burn HD DVD's from the downloads (even if in a proprietary format) for archival purposes.
#2) The Apple TV needs to stream HD. And from iTunes as well as QuickTime.
#3) Add a BlueRay or HDDVD drive to the thing with an HDMI pass-through- hell, why shouldn't I be able to consolidate some things? Apple likes to build computers with a minimum of cables and crap, so why are they encouraging a cabling nightmare with this thing?
#4) Make it run cooler. I want to put this in an enclosed space. Radical, huh? Look at the following thermal image from DigitalTrends.com
So, the bottom line is this- we're not "there yet". Hold out for an "Apple TV HD" or rev. B or whatever the hell they want to call it.