AppleTV Stories July 26, 2013

Graphic: The $35 Chromecast dongle is no replacement for the $99 Apple TV (not yet, anyway)

The Verge snapped together the chart below illustrating the feature set of the Chromecast dongle as compared to the Apple TV’s Airplay functionality.

In reality, we are looking at two different ways of looking at place-shifting content. Apple’s is directly from an iOS device or a recent Mac’s display. The Chromecast is sending instructions to the dongle to start playing content from the cloud (meaning you need a pretty healthy Internet connection).

In its present state, the $35 Amazon/Best Buy (in stock) Chromecast is a convenient way to show Netflix, YouTube and Google Play content on a TV. But a lot of the good programming lies outside of this sphere.  Sure you can ‘Chromecast’ videos from your Chrome browser as you watch Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, or just about anything else that works in a browser including .MKV, MP4, AVI files, etc, but that’s not elegant (and Chrome/Android chief Pachai says websites, like Hulu, could turn off the functionality at any time)! Also, you get no dedicated remote with the Chromecast (though Android devices can be found pretty absurdly cheap) like with the AppleTV.

You can’t help but wonder if the Apple TV could be put in the Dongle format and perhaps given some more content sharing options. Google reached across the aisle and built Chromecast to provide Apple Mac and iOS users the same compatibility as Chrome and Android users. Sure Chromecast needs external power such as that provided by a USB port, but the form factor and, more importantly, the price, seem very compelling. If Apple could squeeze its current format Apple TV into a dongle and cut the price in half, why shouldn’t it?

Update: Search Engine Land simplifies and throws in Roku for good measure

 

AppleTV Stories February 19, 2013

Apple launches Apple TV in India for Rs 8,295 ($150)

After officially bringing iTunes music and movies to India alongside a huge international rollout in December, Apple appears to have now launched Apple TV in the country. The Apple TV product page on Apple’s India website was first spotted by BGR India, but Apple has yet to issue an official press release announcing the product launch. The product page doesn’t include a “buy” button, and some reports claim stock has not yet made it to Apple resellers in the country. BGR first posted a screenshot of Apple’s site showing an Rs 7,900 price tag, but Apple’s website now shows a price of Rs 8295 (as pictured to the right). That’s roughly $150 USD and slightly higher than first rumored. As pictured above, the product page also highlights a number of Bollywood films and other local content in addition to The Wall Street Journal, YouTube, Vimeo, and MLB.TV.

AppleTV Stories January 29, 2013

New Apple TV 3,2 to be half centimeter smaller, A5X processor, updated wireless (Updated)

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As we discovered yesterday, Apple is updating its Apple TV ever so slightly…soon. Today, the Federal Communications Commission released the dimensions of this new Apple TV product (via Engadget) in its labeling documentation. The 3,2 is 93.78mm square compared to the 98mm of the current model, but we’re not quite sure why Apple would go through the trouble of making it just a little smaller.

However, Apple likely accomplished the shrinkage with new hardware including the Broadcom BCM4334 Wireless chip (code, right) that can also incidentally pick up FM radio (just like the dormant FM radio receiver in the same chip inside iOS devices).

AnandTech says the new device might also sport an A5X processor. This would be similar to the chip found in the discontinued third-generation iPad. Rebooting production of this chip could help for that rumored Retina iPad mini.

We also picked up some new labeling (thanks Sonny!) from the firmware yesterday and compared it:

Hackers have also discovered there is an upgraded CPU that might save a little space.

UPDATE: 

Despite the information found in the FCC documents, an Apple spokesperson gave the following statement to TNW: “We sometimes make component changes which require an updated model number for regulatory approval. The component changes we made don’t affect product features and Apple TV customers will continue to have the same great user experience.”

The Verge also “learned” that there’s no redesign in the works, and the new Apple TV will look identical in size and appearance to the current one.

AppleTV Stories January 26, 2013

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Here’s an interesting find sent by a tipster. Staples, the biggest office retailer in the United States, has a page showing an Apple TV with a list price of $49.99. While that price is very low, we were not able to add it to our cart or check out because the following page said “out of stock” (screenshots below). Staples also recommended a $24.99 Apple Lightning charge and sync cable when you visit the page. In fact, there is a bunch of Apple’s products sitting on “Mockup Pages” section.

What’s going on here?

expand full story

AppleTV Stories January 17, 2013

Apple TV launches in South Africa this Friday, Jan.18

Core Group, Apple’s official distributor in South Africa, just announced details for the launch date and pricing of Apple TV in the country. According to a statement by the company (via mybroadband.co.za), Apple TV will finally launch through select retailers starting Jan. 18. The launch follows Apple’s official opening of iTunes Store and iPhone 5 in South Africa alongside 50+ other countries last month.

Core Group suggested Apple TV will retail for R1099 (roughly $125 USD) but also noted, “resellers are entirely free to determine the actual prices at which products will be sold.” Customers in South Africa will be able to get their hands on Apple TV through the following Apple Premium Resellers and authorized dealers:

Apple Premium Resellers:

  • iStore
  • Digicape

Selected Apple Authorised Retailers:

  • Incredible Connection
  • Dion Wired
  • Makro
  • Hi-Fi Corporation

AppleTV Stories January 16, 2013

The introduction of the Mac App Store, at least for the Mac’s biggest game publisher Aspyr Media, hasn’t been entirely smooth. Aspyr recently outlined some issues with bringing multiplayer to Mac games due to Game Center and sandboxing restrictions of the Mac App Store, and developing separate versions of games for Steam and the Mac App Store continues to be a hurdle. An example is Borderlands 2. It took Aspyr just two months to ship the Mac version, but the Game Center multiplayer won’t arrive until sometime early this year. However, executives at the company promise Apple’s enthusiasm toward gaming on Mac is stronger than ever thanks to the Mac App Store. Aspyr also said it has much planned for 2013 in Apple’s store and remains platform agnostic, despite running its own competitive GameAgent store.

9to5Mac recently had the chance to speak with Aspyr Vice President of Publishing Elizabeth Howard, with input from CEO Michael Rogers and other execs, about the process of porting games to the Mac App Store, the company’s relationship with Apple and publishers, and the possibility of bringing iOS titles to OS X.

In case you’re unfamiliar, Aspyr is one of the biggest Mac game publishers bringing PC and console titles to OS X. It regularly leads many of the top paid and grossing charts on the Mac App Store thanks to high-profile releases such as Borderlands 2, RAGE, Call of Duty: Black Ops, and much more. Go below for the full interview and a chance to win Borderlands 2 for Mac. expand full story

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