Apple today rolled out their new AppleTV appliance. It’s essentially the Microsoft Media Center PC without the PC – allowing you to beam all of your saved media from your PC to your TV. So that’s good, right?
I’m not so sure. It looks like Apple, in an effort to keep Jobs’ promise of sub-$300, has placed only a 40GB hard drive in the device. They say that will hold up to 50 hours of TV. I’m not so sure. Even the latest iteration of the video iPod comes with an 80GB hard drive.
I can’t imagine needing to carry twice as much content in my pocket as I have for my home entertainment. It seems a little underpowered for a home media device. You can argue that I connect to a PC to get more storage (I assume it will allow that), but that just puts me back in the Media Center mode. If I wanted to network my TV and my PC, I can do that. I’d rather not. I’d rather have space enough on my Apple TV.
The other concern I have is their storage assumptions. If you’re maintaining 50 hours on 40 GB, you are almost certainly not talking HD. HD takes up a lot of space compared to the Apple standard resolution of 320 x 240. I have converted a lot of my movies to mp4 at that resolution and I’m pushing anywhere between 600MB and a Gigabyte for a two hour movie. Storing at HD resolution, that 40 GB will likely yield about 25 hours.
It’s a neat idea, but I’ll wait until generation 2.0 or 3.0 when the hard drive space keeps up with media improvements.