Apple TV is NOT a TiVo
Today Apple has finally started to ship their greatly anticipated “Apple TV”. The news has been greeted warmly by Wall Street. I’m guessing the $299 price tag will generate some sales from people who just gotta-have the newest gadget from Apple.
Unfortunately, new HDTV owners are the only people who should buy the Apple TV. It doesn’t have standard RCA or coaxial cable output. Users will need either component video or HDMI jacks on their TV. Just like the iPod, you won’t download directly to Apple TV. There is no built in tuner so you still need to download everything to your computer first.
Originally, Apple had talked about building “TiVo-like” capabilities into a new Mac mini to go along with the Apple TV but those rumors have been dismissed by Apple Senior VP Philip Schiller. He suggested adding video recording would make it to too complicated.
I am pleased that Apple won’t be putting Apple TV to the TiVo category but it still annoys me when anyone compares any ability to record TV shows as TiVo-like”. Even in a recent conversation with David Pogue (Windows Vista (Missing Manual)) he referred to Windows Vista having "TiVo-like" functionality. I explained how this wasn’t acceptable and how many TiVo users have become just as passionate about their TiVo as Mac users have been about their machines.
Just like Google has become a verb for searching the Internet, TiVo has become the new verb for recording TV shows by any kind of digital video recorder. This is surprising when you consider the folks on Wall Street have been predicting for years that TiVo will never survive.
In 2004 TiVo was actively trying to discourage the use of their trademark as a verb and sent out letters to many news organizations. The campaign obviously wasn’t very successful.
Disclaimer: BillP Studios has a minor financial investment in TiVo Inc.