Of course, HBO Go still requires a cable subscription, so… yay? I guess you get to turn on your Apple TV instead of your cable box to watch HBO.
Don’t miss the three other content providers that came along for the ride in this announcement, the ones that matter: Sky News, Crunchyroll, and Qello. Those actually do something to move a needle forward on one drawback of the Apple TV and most boxes like it—live news and other programming.
This is interesting, but it feels like we don’t have the full picture yet. Sure, typing on a TV with any kind of traditional remote (including and especially Apple’s) is a crummy experience, and while Apple’s Remote app for iPhone and iPad helps, keep in mind that not everyone has one of those.
I have a hard time believing most people do much searching on the Apple TV. It does a great job of showing what’s in your iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, and other catalogs, then showing a healthy selection of what’s new and popular.
There simply doesn’t feel like much of a reason to keep a keyboard sitting around the Apple TV. Yet.
Looks like Apple TV displays ads on YouTube videos now. Or are these built into the video?
Iljitsch van Beijnum did some digging into the iTunes ecosystem’s new support of 1080p video and uses a few screenshot comparisons to help you get an idea of the difference in detail:
The reason that the 1080p versions of the iTunes Store videos can be a good deal better without doubling the file size—or worse—can be found in the tech specs of the new AppleTV and the new iPad. The AppleTV now supports H.264 compression for 1920x1080 resolution video at 30 frames per second using High or Main Profile up to level 4.0, the iPad and the iPhone 4S the same up to level 4.1. The profile indicates what kind of decompression algorithms the H.264 decoder has on board—the “High” profile obviously has some tricks up its sleeve that the “Main” or “Baseline” profiles known to previous devices don’t support. The level value indicates how many blocks or bits per second a device can handle.
Apple has confirmed that existing Apple TV 2 owners can get the new interface Apple showed off at the iPad 3 event via a free software update.
Good news if you don’t care that much about 1080p playback. Just hit Settings > Software Update.