Why would Apple think that selling 640×480 “near DVD quality” films at DVD prices is a good business move? As we are all getting ready for HD movies and hardware to get finalized, Apple has to muddy the waters with releasing sub-par content. Amazon’s unboxed is acceptable, offering bit-rates at over 2Mb — better than any NTSC SD broadcast, but still not HD. But Apple, geez — I’m still in shock over this… I’ll post more thoughts as Steve Jobs releases more info during the Apple Event in San Francisco.
UPDATE #1: – iTV (codename) announced for Q1 2007, apparently it will have HD support. It will be half the size of a Mac Mini and offer wireless component video, optical audio and HDMI ports. I’m getting the feeling that they are building extenders. Following the MSFT model of Media Center (iTunes) and iTV (XBOX 360) pulling from that. Pricing will be $299, it seems a bit high compared to an XBOX 360 since the basic XBOX package is $299 and seems to be much more powerful than the announced iTV. Again, not really impressed with Apple’s direction, architecturally, having iTunes as your “server” and purchasing UI and linking iTV to it seems a bit messy. I still like the idea of having a dedicated server (MCE) and using extenders to play that content back or using the extender (xbox 360) and streaming content to it directly.