Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Big Gotcha of Apple TV:
It Might Not Work on Your TV

Apple says it's going to be a little late turning its homework on AppleTV (see AppleInsider for the deets).

That give them a little breathing room before the flood of buyers returning the product in droves because they can't make it work with their televisions.

Apple says it clearly, if not prominently:
"Apple TV works with widescreen, enhanced-definition or high-definition TVs capable of 1080i, 720p, 576p, or 480p resolutions..."
But I wonder how many people won't notice that until they open the box?

While TVs that meet Apple's requirements dominate current retail sales, they're far from dominating the installed base of TVs. (See also Scoble's lament that his Dad isn't in the digital TV generation.) If you have an older TV, you're just not going to be able to make the connection.

Mickeleh's Take: There are more than enough modern TVs to make Apple's numbers, but there are also many more older TVs that will make headaches for the returns counter at the Apple store. Apple's delay on shipping the product gives them another few weeks to stock up on aspirin.

Other Mickeleh's Takes on Apple TV:

Pixel-Punchy Scobel's Rant about Apple TV

Apple, Pioneer of Accessible Solutions,
Neglects Closed Captions in Apple TV


Anonymous said...

do the ven diagram -- the number of people with "modern" tvs; the number of people with "old" tvs; and the number of people who want appletv. I'm thinking the bulk of the appletv bubble fits in the "modern" tv bubble, so it won't be quite so bad.

Michael Markman said...

Good point. I agree over all. I'm just saying that there will be a kerfuffle with people returning a product that doesn't work with their TV. This whole HDTV thing is fraught with complexities that make it one of the screwiest products ever foisted on an unsuspecting public: Blu-ray vs. HD DVD; 720p vs 1080i vs 1080p; component vs. DVI vs. HDMI; Plasma vs LCD vs. DLP... etc.