Mac Mini, An Apple DVR?

17 Comments

It is as if somehow someone was listening…. only yesterday I was wondering if there was someone who could step into the void left by TiVo’s move towards advertising and offer a pure-play DVR that does “ad-skipping” well and is as easy to use as well TiVo. The answer just might be in Cupertino! Think Secret reports that Apple is currently working on turning the Mac Mini into a hub for digital home entertainment.

The new Mac mini project, code-named Kaleidoscope, will feature an Intel processor and include both Front Row 2.0 and TiVo-like DVR functionality. The new Mac mini is also said to sport a built-in iPod dock, a feature that was scrapped from the Mac mini Apple first introduced one year ago. Other hardware specifics are unknown

I have often thought about this kind of an offering, but who knew that there is a good chance that we might actually see something similar at the Mac World Expo in San Francisco. Clearly FrontRow is part of a large digital home plan! One should not be surprised by this development – XBox 360 is one of those devices that can bring Microsoft roaring back in the digital media game, and unless Apple can counter punch, the whole iPod thing wouldn’t really amount to anything.

17 Comments

Colin D. Devroe

I should have weighed in on this sooner, but saying that the “whole ipod thing [wouldn’t] amount to much” would be wrong no matter what happens. The iPod has very little to do with the home entertainment market, and so even if Microsoft should win that market (which everyone knows they won’t win it unless they buy their way in, and the 360 is not going to do that), the ipod will stand alone as a sure success.

tinab

what are you talking about ponyboy? people like you are the reason the world thinks apple users are idiots. there are times i regret apple’s new popularity.

ponyboy

Microsoft didnt see it coming, if they did they wouldnt have crippled MCE with so much DRM and would have added Firewire HD support a long time ago.

Nick Murphy

This is my idea for Google, re: DVR advertising, but it could work for Apple as well.

When you pause your commercial-free DVRed show it should display a static ad based on the closed captioning from the 10 minutes surrounding the location you paused the show at.

You should also be able to display all ads related to a show if you wish (and they would all be based on the content of the show using closed captioning searches).

This way, if they were talking about something in the show that you are interested in finding out more about you just pause the show and will be presented with the ad.

R Boylin

I can see a wi-fi plus infrared iPod size controller with a screen to feed media of all sorts to TVs and Hi-Fi systems while using the screen to find and review content types. Compatibility may require the “wireless video” device to be a converter as well, or at least an optional product. The first “media server” mini would a an appropriate device for Macworld as you’ve stated. With a home video success in place I can see Apple selling some big screens as well in the future.

Brian McTavish

If this isn’t true in some form, I’ll eat my hat.

The ‘wired-home’ media box is almost there and, as everyone keeps saying, Apple is in a damned good position to become a far bigger player in this emerging market than it is in the PC market. TV tuners are now the size of a stick of gum, PVR usefulness is proven, wireless video transmission (a.k.a. the video Airport Express) can only be round the corner, I can control my home from my computer, iPod/iTunes leads the music market and DRM’ed content will soon become (unintended but tellingly appropriate pun) a torrent. All obvious.

But what Cupertino knows is that all the technology doesn’t add up to a hit. The fairy dust that does is total integration and no-brainer usability. And who’s best at that? Fingers crossed for 06… Don’t disappoint us!

dhario

this was a long time coming since apple released the mini. it is perfectly suited to be at the center of an entertainment center. i’m quite suprised that it’s taken them this long. this is apple’s greatest skill — product design and ui. i think the market will be eager to adopt a product like this.

William Strathearn

I really really hope that Apple does not succum to the pressure of Big Media and limit functionality of a PVR in order to prevent people from watching commercials. DRM is one thing, but commercial push defeats the purpose.

Just a few miles away in Sunnyvale, I’ve completed work on my own Gentoo/MythTV PVR that has more features than any other time-shifting software available and zero DRM. Although not for the masses or faint of heart, MythTV is something that all PVR software can aspire to for some time

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