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Google and Apple Finally Teaming Up? 126

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the peanut-butter-in-the-chocolate dept.
nieske writes "Rumors are spreading about Google and Apple teaming up to form a video alliance. Google might provide streaming video content for Apple's upcoming iTV, which was revealed in last week's Apple event. The only thing that seemed to be missing in the iTV preview was streaming video, and with Google's Eric Schmidt on the Apple board of directors, this alliance might actually not be so far-fetched."
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Google and Apple Finally Teaming Up?

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  • by robinf1 (865827) on Monday September 18, 2006 @12:01PM (#16130673)
    While this item is pure speculation it is at least interesting. I'm unclear why Apple needs Google to stream video though. I don't see the win-win scenario for either. A more interesting idea is presented by Bob Cringley (http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/pulpit20060914 .html [pbs.org]). And yes an Apple TV with iTV built in is a great idea and will happen.
  • Re:Apple iTV (Score:3, Informative)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Monday September 18, 2006 @12:15PM (#16130787)

    But Apple will have to change its product's name: ITV...

    Apple announced the iTV device as a preview of things to come. iTV is a product code name, not what it will be shipped/marketed as. This was practically the first thing they said about it.

  • Re:Poo Pooing ITV (Score:4, Informative)

    by stubear (130454) on Monday September 18, 2006 @12:41PM (#16131027)
    The iTV is nothing more than a Media CP extender. You still need to have the main system that captures the audio/video or handles the DVDs. The iTV lacks a tuner card and DVD player. While you can put one of these in every room of your house that has a TV, you wouldn't get the same functionality as a Media PC in every room of your house with a TV.
  • Re:Bandwidth? (Score:2, Informative)

    by xoyoyo (949672) on Monday September 18, 2006 @12:51PM (#16131132)
    I think you've fallen for the bit/byte conversion there.

    1.4Gb of data equals 400kbytes a second, or 3200kbits a second. Your calculations are right though. The 3-4Mbits speed is the sweet spot for MPEGII: judging by the crap on the screen I'd say Sky runs some of its channels way below that, but yes you'll need a fast connection to make broadcast streaming work, for very low values of broadcast.

    As to iTunes movies being 640x480 - Apple has only rolled the service out in the US so far and 640x480 is NTSC. I expect we'd get something more appropriate in communist Europe. This is below HD, but then again 128kbps AAC is way below SACD and guess which format people buy. Availability beats quality over and over again in consumable media.

    What excites me about iTV (and I will buy one) is that *anything* on my Mac ends up on the screen. Not just YouTube or porn. No need to burn stuff to DVD before watching it.
  • by jmichaelg (148257) on Monday September 18, 2006 @01:06PM (#16131247) Journal
    An obvious response to your post is to say "download instead of stream." So say you try to download a HD stream on a 5 Mbit link (cable speed)...25 GBytes at 5 Mbit/sec works out to a 136 hour download - almost a full week day and night. 680 hours if you're on DSL.

    Run fiber instead of copper and you get 100 Mbit/sec or a tad under 7 hour downloads. So for those lucky folks who have fiber, downloading HD is feasible today if you're willing to download overnight or while you're at work. The rest of us will have to wait.

    The interesting thing is that there's the killer ap for fiber. If the telcos get there first, they save their telephony business. If they keep farting around with DSL, they're toast because you'll be able to talk and download huge files simultaneously over fiber. That's one thing that's driving them to kill net neutrality. They have to invest in infrastructure or go out of business and they don't want to do either. Hence the bribes to Congress.

    Another benefit of an iTV-like device that supported HD would be that the whole Blu Ray/HD-DVD issue goes away. You don't care how the bits are written on your hard drive as long as they show up on your HDTV in full 1080p goodness.
  • Re:Bandwidth? (Score:3, Informative)

    by mrchaotica (681592) * on Monday September 18, 2006 @01:27PM (#16131450)
    Oh, and if 6 differnet people want to watch 6 different programmes, well then that's okay, since all you need is 6 different receivers, not 6x as much bandwidth on your cable connection.

    Not really; the only reason cable doesn't need "extra" bandwidth is that you're already sending all the possible data. The better comparison would be that you'd be sending all those 6 different programs all the time, and if 6 people didn't want to watch then the bits would just be piped to /dev/null.

  • Re:Poo Pooing ITV (Score:4, Informative)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Monday September 18, 2006 @01:37PM (#16131565)

    First of all, that's a really horrible design considering how stiff coaxial cables are -- I can easily imagine that thing either pulling out or snapping off it's USB port, especially if you use it with a laptop (as pictured).

    Does that happen? I've never, ever broken any of my USB ports, even though I routinely plug and unplug peripherals, especially for my laptop.

    Second, what I'm surprised nobody has made is a TV tuner designed to stack under the Mini (like all those external hard drives, etc.).

    If you go back to the Elgato Web site, you'll see they offer a half a dozen different PVRs, including several designed to stack under a mac mini. I bought one of these years ago and it has happily been storing my TV shows since, including easy archiving to DVD. It isn't perfect, but it is pretty darn good.

  • Re:ITV (Score:3, Informative)

    by n2art2 (945661) on Monday September 18, 2006 @02:10PM (#16131873) Homepage
    In the Keynote, Jobs stated that iTV was just the code name, and that before distribution, another name would take it's place. It's a code name. It's a name that will generate buzz, and that is, afterall, why they showed the box at the media event to begin with.
  • Re:Poo Pooing ITV (Score:3, Informative)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Monday September 18, 2006 @03:35PM (#16132772)

    Unfortunately, I looked at Elgato's site after I posted the link, and the "old style" breakout boxes are all gone in favor of that crappy USB dongle one.

    Perhaps you're having difficulty with their odd Web site design? They seem to be selling 250, 310, 410, 610, as well as the USB dongles. The 250 is available directly from their store if that is what you're interested in. Here is a link [elgato.com].

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