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Google and Apple Finally Teaming Up? 126

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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  • Poo Pooing ITV (Score:5, Interesting)

    by esconsult1 ( 203878 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @11:47AM (#16130534) Homepage Journal

    Lots of people dismiss this product, but the kicker for me is that its priced so I can put one in each room with a TV, instead of a PC beside each TV.

    Imagine watching Youtube on your bigscreen... (on the other hand, with that crappy video, perhaps not).

  • Bandwidth? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cca93014 ( 466820 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @11:59AM (#16130657) Homepage
    Back of napkin maths...

    My MythTV box in the UK consumes about 1.4 GB of data per hour of programme. That equates to about a 400kbit/second bandwidth requirement to be able to stream broadcast quality standard definition video (I think? Can anyone confirm that?). So basically I'd need at least a 4Mbit ADSL/Cable connection to stream video in real time and that's without enough of an overhead to ensure a 99.9% free picture.

    What resolution did they say the iTV was running at? If I download a film from iTunes, what resolution is it? 640x480? That's a fair bit less than PAL. Maybe they could use a different codec to squeeze some more performance out of it, but it seems that the bandwidth requirements are pretty high right now...

    The problem is that my dad, for example, expects the TV to work, when he turns it on, all the time. If he turns on his TV and gets some "buffering" messages up, he's going to take the thing back to the shop and tell the guy that sold it to him that "it doesn't work properly"...

    Anyone else think that streaming TV is just not ready yet? I'd say we need another couple of years at least...
  • Re:Bandwidth? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Siberwulf ( 921893 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @12:18PM (#16130814)
    Anyone else think that streaming TV is just not ready yet? I'd say we need another couple of years at least...

    Honestly, I think _quality_ streaming TV is just a pipe dream. As we introduce new TV standards, such as HD, we increase the size and standard of "Normal". With Normal going higher and higher, is it feasible to think that the web will catch up? Will Normal even plateau? I'm not sure, but I venture to say "No"
  • by thefinite ( 563510 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @12:39PM (#16131016)
    The iTunes movies are DVD quality. The trailer Jobs showed *was* HD streaming, apparently, from their trailers website. I doubt many normal broadband connections will get the same speed as Jobs' demo setup, however.
  • Re:Bandwidth? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by stunt_penguin ( 906223 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @01:06PM (#16131242)
    Honestly, I think _quality_ streaming TV is just a pipe dream.

    Exactly, exactly, exactly! TV over t'internet needs to learn to crawl first- technology writers talk about IPTV and TV over the web as though it's something that can be deployed in the next few years, or as if it's something that isn't going to cost trillions of dollars to roll out. We don't have the means to deploy that kind of network yet, nor do we need to.

    We currently have a way of deploying streaming video to hundreds of millions of TV sets across the globe at the same time; it's called satellite and cable TV, and although it costs a bundle to put up there, one satellite can serve (hundreds of?) millions of homes with the same content all at once, and it doesn't mean putting lines in the ground to every home. 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.

    Can you imagine what it would take to stream live video to the 1 billion people who watch the World Cup? Or the hundreds of millions of people who watch the superbowl? That kind of information infrastructure is as far beyond the capabilities of our current series of tubes as I care to imagine.

    In the meantime, a much better solution is video recording that has a satellite/cable/terrestrial connection for watching and recording TV that's on right now, plus an internet connection (for downloading video that you missed, scheduling and interactive services) . It's a lot more practical than everything-over-IP, and gives enough bandwidth for HD programming, which is somethign we're supposed to be working towards, right?
  • No they aren't. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pavon ( 30274 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @01:55PM (#16131750)
    The iTunes movies are DVD quality.
    DVD is 720x480 for both fullscreen and widescreen. The iTunes movies are 640x480 for fullscreen, and for widescreen the number of vertical pixels is decreased to keep the same pixel shape (around 640x270 depending on the aspect ratio of the movie). The end result is that widescreen movies have half as many pixels as DVD.

    You may or may not notice the difference on an interlaced fullscreen display, but you will definatly notice the difference on a progressive-scan widescreen display.
  • Net Neutrality (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ModernGeek ( 601932 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @02:07PM (#16131845)
    With net neutrality, cable companies pretty much HAVE to allow it. The reason they don't want net neutrality is so that they can tax the providers using their services (i.e: Bell South can tax Vonage, Comcast can tax Apple, etc). It is a threat, and the threat is real. Vote YES to net neutrality.

Experience varies directly with equipment ruined.