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Future Shock

This is a blog about emerging technology, new gadgets and future culture
Written by Brian Northway

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Apple TV Dissection

Here is the first of a series of photos that I will be posting over the next few minutes, showing the intimate underthings of the Apple here to see more photos!

The hard drive screws to the bottom hatch (lift the rubber foot as seen in the first dissection photo to get to them). For more deets on the hard drive and it's contents see the next post (3/23).

TechRestore is proud to announce our Apple TV upgrade service. Increase the storage capacity of your Apple TV up to 400%!

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TechRestore is now selling pre-upgraded Apple TVs! Available in 80, 100 and 120GB sizes, these units come with a one year TechRestore warranty.

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Over at Highbrid Nation we have been talking the Apple TV and how unimpressed we are with it. I just don't believe that most people will be able to get much out of it. Too many issues to deal with. I'll likely be a while before I make such an investment.
I think this device has a lot to offer - it'll be interesting to see if it impacts the digital video market in a similar way that the iPod propelled digital music enthusiasm and sales.
Other than the price, what's the benefit when you can just hook a Mac Mini up to your TV or Stereo, and have significantly more functionality?
any word on whether people will be able to replace the hard drive with a bigger capacity one? will it be possible to image the drive and copy the contents to a new drive?
Expect a hard drive upgrade service from TechRestore soon! (c;

Not everyone want's a full functioned computer hooked up to their TV (though it works fine for me). I'd get a mini so that I could run MacMAME on it but someone like my mom would never use it. However, the friendly interface of the Apple TV is so easy to use that it could turn her into a digital video geek. Don't forget that even people who don't know how to operate complicated gadgets sometimes think their cool!
If one could install Linux on it, it would be a nice little machine.
It's not so stand alone. You still need a Mac/PC to use it... really.
apples off to a great start and it was the next logical step for them to take, but it still has a long way to go.

for the apple tv to become to video what the ipod is to audio theres a few things they need to start including.

1. ripping. you can stick an audio cd you own into your computer and rip it to your hard drive. why cant you do this with a dvd yet? yeah, im sure there are licensing/copyright issues, and yeah we can do it in "mac the ripper" or "handbrake" but why arent THEY controlling the ripping?

2. disc space. come on. 40gb? at full resolution i bet i couldnt get the lord of the rings in there. sure its supposed to stream from my computer. but i dont wanna clog up my laptops disc with video and i dont wanna deal with an external. even an external running through the new "airdrive".

3. size. now this is just a pet peeve of mine, but come on. mac mini. airport extreme. apple tv. similar in design--why cant they have the same footprint size? id love to be able to stack them all together without them teetering. or even lay them on their side. or better yet, combine both features into ONE device.
You can make a similar device from everyday pc components for half the price though, stick in Vista or Linux if you want
Windows Vista User Guide
Gee, how can any product that isn't a hit at "Highbrid"Nation" be successful in the long run? Oh yeah, that's right. Most people don't post messages on internet message boards generally, much less at "Highbrid Nation." In other words, get a clue. Never forget that, ultimately, there's a reason others make the products while we talk about them. (I'll give you a hint: it's not because we're smarter.)
wow, some people would think of you as nuts for doing that..some people, not me.

Your post is a bit misleading... There are only 5 comments on this story at Highbrid Nation. 2 negative, two hopeful and one positive... So you and one other are unimpressed... Hardly a definitive thumbs down... :-)
i really love the way Apple improve thing around us
If it works like any other new technology I've seen, advertisers will sell it, and then people will figure out just how useful it can be. After that, it becomes integrated into peoples lives, and suddenly you can't live without it (or something like it.)

Witness the Airport Express. I never thought I could find a use for a wifi, print server, stereo combo. Who would keep the printer and stereo anywhere near each other? But low and behold, I had a roomie that had one and we used it all the time. Now that roomie is gone, and I feel like I'm missing something.

Remember, most of these gadgets aren't really necessary for life, we just find ways to make them useful...
I never understood the "If I could install linux on XYZ it would be a nice machine" argument. Aside from bragging rights, what benefit could installing linux on an Apple TV possibly bring that wouldn't be better served by oh, I dunno, a computer?
If you want a computer on your Full HD plasma screen, you'd better buy a Playstation 3 ... It has a bigger hard drive, It streams Video on Demand, Plays your music, makes cofee, cup cakes and donnuts !!
And you can also play videogames, if you want ...
With the (apple)TV, what can you do ?
play videos (only if they're synced with a computer, play Itunes music (and Itunes only) only if it's synced with a computer, watch, photos, only if it is synced with a computer, and also you can open it to see what's inside.
from there, a little question is comming to my mind .... What is the difference betveen a big 40G (apple) TV and a 80g IPod ??
correct !! you can also play games o your IPod !!!

I hope you'll love your new unusefull (apple) Computer under your TV, knowing that a mac mini has the same functionaliti with front row, and Vista (The os people love to hate) with Media center.

Good afternoon gentlemans,

Victor lazaro
Why would you want to install linux on it?
Install Linux on an AppleTV? Why would I want to replace a functional firmware with one that's not as capable?

And don't say "Linux would play more formats". It's a simple matter of importing your videos into iTunes, and there are plenty of applications to facilitate that. There are also countless benefits to doing so.

Linux trolls...
What exactly can an AppleTV do that I can't already as well or better with an Apple computer?
I have my MacPro connected to my 1080p 37" TV now, using a DVI to HDMI adapter. I just don't see any benefit whatsover to AppleTV. What am I missing?
Not the TiVo killer I had expected. I'll keep using using my mini. Really just don't see how this box fits into my home computing/entertainment complex.
Xbox Media Center.

Used Xbox $80
Softmod FREE
200GB Maxtor HDD: $40 after rebate
Microsoft component video out (used): $15

Outputs HRHD beautifully.

Pay Steve Jobs for this overpriced POS? Not bloody likely.
I have the HD Tivo. I have the XBOX 360. I have Apple TV. While Tivo and XBOX are downstairs on my 50", the ONLY thing hooked into my 42" wall mounted Panasonic plasma upstairs is the new Apple TV. Last night, after the lightspeed hook up and synch process, My wife and I were in bed browsing through the entire seasons of heroes, lost, dirt, Battelstar Gallactica, etc. We watched the built in streaming movie previews from apple for a while (the list was practically endless, and much more fun than on my computer screen at, and then I checked out two movies I have on Itunes, the 13th warrior and the Guardian. The entire experience was BRILLIANT. We usually catch up on shows on our 20" PC screen or the miniscule IPOD screen, but now...
Anyway, just like anythign else new, EVERYONE will find fault with it - it doesn't do this or that, something else does it better, I say... FINE. For my $300, it's a PERFECT addition to the bedroom plasma, and now we can cuddle up in bed and watch selected content without all the equipment you usually need to stack under your wall mounted plasma screen.
Forget Linux. How long before someone hacks it into a full-fledged OSX computer?

I respectfully say that most of you are missing the point. Apple product, easy to use. Any Questions?

Imagine trying to teach your Mother-in-law how to download and build the latest RPM of DVD ripper on saturday afternoon while your kids are dissecting the family cat and smearing peanut butter sandwiches on the refrigerator door.

Or better yet, helping her debug her DLL's and edit the registry so that she can play the og orb vbr flak download of "Somewhere in time."

We're geeks, we love to be so and there will always be toys for us to geek with. Doesn't everybody deserve to have toys they like to play with? Especially if they buy them with their hard-earned cash.

Get a clue. Get a Mac and leave the complaing to someone else.

Respectfully yours,
Can iTV be used on two different networks? Apple claims that it can not, but I see no reason for such a limitation...

If that was possible I could use it to stream my favorite show to my cell live!
Honestly you people need to calm down and maybe go back to school (or go for the first time) and take Intro to Marketing and maybe intro to econ too. This device is not for us geeks with our computers hooked up to our tv. They dont care if you cant do anyting new with, 90% of the people using computers for everyday things will not hook up a computer to their tv, this is for them!

Apple TV makes it easy for joe blow to watch downloaded video on his tv and this is why it will be so succesful. All you geeks out their (inlcuding me) need to realize who this device is for, because it is not us, and thats why they will make a killing off it.

Calm down.
I can tell you why I'd love to install Linux on it:

right now, I have an XBOX running linux and have a Trixbox (asterisk/freePBX/etc.) distribution on it.
This turns the XBOX into a full-featured PBX system.

Problem: the XBOX has only 64MB RAM. I'd suspect the AppleTV has more than that, given that it's a media platform and runs Mac OS X.

Now, how much does a low-power consumption, quiet, networked PC with a 40GB HD and a reasonable amount of RAM for an embedded application cost?

Answer: way more than the AppleTV, and you have to buy all the components, build the thing, and hope it works.

That's why I'd like Linux on the AppleTV
Why Linux?
Because you can't get a similar low-power, low-noise, small-footprint machine for embedded applications for that amount of money if you have to build it from components yourself, you don't have the purchasing power of Apple in the component market.

So I'd love to run a Trixbox linux distribution on a machine like this to have a full-featured VoIP PBX.

Currently I used a modified XBOX for that purpose, but the XBOX sucks a lot of power, and with only 64MB RAM it's a bit memory starved. Anything in the 128MB or 256MB range would be sufficient for the application.

Until Apple ships the ApplePBX, there's good reason to want to run Linux on it. Or at least until Apple gives us a user-accessible version of Mac OS X on the device, but since that would compete against the MacMini that won't happen any time soon.
I found no such automator scripts on a standard install of 10.4 (with the latest Quicktime and acrobat reader installed) but maybe I looked in the wrong place.
re: mothers and mac mini

when is the intel version of MacMame coming out????
Hmm...not sure, but an intel mini outta be able to rock any game programmed for a Z80 processor, even if it has to run through Rosetta!
you are all crazy. if you don't like it don't buy it. now everyone go back to their linux-running, big-hard-drive-having modified xbox/spaceship. i'm going to go watch wayne's world.
couldn't an AppleTV with Ubuntu be a $299 LAMP server w/ virtually no setup time that you could stick anywhere? i definitely see an advantage there.
The guys at have their eyes on the Apple TV as a host for their Linux port.
I would gladly replace my xbox with this sleek little number if they can get it working.
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