back to article No, Siri – I said PAWN stars! New Apple TV gets voice, touch control

Well, this changes everything. Apple's been fiddling with its Apple TV gogglebrick. The new fatter, faster and more expensive black puck was unveiled alongside a new iPad and iPhone and as usual was hailed as a revolutionary change. "The TV experience hasn't changed that much in decades," said Apple CEO Tim Cook. He then …

  1. Marty McFly
    Flame

    "And, critically, no Amazon Prime Video"

    Damn, damn, damn. I have an Apple TV 2 & Apple TV 3 which I no longer use. That is for the simple reason that I subscribed to Amazon Prime a couple years ago. Thus I had to purchase a Roku which works fine, but I like the Apple TV interface a lot better.

    I really wanted to go back to Apple TV with their new release. I am very disappointed in Apple. Grow up, Apple, and stop trying to use the Apple TV to compete with Amazon for content. This is all a business decision and is no way a technology decision that Apple has made.

    So, Apple, just like Amazon is not going to get me to purchase a Fire, you are not getting me to purchase a new Apple TV. I'll stay with my Roku and its crappy interface. I am not going to have one little box for Amazon and a different little box for Netflix. You can be damned for who you are.

    1. Captain Queeg

      Re: "And, critically, no Amazon Prime Video"

      Do you not think Prime Video will be in the new App Store shortly after launch? Along with, presumably, a slew of other OTT video apps.

    2. Frank Bough

      Re: "And, critically, no Amazon Prime Video"

      I think the Apple TV competes well against Amazon for content. iTMS plus Netflix covers most bases, albeit sometimes at hefty cost.

    3. D@v3

      Re: "And, critically, no Amazon Prime Video"

      Funny thing is, my iPhone and iPad both have Amazon instant video on them, but my Roku doesn't, which is rather annoying. I am assuming you are in the USA where Sky haven't been able to get their claws into the Roku boxes (at least that is what I heard has happened in the UK)

    4. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: "And, critically, no Amazon Prime Video"

      I don't think's fair to blame Apple for this one. I think it's a mixture of things, with a big dollop of blame for Amazon. With music and books they decided to be platform agnostic. Sure, you could buy their kindle, but you didn't have to - it would work on most devices. But with video they have an iPad app, that they deliberately seem to have chosen to block AirPlay, so you can't send piccies via your Apple TV. Similarly, I have a Google Chromecast. Subbed to Amazon Prime to check out what interesting video was around - and found they'd disabled the ability to forward that to the telly. Even when you do use the Beta option that Google provide, using the Chrome browser on a desktop.

      There's a whole load of interlocking agreements, that seem to make having one decive to do everything impossible. So it may actually be the content owners being arses - but my suspicion is that it's at least partly Amazon trying to drive sales of their Kindle Fire tablets and their own set-top sticks and boxes.

      1. Barry O'Connell

        Re: "And, critically, no Amazon Prime Video"

        Prime instant video app on my iPad works fine to my Apple TV on AirPlay. I'd bet that they will be on Apple TV. I'm hoping the other VOD apps on iPad (iPlayer, ITV Player, all4 and Demand 5) make it onto the new Apple TV along with nowtv (which is already there). Then I can use the old Apple TV for Hulu and the U.S. iTunes Store, the fire TV for the U.S. Prime video and the new Apple TV for all things UK. Maybe even RTE player will make it onto Apple TV.

  2. Frank Bough

    Have you used an Apple TV?

    ..because the article reads like perhaps you haven't. On iOS phones and pads there is an app called Remote which allows you to control an Apple TV (or several) as well as controlling iTunes running on a Mac. This app gives you swiping/scrolling ability (which doesn't work that well)bas well as various menu calls and direct access to your iTunes library, but best of all allows you to enter text quickly. The new remote will still be inferior to this provided that Siri is integrated with an updated version.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Have you used an Apple TV?

      All right, grumpster. There's a new remote from Apple. It has a little touchscreen on it and a mic so you can shout at Siri. That's Apple's innovation.

      C.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Have you used an Apple TV?

        So what happens when you're using your Apple TV to watch a TV programme where a character is using Siri to control his Apple TV...

        Recursion, see Recursion

        1. VinceH

          Re: Have you used an Apple TV?

          Something similar (in effect) to this, perhaps?

        2. Gareth Perch

          Re: Have you used an Apple TV?

          The bad guys in the remastered XBOX 360 Kinectable Halo shouted GRENADE! when they were about to throw one. Unfortunately it was taken as a voice command, causing me to throw one.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Have you used an Apple TV?

      Can we not go back to a left/right button? It worked on my VHS via a 2 din cable.

  3. Keef

    MLB baseball app.

    "One app that was demoed that did seem to add genuine innovation was the MLB baseball app that will let you jump between games and bring up live stats and split screen while watching games. Again, this isn't completely new, but it is done well and it will be one more reason to grab an Apple TV."

    Yes, finally, just what Europe has been waiting for.

  4. Jim84

    Why are Apple playing so nice with Cable Companies?

    Apple didn't delay the release of the iPod just so that they could sign up content deals with music companies, they just went ahead and released a device that was more than capable of playing everyone's entire (pirated) digital music collections. All you had to do was import the mp3s into iTunes.

    Why not make Apple TV the same for TV and movies? Right now there is a lot of faffing about as your Apple TV needs to connect to an iTunes library on a local mac/pc, but surely it is not beyond Apple to put iTunes as a built in app on the Apple TV device itself that then seemlessly pull any content stored on Nework Accessable Storage or iPhones in the vincinity?

    Or they could have whacked a 2TB 2.5 inch hard drive in Apple TV, or allowed it to stream media files stored on iCloud.

    1. Lusty

      Re: Why are Apple playing so nice with Cable Companies?

      You seem confident that this iOS device couldn't have an app that streams content from iCloud even though you've never seen it?

      Don't forget that in America they now have the DMCA which would prevent Apple helping people use illegal movies since all movies are rights protected. That was not the case with MP3 where CD was completely open, and there was no DMCA.

    2. JetSetJim Silver badge

      Re: Why are Apple playing so nice with Cable Companies?

      > surely it is not beyond Apple to put iTunes as a built in app on the Apple TV device itself that then seemlessly pull any content stored on Nework Accessable Storage or iPhones in the vincinity?

      err - I've not got an Apple TV, but I do have a Synology NAS and apparently it supports streaming to the Apple TV. I'm guessing with the new ATV, you can now have the various Synology apps residing on the ATV, too, which may or may not make it easier as I think that you had to do stuff on your phone/tablet to then stream get it to work.

      This is, however, somewhat pricey for what it does. $200 (not doubt = £200) is a lot of money for the "Smart" to add to your TV. I paid £40 for a WDLiveTV that seems to do a similar job (although perhaps less robustly).

      I still want a DLNA server that respects account credentials, though. Annoying that the spec doesn't support it :(

  5. ecarlseen

    No 4King way.

    I generally like Apple products, but they conspicuously failed to mention 4K streaming support, so I don't think there's any 4King way I would buy one right now. It's especially strange because they just announced 4K capture support on the new iPhones. Get it together, Apple.

    1. Lusty

      Re: No 4King way.

      because right now 4k is pointless. Apple have a long history of supporting only useful new technologies which work as required. Any 4k content you could actually access by streaming will be so compressed as to be no better than scaled up 1080 content anyway, which your 4k tv could probably do itself. Most of the world don't have the bandwidth to stream 4k either, and finally they needed the hardware to be cost effective.

      I'm not saying it's better off without it, but I agree with their decision to leave it for the future and concentrate on other things for now.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meh.

    From the article:

    We have never gone to put the TV on and found that it won't work because the remote needs charging

    Really? Never used a Universal Remote from, say, Logitech? I won't blame you, because the setup software must have been made by someone fired from the Windows ME team for bad UI design, but I digress - batteries run out too.

    As for the rest, it's early and I haven't had my coffee yet so I'll just recycle something: yeah, we really need another smart TV that is *complicated* (yes, I said it, the Apple TV interface sucks IMHO. Badly).

    What I do need is a big screen TV that is SIMPLE to use so I can get one for older people (or office users) without knowing I'll have to be on call for when they accidentally press a wrong button and select the wrong input, land in the menu or otherwise do something that confuses them. And, to be ultra-handy, is NOT reset to a start position by switching it on and off, because we naturally want persistence of that crap too.

    Oh, sorry, I forgot, old people don't feature in the world of TV suppliers, because none of them have parents. I told you there would be problems with so many test tube babies.

    As for people complaining about an absence of 4K support - personally, I can wait. All it means you have to buy a whole raft of new kit and processing and storage demands go up. I think I'm OK with the current status. Wake me up if someone gets 3D to work properly first, making gaming a bit more interesting.

    Last but not least: Siri? No thanks. I am not prepared to give anyone in the US a perfect digital voiceprint off me, nor am I interested in having a mike online 24/7 in my house.

    Now, coffee. Lots of coffee.

    1. D@v3

      Re: Meh.

      "We have never gone to put the TV on and found that it won't work because the remote needs charging"

      Like AC says. More than once I have got home from a weekend away and found that I left the Logitech remote on the sofa, not on charge, and it is dead. Pain in the arse.

    2. Valerion

      Re: Meh.

      We have never gone to put the TV on and found that it won't work because the remote needs charging

      No, but I've gone to put it on and can't because the remote batteries are flat, and I don't have any spares. Being able to stick it into one of the many lightning chargers dotted around the house will be quite simple.

  7. Phuq Witt
    Headmaster

    No, Siri – I said PAWN STARS!

    Oh dear. Was that the worst pun ever?

    ...or is there really a thing called that?

    There really is a thing called that, isn't there? I can see it now: A fly-on-the-wall documentary about a chess tournament in a nudist colony. Coming soon to a Freeview channel near you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No, Siri – I said PAWN STARS!

      Unfortunately, yes, it is a real thing, although I believe it is about Pawn Shops. I fear the chess tournament in a nudist colony might be more interesting.

  8. Individual #6/42

    Content holders don't see their products as fungible

    The copyright laws are stopping a decent TV experience and Apple are caught between content providers in the same way as everyone else. They've done what they can with universal search but Youview and Freeview plus have been trying similar with the UK providers and that's had similar results. They've got an app but all that does is accesses each sub-app (iplayer, All4 etc).

    Amazon are not going to put content on a provider's box until they abandon FireTV and each cable company thinks they should be paid extra for losing their monopoly, making deals unrealistic.

    Let me know when I can ask Siri to cache me the latest TV series that's not been licensed for my country. In the meantime I await the glut of Spectrum games being ported to AppleTV.

    1. Barry O'Connell

      Amazon are not going to put content on a provider's box until they abandon FireTV?

      ... Maybe, but Amazon's model hasn't hitherto been about hardware really has it? Witness Prime Instant Video app on iPads. Prime is a wide offering, video being just one part of it and not having to have yet another box coule make prime more appealing. I suspect there are plenty of people on Prime already without Fire TV. Having an app on other platforms, in that scenario, makes sense.

      The sticking point, no doubt, is in app purchases. I can't see Amazon ever giving up on their own billing relationship and paying Apple a cut of any rental or sale outside of Prime video.

  9. Tim Jenkins

    Why not inductive charging?

    Surely one of the few places where this might actually be useful; put the remote on the box and it tops up...

    1. Richard Taylor 2 Silver badge

      Re: Why not inductive charging?

      What's more if you get into the habit you can find the bloody thing.

  10. Matthew 17

    Official streamers all have the same problem

    Because of all the nonsense rights we have particularly in the UK I can't buy a box that will let me watch content on, I have to have a Sky box to watch somethings on, that requires a subscription, then I need a Netflix subscription, then I fancy watching the new Top Gear stuff, that means an Amazon subscription, oh and I want to watch the news so I need a BBC subscription/license, the list goes on.

    I just want an internet connection into my house then a box that will let me watch any TV programme or film I fancy, but the only way to do this is to either have a house full of DVD's and BD's or use something like Popcorn Time, download everything I want via KAT or wherever then set up a PLEX machine and stream it to my RP.

    With the ATV4 having the App Store native then if I can install Plex or PT on it without having to jailbreak it then I'll buy one on launch day as other than as a remote screen the ATV3 wasn't much use to me.

  11. Jay 2

    I've got a few fruity products in my house, but the previous Apple TVs were always a bit too locked down for my tates. I'm under the impression (I may be wrong) that when to comes to streaming from a NAS they're very finicky about which file formats they accept. Is that (still) true? For that sort of reason I got a WDTV which has pretty much played everthing I've thrown at it. So far the only streaming service apps I've used on it are iPlayer and YouTube.

  12. Gareth Perch

    Weren't some predicting an actual Apple designed TV at some point?

    Kind of like when Sir Clive promised the media an electric car and delivered the C5...

    I'll stick with my two Windows PCs for the foreseeable future; projector connected playback one running Plex in direct play mode from my 30TB media server (as well as GTA V / Elite:Dangerous / iTunes / emulators / anything else that runs on a PC, when I fancy a change). I still can't rip my purchased 3D Blu-Rays for full screen 1080P 3D (not SBS) playback on the PC though, so the Blu-Ray player still gets used on occasion. My 300 or so purchased CDs are packed away, never to return, as it's all about (lossless) iTunes and instant playback now. But I won't pay good money (haven't got any!) for digital content, I'd rather buy the physical CD / Blu-Ray and make my own.

  13. Yugguy

    TV Voice Control???

    "Volume UP

    "No, not that much!!!

    Volume DOWN.

    VOLUME DOWN!!!!!!!

    For fuck's sake.

    No, NOT the Adult channel!!!"

    Awesome.

  14. Le Adder Noir

    Visualizer?

    Will this version allow the iTunes visualizer to run on one's TV when playing music? Can't find any mention of it in any articles (but some do mention "screensavers", with no further info).

    Appreciate this won't be everyone's main concern, but, since grabbing a popcorn hour the only thing I use my old ATV3 for is streaming my iTunes library from my NAS to my lounge surround sound (on the rare occasions home sharing decides to work, that is).

    It always struck me as a massive (mahoosive) oversight by Apple that the ATV couldn't play the visualizer on the TV. Would be great to have on in the background....

    1. Barry O'Connell

      Re: Visualizer?

      Agree, I do the same. I suspect it won't though.

  15. g7rpo

    I like the design but....

    When I can buy a raspberry pi and install kodi on it and play what I want from my nas boxes I won't move.

    Get Netflix through my TiVo box and although only on 3rd day of trial I haven't seen anything in Amazon that I want to watch , that isn't already available on Netflix

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020