Apple TV looks like the Zune TV

Fortune editor-at-large Brent Schlender wrote an interesting article about why the AppleTV is a bust. I do not have an AppleTV, I do not know anyone who has an AppleTV, I do not know anyone who is planning on getting an AppleTV. I think that lack of desire, in the prime group of first adopters is a pretty bad sign.

Before the AppleTV was released I read a lot of stories how this box could really change things. I read a couple of stories that called this a Netflix killer. I think it is far from that. Right now I am not sure AppleTV will still be alive in another year.

Using the AppleTV if feels like a Television device for people who have a disdain for television. To start with the lack of a DVD player is a big mistake. I understand that Apple thinks DVDs are going away. I know that offering a download service it a comment about the future of DVDs. But if you are trying to make my life simpler I either need a way to play the DVDs I already have or a way to get them to the AppleTV. Now I cannot use the AppleTV to replace my DVD player. I understand you are trying to keep prices down, but there should be a way to run a Mac Mini in Apple TV mode if it does not fit into your price point.

I also understand that AppleTV is a statement that broadcast and cable TV will be replaced by download. Right now that is how people get TV. The AppleTV is not a DVR replacement. You still need a DVR to record broadcast or cable TV. On top of that there is no clear path to transfer programs from a DVR to an Apple TV. It can be done, on an around the corner path.

There is one quote that really caught me:

You get the feeling that Apple didn't create this thing because it was insanely great but in order to freeze competitors out of downloadable video.

That might be why they did it, but they are doing a disservice to themselves. I know we live in a world where most consumer electronics can be upgraded via software patch, but the problems with the AppleTV are much greater than a patch can fix.


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