Came across this article talking about progress being made with the new Apple TV in regards to jailbreaking and adding new functionality. Jailbreaking was recently ruled as legal. I think this is a big win for consumers who want to be able to use their hardware devices for whatever they want. For example, I think it’s ridiculous that Apple is allowed to force me to join their developer program if I want to write my own iOS application for a device I own. It’s perfectly reasonable that if I want to distribute my software using their App Store platform but beyond that I should be faced with such restrictions.
Also, just because jailbreaking has been deemed legal doesn’t mean pirating software is suddenly legal as well. There are still plenty of other existing laws protecting against that. In the next few months or years I think we’ll see additional clarifications with the DMCA and jailbreaking. For example, although the iPhone was specifically mentioned in the ruling, I actually don’t think it should be ok to jailbreak an iPhone for security reasons as it pertains to the cell phone network. The iPhone is part of a bigger infrastructure that is not owned and operated by the owner of the phone and in that case it’s a lot like a business PC being connected to a business network. At the same however, such a ruling will hopefully coerce Apple into providing a toggle on the phone allowing end users to install software outside of the App Store. This would satisfy what some end users want while still protecting the security of the cellular network.
This just in from Engadget, the 2010 Apple TV plays 1080p content but scales it down to 720p. So if Apple or the hardware community can get this thing to output in 1080p will all the naysayers suddenly starting buying it? Probably not. They’ll just find some other reason to hate it.
Apple’s new (2010) Apple TV unit have shipped and some have been delivered. Reviews are starting to pop-up in various places. So far reviews seem positive.
iFixit has done a tear down of the new device revealing 256MB of ram, 8GB of storage and an A4 processor. These specs show that the Apple TV is basically the 8GB iPod touch sans screen. They also find that the board has a spot that is basically ready to accept the 30 pin dock connector. I’m sure it won’t be long before some daring soul manages to get one soldered to it.
One of the bigger complaints, that is if you want to listen to most commenters on Engadget, is the lack of 1080p playback. That the Apple TV is only 720p is a complete non-argument because there simply isn’t a source of real 1080p content other than blu-ray. Stolen stuff doesn’t count. If you record over the air HDTV you’re either going to get 1080i or 720p content and there is basically no reason not to deinterlace the 1080i content into 720p since the vast majority of HDTV sets around today are going to be flat panel based. Netflix and Amazon HD streams are both 720p. In fact, the only 1080p streaming source I’m aware of is Zune marketplace on the Xbox 360 and I’m not aware of any other set top box that is allowed to stream Zune marketplace material and only costs $99.