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Apple “Take Two” - Where’s The Content?

by Sachin Balagopalan on February 14, 2008 · Comments

Last month in a post titled Apple TV “Take One”, A Missed Opportunity I was wondering if Jobs and Apple lost the opportunity to make a serious impact especially in the movie rental space with the first version of Apple TV. Well yesterday they finally released “Take two” and I updated my AppleTV with the latest and greatest. The setup/update was relatively painless - However I did have to unplug the device and reboot after the update in order to see all the menu options including the “Rentals” column under the Movies category.

In a nutshell the whole experience was great - a revamped UI and of-course the movie rental feature which is what I’ve been waiting for since version one. The biggest bang for the buck in terms of usability is of-course you don’t need a computer to rent movies. I rented a HD movie and in about a minute I was allowed to play the movie as it buffered ahead of me. Not bad IMO. The Flickr support is a nice addition - you can view Flickr galleries without a computer as well.

The biggest disappointment for me was the obvious limited selection of available content. I thought Apple had made a deal with all the major studios to distribute the latest content? I guess this just hasn’t happened yet and until then I think Apple’s going to have a tough time selling the concept. On the flip side however the device costs less that $300 so it’s a relatively small investment especially if you don’t need a computer to rent content.

The big picture - I still think Apple is way ahead of it’s time. It’s not only the studios, who are in all fairness coming around to the fact that the internet is going to be the source for all viewable content in the future, but the consumers as well who need to come to terms with the concept. And IMO I think that’s going to take time - I mean there are still folks out there who still rent movies in VHS format!

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