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Video iPod

Old 10-12-05, 04:12 PM
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Video iPod

I wasn't sure which forum to put this in Tech or TV. But how do you feel the new agreement between Apple and Disney to put downloadable versions of their shows, mainly Lost and Desperate Houswives, online for legal download. How will this work for counting ratings of shows, and will we soon be see direct to internet television on a major scale. And will we now see everyone on the Busses and subways watching TV and maybe movies (most likely Pixar) soon. I know Sony has the PSP but the iPod will probably push this much further along.
Old 10-12-05, 04:47 PM
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According to the article I read they will be charging $1.99 per download. It's an interesting experiment, but will people pay for something that airs for free? And there are other issues I didn't see addressed. How high will the resolution be for the video files? And related to this, how large will the files be?

Since the screen will only be 2.5" they can probably get away with smaller files, but then you've limited the show downloads to viewing to the Ipod or to a tiny window (it wouldn't look good fullscreen on your monitor, in other words).

I think the idea may find a following, but I don't see this taking off on a major scale. Most people will still prefer to watch their shows on their big sets with their Tivos and whatnot. I don't think this will effect ratings, as it will likely be considered an ancillary TV product like a DVD season set is.

As for direct-to-internet programming, I don't see it changing much. Probably be the same crap that's available now. At best we'll get syndication-level programs along the lines of Mutant X and Relic Hunter.
Old 10-12-05, 04:53 PM
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I think it's a great idea at a great price. If I missed an episode of Lost, I'd gladly pay $1.99 for it. Especially if it's without commercials. You can watch it on your PC via iTunes or plug your iPod into your TV set and watch it there (with optional cable--just like the photo feature).

Not sure about the quality, but I'm guessing it'll be as good as TiVo's basic setting, which is fine for most casual viewing.

Last edited by JuryDuty; 10-12-05 at 05:05 PM.
Old 10-12-05, 04:57 PM
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I agree with JuryDuty.

Apparently UMD movies are flying off the shelves so apparently there is no problem watching something on a 3" screen. Like all things iPod, it will probably take off.
Old 10-12-05, 05:04 PM
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P.S. Here are the actual supported formats:

H.264 video: up to 768 Kbps, 320 x 240, 30 frames per sec., Baseline Profile up to Level 1.3 with AAC-LC up to 160 Kbps, 48 Khz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4 and .mov file formats

MPEG-4 video: up to 2.5 mbps, 480 x 480, 30 frames per sec., Simple Profile with AAC-LC up to 160 Kbps, 48 Khz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4 and .mov file formats

That's not bad. That should be at least equal to TiVo basic quality when "expanded" to full screen.

The cool thing is that you can watch a full movie on a PocketPC, taking up less space than 1 GB, easily, and at decent quality. So you could probably fit a bunch of movies and TV shows and videos on this thing, to go.

Last edited by JuryDuty; 10-12-05 at 05:13 PM.
Old 10-12-05, 05:40 PM
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Wouldn't bet against it, but I won't be doing it. If I want to watch a show, it is because it is a good show, and then I wouldn't be happy watching it on a 25" TV, much less a 2.5" tv.

Do the same thing, and allow people to download HD versions of the show, and I think they would make a lot of money.
Old 10-12-05, 09:56 PM
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I think it would be great if you had a DVR failure or something and missed an episode.
Old 10-12-05, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Jadzia
I think it would be great if you had a DVR failure or something and missed an episode.
Exactly. The only time I miss the shows I watch are when Cable is out due to bad weather, etc. I would gladly pay a small fee to "catch up".
Old 10-13-05, 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
Wouldn't bet against it, but I won't be doing it. If I want to watch a show, it is because it is a good show, and then I wouldn't be happy watching it on a 25" TV, much less a 2.5" tv.

Do the same thing, and allow people to download HD versions of the show, and I think they would make a lot of money.
Probably better on a laptop. I only own a 27" screen so I don't really have a choice of watching something on a big screen. I don't mind watching something on a smaller screen. My comp monitor is 19", which is fine for watching shows, which I may do if Itunes expands their selection.
Old 10-13-05, 01:48 AM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
Wouldn't bet against it, but I won't be doing it. If I want to watch a show, it is because it is a good show, and then I wouldn't be happy watching it on a 25" TV, much less a 2.5" tv.

Do the same thing, and allow people to download HD versions of the show, and I think they would make a lot of money.
Yeah, I agree with this. If the plan is designed to offer video a la carte in different formats... an HD version, a regular fullscreen version, and a smaller file designed for the Ipod... then the service might work. (I'm speaking strictly on the "TV Itunes shop" concept of this.) I love the idea of a net-based video-on-demand service, but that really seems to be the Apple's tertiary goal here.
Old 10-13-05, 10:28 AM
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This would be great, if as said you could get HD feeds. I do not get Fox, WB, or UPN in HD here and I do not have a OTA tuner, so I would love to spend $2 and get all the Arrested Development or Prison Breaks in HD.
Old 10-13-05, 10:47 AM
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The reality is that if they did offer HD feeds they would probably cost a lot more than $2, simply because the files would be huge and thus the increase in storage/bandwidth usage would warrant a higher cost.
Old 10-13-05, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by JuryDuty
or plug your iPod into your TV set and watch it there (with optional cable--just like the photo feature).
See now THAT would rock. I'd load up my 60GB iPod with a bunch of Scrubs episodes before going on a business trip. I'd probably not watch them on the iPod but would hook it up in my hotel room for my own "on demand" system!
Old 10-13-05, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by auto
Exactly. The only time I miss the shows I watch are when Cable is out due to bad weather, etc. I would gladly pay a small fee to "catch up".
One other issue I have is conflicting local sports teams pre-empting broadcasts.

Originally Posted by Cusm
This would be great, if as said you could get HD feeds. I do not get Fox, WB, or UPN in HD here and I do not have a OTA tuner, so I would love to spend $2 and get all the Arrested Development or Prison Breaks in HD.
That is a good point. I was thinking $2 is too high. $50 for a season with no hard copy or packaging or what not, but for someone who doesn't have HD it would definitely be worth it. Although, an hourlong HD broadcast runs around 9-10 GB, so your 60 iPod would be mincemeat after 6 shows.

Originally Posted by rfduncan
See now THAT would rock. I'd load up my 60GB iPod with a bunch of Scrubs episodes before going on a business trip. I'd probably not watch them on the iPod but would hook it up in my hotel room for my own "on demand" system!
That is a decent idea.
Old 10-13-05, 11:48 AM
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Right now Apple is selling the entire first season of Lost for $35, which is a decent deal, but not great - no extras or packaging. If you're on the road, however, and need to get last night's episode, you can download it through any WiFi hotspot and voila! You're caught up.

Nathan Alderman at teevee.org has a rather interesting idea - you can read it at www.teevee.org - but the summation is that if this takes off for Lost and Desperate Housewives, we could be seeing shows that are on the cancellation bubble getting a second life at iTunes. The example Alderman uses is a thirty-minute show about some dysfunctional family with a real estate business. Apple proposes it, fans buy the season ahead of time, and suddenly the gold rush is on.

Of course, there are a lot of things that need to be worked out, but I'm more excited about the idea of this kinda programming on demand than I am about the ViPod.
Old 10-13-05, 12:41 PM
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It will be interesting to see how this distribution model takes off, without the ability to burn to DVD, I don't think this has a lot of legs, but it is at least a start. I still wonder about the quality, but if they were to provide HD versions of shows, available as they air and with the ability to watch these on my living room TV, then I feel there is a market to be tapped. Video distribution is in for some huge changes and I view this as the beginning of these. I wish they would give us a free preview file, I'm curious, but don't want to spend $1.99 on a show I've already seen.
Old 10-13-05, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Mattrk
The example Alderman uses is a thirty-minute show about some dysfunctional family with a real estate business.
That sounds like a promising show.
Old 10-13-05, 03:25 PM
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What sucks is that the video iPod costs the same as the iPod Photo I just bought from buy.com two weeks ago except it is much thinner.
Old 10-13-05, 04:01 PM
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Big shit, Ive been watching video on my PSP for months
Old 10-13-05, 04:03 PM
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I would pay $5 an episode for AD if I could get HD and get them all now. I have a 50" LCD HD TV and it is hard for me to watch shows on my 19" computer monitor
Old 10-13-05, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Jadzia
I think it would be great if you had a DVR failure or something and missed an episode.
or somebody does not set the tivo to record while you are watching the astros.
Old 10-13-05, 06:40 PM
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Here's a good review of the quality of the downloads, etc. As expected, it's not great quality, but it's good for casual viewing, such as if you missed an episode:

http://www.tuaw.com/2005/10/13/video...9-will-buy-you
Old 10-13-05, 06:44 PM
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BTW, over at iLounge, some users have been ripping their DVDs to a format compatible with the new video iPods and here are the final file sizes. Not bad!

8 Mile - 344 MB - 384 kbps
Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story - 202 MB - 256 kbps
Finding Nemo - 378 MB - 384 kbps

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