Archives For Apple

Today’s Apple Announcements

Dave Zatz —  September 12, 2006 — 4 Comments
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Quick summary…

Hardware

  • Enhanced iPod with brighter screen, updated GUI, and games
  • Refreshed Nano (no video) and Shuffle (no screen) lines
  • No killer video iPod device announcement; no built-in Bluetooth
  • iTV: $299 Wireless media extender coming in 2007!

Content

  • 70 flicks added to iTunes from Disney studios
  • 640×480 resolution, with Dolby Surround
  • Same licensing as TV downloads
  • $9.99 – $12.99 per movie purchase

In conclusion we’re moving in the right direction, but today’s hardware and download releases are evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Give me an easier way to get higher def content to my TV (iTV, 2007?) and then I’ll be excited. Adding Disney movies should encourage other studios to participate in the same way Apple grew their television content business. I am looking forward to giving the revamped iTunes 7 a spin.

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It’s not cheap, but if you need pro football action outside of America (and don’t have a Slingbox stationed in the US), the NFL and Yahoo have you covered. $249 gets you live coverage of every game via the web. Even better? Works on Macs too.

Yahoo says: The National Football League and Yahoo!, Inc (Nasdaq:YHOO) today announced an agreement that will enable football fans around the world to watch live NFL games on the Internet. NFL Game Pass, powered by Yahoo! Sports, will allow football fans outside of North America to watch nearly every NFL game live and in its entirety on www.nfl.com/nflgamepass beginning this Sunday. The agreement marks the first time the NFL has made a full season of games available to fans via the Web. The new online subscription service will charge fans a fee of $24.99 per week or $249.99 for the entire 17-week NFL regular season, and each game will also be available in archived format up to 24 hours after its conclusion. “We are pleased to offer NFL fans around the world an innovative way to watch NFL games. The NFL is committed to taking advantage of new technologies to bring more value to our fans everywhere and Yahoo!’s proven leadership in technology makes them an ideal partner for a product like ‘Game Pass’,” said Brian Rolapp, the NFL’s vice president of media strategy.

Never enough time… in Florida!

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  • TiVo attempts to poach Dish customers. (TiVo)
  • EchoStar and DirecTV partner, then drop out of FCC auction. (AP)
  • Nearly glowing review of new Archos 604 PMP (CNET)
  • Sexy little $150 Mac ATSC tuner available for pre-order. (HDBeat)

If the BBB can rate these guys, why not me? I’m a stickler for good service — I won’t patronize companies providing inferior service. When I had a billing problem with Sprint about 5 years ago and the phone rep called me a liar, I switched to VoiceStream (Jamie Lee Curtis had nothing to do with it). Conversely, I’m willing to pay for good service: Apple’s not cheap, but they generally take care of you.

The most important aspect of customer service is being treated with respect. If you hear me out and professionally attempt to resolve my issue you’re doing a good job. Obviously, the next set of criteria is being able to actually resolve the issue efficiently. Online forums, support docs, and web apps make me happy too — I’d rather research the problem myself or manage my account if you give me the tools.

With that in mind, here are my ratings of several companies I’ve dealt with over the last year. Feel free to contribute your own ratings in the comments.

Positive Neutral Negative
Logitech Harmony Netflix Comcast
Sling Media Verizon Dell
TiVo XM Vonage

I guess this means the Mac SlingPlayer is real! When does Hava‘s Mac Beta begin? ;)

Sling VP Jeremy Toeman says: I am letting y’all know that the email just went out to the first wave testers. We will have at least 4 ‘waves’ of testers, and each wave gets almost exponentially larger.

Got a Slingbox? Got a Mac? Time to sign up for beta testing!

Sling Media VP Jeremy Toeman says: The application will be live for the next 2 weeks, after which we will close it down, pick out our crew, and get rolling. The program will last a few months, so please make sure you have some time to commit. During the beta we’ll have some short exercises and surveys for you to fill out along the way. Finally, you must be able to sign an NDA/non-compete with the company in order to be part of the private beta pool.

If you need a Slingbox, they’re on sale for $157 at Amazon and for $150 at Dell — both are offering free shipping.

Never enough time…

  • CinemaNow to offer television show downloads. (Reuters)
  • Blu-ray player released early? (Engadget)
  • HDMI upgraded to support deep color. (Extreme Tech)
  • Nielsen to integrate television and web metrics. (Washington Post)
  • Mac < -> PSP PIM and media sync software released. (Mark/Space)