how i learned to love the appletv without really trying

how i learned to love the appletv without really trying
February 8, 2009 arturo

i recently went out and bought an appleTV. why, you ask? i know, i know – the appleTV hasn’t exactly been on the popular list among early adopters, let alone typical consumers. In fact, it has probably been the worst-seller of any recent apple product. so, what the heck was i thinking?

well, i needed something to play my digital rights managed and non-DRM iTunes content through my home stereo setup. i also wanted the ability to rent movies from the comfort of my own home. going out into the cold, wintery night to rent movies was getting really old. the appleTV seemed like the right choice. so, once I got the little box set up and configured, it worked pretty much as advertised. it played music – i could buy / rent movies with it and do a few other things like setting up photo slideshows as well as view youtube content.

great. it worked nicely. then one day, i was checking out some appleTV blogs to check on upcoming software updates and i came across a post about this software called boxee. i loaded a version on my mac and found out it was available for the appleTV as well. boxee instantly transformed my appleTV experience. boxee is not exactly plug and play. you have to download software and jump through a few hoops but, for the tech savvy folks out there it’s a fairly simple procedure. i was able to get boxee running on my appleTV without too much hassle. suddenly, i saw the amazing potential of the appleTV, if matched with the right software. now, with boxee and the appleTV i can:

  • rent or buy any movie available in the iTunes store
  • buy any TV show in the iTunes store
  • listen or view anything in my iTunes collection
  • watch youtube videos
  • play most any type of content form any networked server / hard drive
  • watch net-based video content including hulu, joost, WB, comedy central, etc.
  • listen to internet radio
  • surf the net
  • see what others on boxee are enjoying

that’s right – i went from “why did I just spend money on this thing” to “whoa – this is the future!” in a matter of weeks. i am now asking myself – why do i need satellite TV? it’s already been reported that people with an appleTV and boxee are starting to drop subscription TV services. which is surprising, considering that boxee is still in alpha development.

what is this whole crazy situation going to look like when boxee is fully developed and an easy add-on, or an included feature of the appleTV? forget network TV and quite possibly, cable and satellite. boxee and applications like it are the future of entertainment. as marketers, we are on the cusp of this new channel. who knows, it may be the start of a whole new ad model. not only do users want to watch all this digital content, they can also see what friends are viewing and instantly get access to it. talk about social media possibilities. hooking this into myspace, facebook, etc.

you get the idea. the future of in-home digital entertainment is looking bright. better put those shades on.