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Cringely thinks the Apple TV will hurt Blu-ray and HD DVD sales

Ben Drawbaugh

We know, we know, he is hardly the authority on anything HD, as we all learned from his PBS special on the subject, but he might be going a little too far on this one. The Apple TV does a great job at what is it designed for: getting mainstream America's content on their HDTV, but it couldn't be any worse at HD and still support it. How can a 4 GB HD file (Yes that is the maximum file size) that doesn't support surround sound, even begin to compare with either HD DVD's 30GB or Blu-ray's 50GB? Sure it will only be the movie and not all the extra stuff that some of you love so much, but even the main feature on HD DVD or Blu-ray is well over 15GB and that is with only one sound track! Is this guy mad, or do people really not care if their HD looks good, as long as the content is labeled as HD? Just to lay it all out for you, here is a comparison between HD DVD and the Apple TV.

    HD DVDApple TV
    Comments / notes
    MSRP $399 $299 While it appears Apple TV wins this one, unlike the Apple MSRP, the HD DVD is flexible.
    Maximum Bit rate
    36.5 Mbps
    5.0 Mbps
    No comparison.
    Maximum File Size ~30 GB
    4 GB While the movie can't use up the entire 30 GB there is still no comparison.
    Available HD movies for sale today 163 0 This might change, but who knows when?
    Video CODECs VC1, MPEG2, H.264 H.264 Although the Apple TV supports MPEG2 and MPEG4, not for HD.
    Audio outputs by player DD, DTS, TrueHD, DTSHD, PCM PCM (stereo only) This is the biggest limitation.

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