back to article Apple TV tops connected set-top box chart

And the most popular net-connected set-top box is… the Apple TV. So says market watcher Strategy Analytics, which calculates the small black gadget is to be found in no fewer than eight per cent of US households. The £99/$99/€119 Apple TV is in seven per cent of European homes too. Apple TV That, SA said, gives Apple 32 per …

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Anonymous Coward

Fail

Because it didn't include consoles like the PS3 that include settop TV functionality.

Sounds like another one of these reports from analysts that nobody has ever heard of, that has found some way of cherrypicking some data to suit the needs of his clients...

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jai
Silver badge

Not sure about consoles.

Very few people buy a ps3 just to be able to stream media from their pc or the internet to their telly. Whereas for AppleTV and Roku and the rest, that's their primary function.

Also, the types of people (like me) who would buy an AppleTV, are also going to have at least one console connected to the telly as well. And I use both for streaming video media (AppleTV streams iTunes content, PS3 streams avi's and divx's).

So including consoles would complicate the results terribly because you'd have to account for those that bought and use multiple devices. Whereas I doubt anyone uses both a Roku and an AppleTV.

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FAIL

It's a study of actual set top boxes, not games consoles.

From the study at

http://www.strategyanalytics.com/default.aspx?mod=reportabstractviewer&a0=6921

"Among many options consumers can choose, purchasing a Connected TV player/set-top-box from retail is one of the easy options."

See - "easy options" - this is about consumers, not bloody geeks who managed to finagle TV functionality out of their PS3s. Stop thinking the rest of the planet wants a PS3 as they're thinking they would like a games console with - oooo, look - some set top box functionality.

They don't. They want a set top box to hook up to their TV for more TV.

I'm surprised someone so quick to jump to the easiest negative conclusion went AC - unless you have some proof somewhere that Apple bought the study, pipe down. Note - they may well have done so, I just ain't seen proof they have.

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Apple are just great,

we all know that, so don't be a grunch at Xmas!

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Silver badge

Not the point

"Very few people buy a ps3 just to be able to stream media from their pc or the internet to their telly. Whereas for AppleTV and Roku and the rest, that's their primary function."

Maybe they don't but that's what a lot of them get used for. And Xbox 360's too. Both make excellent streaming devices and both have their own video rental services plus 3rd party apps like Netflix players and so forth.

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tend to agree

I used to mainly use my XBox 360 as a media extender (apart from Assassin's Creed...) until I gave it away. Now my mate uses it mainly as a media extender.

Add in the PS3's and all those Netflix connected Wiis and AppleTV starts to look pretty silly.

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Facepalm

You Fail

It didn't include every type of smart device that could connect to a to a TV, like every HDMI PC. That's more in this year than every PS3 ever sold. The major point to take from his is that 13 million devices were sold this year. That beats the combined console market sales this year.

What are the implications of this? The console market is dead, it's all going to be streamed data. When shitty ADSL (in the UK anyway, you may have better) can do 1MB per second who needs disks or hard drives to play games? LTE is promising to be faster than blueray by 2015, when it quicker to get it over the air than buy a disk with limited capacity, why pay the markup to keep shop's, distributes and everyone else in business.

I take 4 things from this 1) Apple may have a goldmine on their hands, 2) Google TV is shit but it could be a shit load of gold if they get it right 3) I'd really hate to be Sony 4) Apple TV(Apple making a TV) is something to be ignored, whoever gets the interactive streaming right gets the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Someone should buy Netflicks, they have the ball's, give them cash and they could outdo facebook.

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Anonymous Coward

@Andy Watt

Apple give sales information every 3 months as required by law. When the CEO is given 500 million dollars if he stays at the company for 10 years plus wages and bonuses and the company has over $80 billion in the bank and is worth more than any other company in history.

I'm wondering why you think they need to buy a good report, at the rate Apple are going, within two years they will be the biggest company by sales and the most profitable by employees.

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Linux

You overlooked the PS3 also streams Netflix, who is a MAJOR content provider

This article is weak, but only consumers who have no clue will be buying the Apple TV anyway.

Apple continues to expand its overlord-like control over the weak minded.

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Linux

Muddling doesn matter...

People are still able to use their Wii or their Xbox for the same exact things as you would buy a separate Roku or AppleTV for. Plus you've got other devices like BD players were these features are bundled in.

So it's really hard to take anything like this terribly seriously.

It sounds like some fans trying to create something that isn't really there.

Cue the Disraeli quote...

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Linux

It's not that hard really.

> not bloody geeks

There's the cry of the wounded fanboy: marginalize anyone that's not a member of the flock.

Using a game console for media streaming is very much like setting up an Apple appliance to do the same. It's really not that hard or "granny unfriendly".

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What about Virgin boxes, do they have net access? They do OD so they should do really? Sky boxes don't have net access but if they did, what percentage would they hold?

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>Sky boxes don't have net access but if they did, what percentage would they hold?

Sky HD boxes do - for the VoD Anytime+ service via the rear ethernet port.

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Thumb Up

And the best thing about it?

Jailbreaking it and running XBMC. I've got 2 now and have never used any of the Apple software on them.

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Meh

Ditto this

Except the part about not running any Apple software on them. XBMC runs as an extension to the AppleTV.app program which itself is just an iOS app, so yes, you are running Apple software on them or you wouldn't be able to launch XBMC.

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Anonymous Coward

The best thing is

Cry, Cry baby Cry.

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Anonymous Coward

Possibly double fail

... because rent films and watch youtube is about all you can do with the thing until you jailbreak it ... which both mine are. NOW they're of use to me.

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XBMC box

That's the reason I bought mine, and then 4 family members followed suit.

Now I have a nice collection of retired XBMC enabled XBOX 1s :)

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awful XBMC box

Ive tried several builds of XBMC on my ATV2 and none of them are much cop, even putting up with only 720p output, they have far too little horse power and an anaemic network connection.... 100mbit wired and 150mbit wireless, any decent HD film results in visits from the bufferman every few seconds...

My ATV2 is now used to show the folks photos of the kids airplayed from my phone...

the standby feature bothers me a little, but as the unit lives out under the stairs with the rest of the AV/Networking, I can ignore the white light.

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WTF?

More Apple boxes than Freeview?

Surprising. Or wrong.

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Anonymous Coward

Read, then think, then comment!

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Pint

It's stupid in some ways...

As far as I can tell, it will absolutely refuse to start playing a video until it has downloaded enough of the file to ensure essentially no risk of buffer-refilling pauses during playback. Fine... ...makes sense in theory. But the *unanticipated* downside (shame on Apple!!) is that one must sit and wait for minutes-on-end to see if the video is the one that you're looking for (or not). This stupid design decision makes the device extremely frustrating when used for browsing YouTube searching for a certain video.

Also, with any power glitch it turns itself on. Putting it back into standby requires turning on the TV, selecting the correct input, using the too-simple-by-far remote control to manually move through several menus to eventually reach the 'Stand By' setting. I honestly can't be bothered, so now we have an ultra-bright white LED annoyingly glowing away right next to the TV. I'm tempted to drill out the LED. Dumb design decision.

Apple - not quite the top drawer industral designers that they think they are. These are some glaringly-stupid design decisions.

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I think if you're waiting for 'minutes' for a YouTube video to start, you must still be on dial-up - most YouTube videos aren't even that long! It takes seconds to start playing from YouTube here. Besides, you still get the title of the video and a thumbnail to go on before you start playing, which is all you'd get from the full-fat interface on a desktop browser.

Also - just as the 'play' button will wake the unit from standby, it will also trigger standby if you hold the button down. No searching through menus required.

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Gold badge

Try one of the Google TV boxes, you'll be begging for your Apple TV back.

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Alternatively you can leave the TV switched off, and simply press and hold the un marked button in the middle of the cursor (the select button I think) on the Apple Remote until the light blinks and the Apple TV will now be in stand by.

Hope this helps.

PB

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No need to drill out LED, a small square of black insulating tape stuck over it does the trick just fine.

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It took me...

...a minute or so to find the solution to your problem re: switching it off.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3176

Hold down the Select button for five seconds. Pretty sure that works on scrollwheel iPods too.

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Boffin

putting ATV to Standby

> Putting it back into standby requires turning on the TV, selecting the correct input, using the too-simple-by-far remote control to manually move through several menus to eventually reach the 'Stand By' setting.

Or you could just press Select on the remote control for 5 seconds, assuming it's the newer Alumin(i)um type controller.

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3176

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Anonymous Coward

Welcome, was wondering how long it would take someone working for Sony to join.

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OK, I'm not sure what's happening on your end, but on my two AppleTVs when I play Netflix or home network streamed video I only wait about 5 seconds. Totally acceptable.

The only times I've waited longer was when I had an IPv6 issue on my network (fixed that) or when my WAN connection was a bit dodgy for a while. The latter made Netflix wait for about 20 seconds instead.

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YMMV

Never had this problem. I use my appletv to stream music and videos from my Mac on an almost daily basis. I turn the power off at the wall every night without going in to standby and it always comes back one fine the next day. Have has it since launch. Had to reset maybe 3 times in that period

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Silver badge
Linux

The weakest link...

> I think if you're waiting for 'minutes' for a YouTube video to start, you must still be on dial-up

...or WIFI.

I tried to put one of my MythTV boxes on WIFI and had no end of troubles. Thought I would try to plug the AppleTV into the same TV and see if it did any better. It didn't. The knackered network clobbered it.

Your network (and the experience of any network attached device) is only going to be as strong as the weakest link in the entire network between your appliance and Apple Corp or Netflix Corp. If there is any crummy WIFI or 3G network link in the middle, you may just be out of luck.

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Silver badge
FAIL

Made up numbers.

Hold on, how can it be predicted to sell (not actually sold yet) 4 million units WORLDWIDE yet:

Number of EU households (2009) 202 million.

Number of US household (2011) 131 million.

Gives you a lovely 1.2% of households....

Then take away all the ones no longer used, the ones where people have more than one.

Oh and then add the number of European contries NOT in the EU.

And that equals bullshit stats (what's new)

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Because the percentages clearly state they're from the total number of people using a set top device not the whole population. If you compare any product to the total population then even successful products capture a tiny fraction of the over all population.

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Linux

Because it's a weak story. Very narrow view...but Apple likes it that way.

The cult leader is gone....

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Slight (massive) interpretation error!

I believe the original report states that connected TV devices are in 8%/7% of US/European homes, not Apple TV devices. Unless you believe that Apple TVs are in 10m US households, and 20-odd million European households...

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Angel

WTF?

This thing is in 7% of European homes? BS! I don't know a single person with one. And if this gave Apple a third of the network-connected set top box market, that would imply around 20% of Europeans had a network connected device attached to their tv? If xbox, ps3 and wii are all excluded from this, it's just utter, utter BS.

I'm shocked how many Apple TV has sold (especially considering a near-idential product flopped just before the world went Apple-crazy).

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... but sky does

Sky does have internet connectivity now...

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Holmes

Hmmm...

Valid point about the PS3, but the fact the Fruit Company's little box outsells anyone elses comes as no surprise.

What I like about the product is the fact that as small as it is, it has an integrated PSU, so no in line or power adapter plugs, hangs of the home network via wireless or Ethernet, an optical connection to the DSP and HDMI connection to the TV in one small, silent little black box. Sure there's no option for any external storage connections like the first generation, but its simplicity is probably what makes it appealing to most.

I have one, as I said it's small, piss easy to set up and works very well indeed. To be honest I don't buy any content from iTunes, but it's the best method for my household to stream downloaded / ripped movies to the TV.

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FAIL

Set top box...

Want to connect your digital media to your tv then you can use a TV that is 'net-connected' unless you have a Mac in which case you'll have to stick to your propritary format and use Apple TV.

So the 'digital contect to TV' market is split between those that can use various offerings including consoles and inbuilt to TV where as Mac users can only use a 'net-connected set-top box' - Apple TV.

Completly pointless set of data.

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Wonky spreadsheet?

Hmm...

Strategy analytics "calculate" that 4M Apple TV's are shipped WW in a year. I'll be generous and assume Europe soaks up 30% = 1.2M units per year.

In 2001, the EEA reported there were 151M households in Europe.

Strategy Analytics reckon 7% have Apple TVs = 10.5M households.

Assuming Apple sales are reasonably constant and that no units ever break or are discarded and that only one unit is acquired by each household, then Apple has taken nearly 9 years to build up this share.

Apple TV was launched in March 2007. Erm ....

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Thumb Down

Consoles are a valid comparison.

The definition they have chosen is deliberately targeted so Appletv can come out on top. If they chose just set top boxes then it wouldn't have looked so great for Apple. Why did they consider the net-connected bit so important compared to the media consumption?

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Megaphone

32% of the connected STBs that don't include Blu-ray, or ...

screen or games console.

So as a big screen network TV platform Apple is basically nowhere.

Actually the most interesting feature of the Apple TV is probably AirPlay where competitors have DLNA and the associated complications.

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Anonymous Coward

"Also, with any power glitch it turns itself on. Putting it back into standby requires turning on the TV, selecting the correct input, using the too-simple-by-far remote control to manually move through several menus to eventually reach the 'Stand By' setting."

Baloney - they have a setting where it can go into standby automatically after xx minutes.

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Anonymous Coward

"As far as I can tell, it will absolutely refuse to start playing a video until it has downloaded enough of the file to ensure essentially no risk of buffer-refilling pauses during playback."

Perhaps your broadband service is too slow - on mine videos start almost instantly and when I rent a movie it downloads perhaps 10 seconds then says 'ready to watch'. It's not really a fault of the device to try and work with your broadband being so slow - I certainly would not want it juddering / stopping while playing a film.

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Silver badge

Thank you all for the 5-second trick to go to Stand By

This 5-second to Stand By advice should help. Thanks!

@Pikelet - More and more YouTube videos are HD, and some are now much longer duration than 10 minutes. My "high speed" DSL is just over 1Mbps - certainly not ideal, but also quite common. ~1Mbps is occasionally less than the data rate required for the HD video, thus it needs to buffer for X minutes.

Also, YouTube is becoming infested with 'fake' videos of the same or similar name and description. The net result of all this is a waste of time.

The Point-> Most gadgets allow one to press the Play button to force it to start playing, *no matter the state of the buffer*. Not Apple. They know 'better'.

Dial-up has *nothing* to do with it.

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