Koolio

Thoughts & news on technology…well, mostly

Got my Joost beta invite


Well, I finally got my beta invite to Joost back on April 5 and I just was planning on downloading the install software but noticed that only Intel Macs running 10.4 or higher is supported. Since I’m running a PowerBook G4 with 10.3 I’ll have to install it on my Vista machine.

I’ll try to check it out later this week. When I do, I’ll post a review or, at least, my initial thoughts.

Update (4/11/2007) Well, I just tried to install it on my Vista Ultimate machine and I keep getting a “Joost stopped working” error message…ugh, what a pain in the ass.  I checked their forums and, with the latest version (0.9.2), some people are reporting issues with Vista while others aren’t.  The real annoyance is that I can’t post in the forums because the only way to create a Joost user account is via the client application.  Since I can’t launch the app, I can’t create an account.

I sent an email to their support email addy so, hopefully, they’ll help me resolve it soon.  Until then, no beta invites for me to give away. 😦

Filed under: Digital Movies, IPTV, Video, Web 2.0

Apple TV Delayed Until March 20


I just checked my Apple Store order and my Apple TV ship date has been delayed from February 28 to March 20. Apple’s spokeswoman has confirmed the delay:

“Wrapping up Apple TV is taking a few weeks longer than we projected, and we now expect to begin shipments mid-March,” spokeswoman Lynn Fox said by email.

MacRumors is reporting that Apple Stores will still get the in-store display units on March 5. If this is true, at least, we’ll be able to check it out.

Since my estimated delivery date is March 26, the release date is effectively the end of March.

Well, those rumors about an Apple TV delay from a couple of weeks ago are now true. The thing that annoys me is how Apple officially denied those rumors.  Anyways, this blows.

Filed under: Apple, Apple Store, AppleTV, Digital Movies, IPTV

Apple TV Arriving in Apple Stores on March 5th?


The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) is reporting that the Apple TV will be on display at your nearest Apple Store on March 5th, which coincides with the delivery estimate for my Apple TV (March 6). Supposedly, they will be hooked up to Sony Bravia LCD HDTVs.

I’ll be curious to see how much interest there is at the Apple Stores and how well they sell.

Update (2/27/2007) The release date has been delayed to mid-March but the Apple Stores are still expecting to have in-store display units on March 5.

Filed under: Apple, Apple Store, AppleTV, IPTV, Retail, Rumors, Technology

I’m Getting an Apple TV!


A very good friend of mine just bought me an Apple TV for Christmas (thanks!) and it’s expected to ship on February 28 so I should have it no later than March 6. This also supports Apple’s denial of the shipment delay rumors that were circulating around the rumor sites a week or two ago.

Regarding the actual device, I do have some reservations about this device – primarily, it doesn’t have HD DVR functionality nor is there any HD content available on iTunes but it will still be nice to watch those episodes of 24 or Lost, that my DVR didnt’ record, in the comfort of my living room. To be honest, I *really* hope Apple will start offering HD content on iTunes. If not, I have a feeling I won’t use this device all that much. Needless to say, I’m still excited to get it and watch some shows in my living room instead of my PowerBook.

Btw, take a look at my previous post on how Apple can be the first computer hardware/software company to make some searious in-roads into our living rooms (‘Can Apple be successful in our living/media rooms?’)…with the Apple TV being the primary driver.

Anyways, I’ll post a review after I’ve used it for a week or two.

Filed under: Apple, AppleTV, Digital Movies, IPTV

Review: Netflix Watch Now Service


Netflix Watch Now HomepageWell, I’ve finally given the Watch Now service a test drive. Overall, the service has been implemented very nicely (assuming you don’t mind sitting in front of your computer to watch movies) and is not reminiscent of the hi-cc-up-ing streaming videos nor did I have to wait 1+ hour for the movie to download before playing. While the functional implementation was executed very well the delivery is very poor – I can only watch movies at my computer and the video quality was below average.

Now, onto the review:

Hardware:

  • Pentium 4, 3.0Ghz processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Internet Explorer 7
  • RCN cable modem service (10mbs down/800k up)

Installation:

  • In order to watch the ‘instant shows,’ you have to install Netflix’s video player (which is embedded in your browser). I was able to install the video player without any issues. Installation took about 2-3 minutes.
  • After the player installed, I got a prompt telling me that I had to update Windows Media Player. The update went smoothly and took an additional 10-20 seconds.
  • I was ready to watch my first ‘instant show’ within 5 minutes.
  • Rating: A

Video Playback:
Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Digital Movies, IPTV, Movies, Netflix, Reviews

Sales of Apple TV are Exceeding Expectations


Apparently, orders for the Apple TV are through the roof:

“Specifically, orders have already exceeded the original 100,000 order that Apple had placed with Inventec, and Apple is preparing to place a second order for twice that number. Apple is now planning to sell over a million Apple TV devices leading up to the 2007 holiday season, and at least that many again during the Thanksgiving – Christmas period this year.”

If this is true, part of me is somewhat surprised and the other half is not (more on this in a later post).

So, have any of you ordered the Apple TV? If not, are you planning to? If you’re not going to buy one, why not? I’d love to read what you all think so feel free to post a comment!

Filed under: Apple, AppleTV, Digital Movies, Home Theater, IPTV, Rumors, Technology

Netflix Begins Offering Streaming Movies/TV


Last week Netflix began offering free streaming movies last week (named “Watch Now”). They’re rolling out the service to 250,000 members each month (I wasn’t one of them – if you were, post a comment and let me know what you think!) and are expecting to have it rolled out to all members by June 2007. I’ve read Gizmodo’s positive review but I have to admit it seems pretty worthless. Here’s why:

  1. The content is streamed not downloaded.
  2. Since the content is streamed, you can only watch the movies and (presumably) shows on your computer (are you kidding me?).
  3. No Mac support – the service supports only Windows XP w/SP2 or Vista with IE 6+.
  4. The content is in standard definition, only.
  5. The quality of the content can/will vary. Netflix determines the picture quality based on your internet connection and how much their servers are being slammed.
  6. To start, only 1,000 titles are available and according to Gizmodo, the selection is pretty poor.
  7. And, did I mention the movies can only be watched on your computer?

Now, for some of the good news:
Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Digital Movies, IPTV, Movies, Netflix