Apple TV Requires A Widescreen TV – Why?

Apple TV requires a widescreen tv and won’t work on the model I have upstairs in in the family room. From their site:

Apple TV works with widescreen, enhanced-definition or high-definition TVs capable of 1080i, 720p, 576p, or 480p resolutions

I need a widescreen tv to watch a 23 meg Ask A Ninja episode? We already know the thing doesn’t do HD. Isn’t this overkill?

Was I premature in pre-ordering Apple TV?

Apple Store

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Corey Clayton

    Are you sure Paul? I mean, with standard component outputs, why wouldn’t it work? I pray you’re just misreading it, and that it works with all of those HDTVs IN ADDITION TO standard 4×3 TVs. Or else, I’m canceling this order too quick.

    I just looked at the product site, and I think you are right……calling Apple Store now…..

    Why? I mean, why?!? Isn’t most podcast video in a 4×3 format?


  • Paul Colligan

    I’m reading the same web page you are.

    Yeah, I don’t get it either.


  • Corey Clayton

    Wasn’t this product supposed to grab Mr. and Mrs. Everyday Joe and make it easy for them to get into IPTVland? Now what? Do I have to get my mom a XBOX360? :-)

    Apple, the ball is in your court, please give me a sign here…..

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  • Erik Schwartz

    $299, that’s why. Connectors are not cheap (plus the other hardware and NRE to support another video format). Apple lives on maximizing margins.

    I suspect it will “work” with any TV with component inputs. It might crop, it might reformat. Are there any 4×3 TV’s currently made with component inputs. The other thing I guess it requires is progressive scan, Interlace on text heavy content flickers like mad.

    All that said, they didn’t build this thing for podcasters. Blowing up web video to full screen is pretty much to present it in ot’s worst possible light.

  • tf

    No, you are wrong. A standard TV is fine. They are listing a widescreen TV as required because they are listing 720p widescreen as their supported/primary format… This format cannot be supported on a standard TV. So if they had a base TV as their base requirment, the tech specs of the content they are promoting would be wrong.

    You’ll be fine.

  • tf

    Corey, no it wasn’t supposed to get you into IPTVLand… And since no one has announced any significant initiative to offer it (whereever it is currently offered, it is in small quantities in small regions on a test basis only), I see no reason to rush off and get an XBox. Particularly when anyone selling an IPTV is likely to provide you a settop box anyway. (i.e. All the fluff about XBox working as an IPTV box is just that… fluff.)

  • matt

    I’m confused about the same thing. I’m not sure why Apple would set the minimum requirements higher than they are – as that will actually reduce demand. They lost my order anyway. I absolutely was hoping it would be a gateway into IPTV.

  • Corey Clayton

    Tf, the fact that you can order movies and TV shows on demand (and keep the episodes) makes the AppleTV box an IPTV gateway over whatever broadband system you use.

    Personally, I use SageTV software with Hauppauge MediaMVP extenders running Sage’s client on 2 TVs in the home. Combine that with a dual-tuner capture card in my mediaserver tower, and that’s a pretty good in-home TiVo-like network.

  • tf

    Corey, no, it does not. You can decide that IPTV has some arbitrary definition that you made up, but that does not make it so. IPTV specifically refers to receiving tranditional and cable broadcast to the television via the internet. (Usually with additional features like VOD, DVR, and local storage, but not necessarily.)

    There has been almost ZERO roll-out of IPTV anywhere in the US besides limited experiments.

    IPTV does not mean shifting tv content over ethernet or the internet.
    And I don’t get your point anyway: it’s not IPTV, it is… Make up your mind.

  • Matt Rossi

    I have a 4×3 Television and it has Component Inputs.

  • Vince DiMemmo

    My read on the tech specs is that it will not work with a 4×3 profile TV set, UNLESS, that TV set has either a built in or external scaler to convert the ED or HD formats (widescreen) to the SD format. From what I can tell, there is no native composite (RCA or S-Video) output capability on the A-TV.

  • Marty

    Worst idea ever to limit it to Widescreen. GG Steve, GG.

    I was going to purchase one of these, but no more. Now, where did I put those media center brochures…

  • Don Burnett

    The X-Box 360 as a competitor to AppleTV is not fluff and definitely not laughable. I own a 360 and I can download episodes of tv shows and full movies right now on the system over my high speed internet connection right to the 360’s hard drive. I have both standard definition and high definition programming and movies available to me. The system works incredibly well and I see no reason with the content present to even think about going to the iTunes store or buying an AppleTV.

    Plus for an extra $60 or so I have a kick ass game system as well with the X-Box 360..

  • scott

    I have a question? I know that the Apple TV will produce 720p video quality however is itunes even offering ED content for downloads? I can not find any thing that states itunes will offer programming or movies in this formate. Right now downloads are 480i/p?. I called Apples customer support and they could not answer that question either. Does anybody know? If they are not offering content in 720p format then why bother?

  • tom

    Question: I’m relatively new at all of this, but naively I thought that I might be able to watch video thru Apple TV that I have downloaded in the past….but after some analysis I am now assuming that you can only watch movies that you purchase through iTunes. This whole thing seems rather self-serving as opposed to the gift to mankind it was presented as.

  • cliff

    Any h.264 encoding should work that means if you have vhome video’s or other moves if you encode them(not a big deal but takes a while) Apple TV
    and your TV will play them – at your finger tips – much better than – plugging in your Camcorder or shuffling DVD’s

  • Patrick

    Apple TV’s main profile at 720P is only 24fps not 60fps which is the true HD standard and this is output at 1080i . I will stick with my Roku or buy a Pixel Magic that will do 1080P since my display will do 1080P.

  • Brian

    Here are the facts love them or leave them. It will play anything that itunes can play, including: shows, movies, songs and podcasts you download from iTunes. Plus it will play any files you rip yourself, such as: CD’s and DVD’s (as long as you rip it to either mpeg 4 or h.264 with a .m4v suffix). Also for all you DVR lovers out there just get yourself a Elgato eyetv 250 for a DVR then anything you record you can output from eyetv directly into iTunes. As far as working with regular TV’s are concerned…… well……….. Has anyone really went out to the store and seen what your options are for TV’s???? There aren’t very many standard 4X3 TV’s out there to buy, in fact last time I was in Best Buy there were only 3 4X3 TV’s over 32″ in the Whole Store, there were about 80 16X9’s to choose from. Face it 4X3 is dead. Why would Apple want to support 4X3 when they can save money on output options and still support the majority of the audience for this product.

  • Brian

    Also for those of you saying there 720p is not true HD, I suggest you check your facts. And yes it is valid for Apple TV to output 720p even though the content you get from iTunes is only 640 X 480. Remember iTunes can play your Self Ripped DVD’s and when you have the software for ripping and the hardware for playing HD DVD’s you can rip them and iTunes will play them as well as will Apple TV. This isn’t about only being able to play iTunes bought stuff…………

  • Brian

    And, NO, this is not IPTV. This is Apple TV. This is about playing content you own on your TV, Not receiving a channel broadcast over the internet (although there is nothing from stopping it from doing just that eventually as now when you watch movie trailers they are streaming from the internet anyway.) At the moment, NO, this is NOT IPTV.

  • Dennis

    Well, I’m excited about the slideshows and music aspect of this as well. So what if I have to go out and get a new LCD HD TV. Time for an update anyway. My Apple TV arrives tomorrow! Yeah!

  • MAarten

    It does 480 normal TVs just fine – but requires composite input, which most TVs can handle just fine anyway

  • Chris

    You will all be let down buying this thing. I pre-purchased 6 movies from itunes several sporting packages and music videos. They all , I mean all look sub-standard on my sharp 52″ aquos lcd 1080p tv. I guess with this success of the ipod, I just expected this to be a great product, it was a great idea, but Apple does not deliver on this product. Best advice, is wait until April 29, until the new Xbox 360 comes out with the 120 gb hard drive. It already has true HD available as well as accessing things stored on your computer.