[FoRK] iPad as personal TV

owen at permafrost.net owen at permafrost.net
Mon Feb 1 10:50:38 PST 2010

On Sat, Jan 30, 2010 at 04:20:41AM +0000, owen at permafrost.net wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 29, 2010 at 03:35:28PM +0100, Jim Whitehead wrote:
> > It seems to me the iPad's capabilities and form factor make it much more  
> > of a personal TV than a reading device.
> >
> > Screens on existing PMPs make them a device that complements existing TV  
> > sets (no one would think of chucking their TV for an iPod touch -- just  
> > too small). With the larger screen of the iPad, I can imagine  
> > *eliminating* the TV set, and just getting a bunch of iPads for the  
> > family. When everyone has their own personal TV:
> >
> > * the kids can watch shows and movies and the house can still be quiet
> > * no fighting over which show to watch
> > * TV watching will be volitional, instead of "whatever is on right now"
> >
> > Eliminating the family's big TV would lead to:
> >
> > * loss of social center of gravity of the big honker TV set
> > * make it so you can't invite a bunch of friends over to watch shows and  
> > movies together
> > * can't play console videogames on the big TV
> >
> > So, perhaps what will happen is you'll still have the main TV, but this  
> > will be used for videogames and social TV watching. Solo TV watching  
> > will increasingly be on personal TVs.
> >
> >
> > Implications:
> >
> > * For Netflix, getting a streaming viewer application onto the iPad is  
> > critical
> >
> > * Netflix, Google (YouTube), and Apple will increasingly be competitors,  
> > as they each represent significant ways of getting content to personal 
> > TVs
> >
> > * Apple might buy (or take a strong position in) Netflix to gain control  
> > over its wide range of video distribution channels to multiple devices.  
> > Alternately, Google might do the same.
> >
> > * Within 2 years, Google will release an Android-based "YouPad" centered  
> > around the YouTube watching experience and Chrome web browser. Since  
> > Google doesn't have a content story beyond YouTube, they will be the  
> > most open platform, and will be the platform of choice for content  
> > providers unhappy with the Apple distribution channel.
> >
> > * Netflix will become increasingly dependent on the Google tablet so  
> > they are not at the mercy of Apple for access to personal TV devices.
> >
> > * Wifi distribution of cable TV content throughout the house and to  
> > personal TVs (i.e., cable TV watching application for iPad) becomes  
> > critically important for cable operators, to avoid mass loss of  
> > subscribers from cable TV service
> >
> > - Jim
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> This article talks about some real deficienceies in that respect: 
> http://ifones.com/category/aspectratio/
> Watching a movie on the new iPad will not as pleasurable experience as you might think. The screen being 1024x768 pixels is in a 4:3 ratio which is the exactly the same as an old CRT television set. Many of us are have gone on from there and are luxuriating in the glory of our 16x9 aspect HDTVs.
> It turns out that 16x9 will give you big honking black bars at the top and bottom of your screen as you can see by the green bar in the image above, and anything above or below it will be displayed as black bars.
> It gets worse, lots worse. Let's say you're playing a regular, non-widescreen movie which has an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. In that case anything above or below the blue area will be black bars.
> Now we get to ribbon-vision. Most widescreen films, from Star Wars to the new Star Trek were filmed in 2:35:1. This and all other resolutions mentioned refer to how wide the screen is as compared to how high. So these films are 2:35 times wider than they are high, and result in a mere ribbon on the iPad screen. Without measuring, it seems to me that a full half of the screen in landscape mode will be filled with black bars.
> One last kick in the pants. Having a resolution of 1024x768 pixels there is no way that you can display the gold standard of today's high-definition of 1080p. There just aren't enough pixels.
> So iBooks make sense, but movie watching will be somewhat limited. People frequently say that they really can't watch movies on an iPhone or iPod touch, since the resulting display is so small. The iPad will absolutely be better, but still at a trade-off.
> Owen
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I notice the JooJoo guy is trying to position his product as a better TV-watching device (it is 16:9):


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