Apple announced today a couple of enhancements to Apple TV. First and foremost, YouTube is coming to Apple TV. Beginning in mid-June, Apple TV users will be able to access YouTube directly from their TV. That’s significant, as web video, and YouTube in particular, is very hot.
I know that Sling Media is working on the SlingCatcher, and using SlingProjector on a PC you’ll be able to proxy web video to the SlingCatcher and hence the TV, but being able to access it directly is simpler. I’m hoping that the SlingCatcher has these kinds of abilities and we just haven’t heard about them yet. Native support for web video would be big. Of course, it’d be nice to see this kind of thing on TiVo, but I don’t think the hardware can properly support Flash video. Maybe with a SlingProjector-like feature in a future TiVo Desktop.
The other shoe to drop is a new build-to-order Apple TV option. Instead of 40GB for $299, now you can get 160GB for $399. That’s going to put a crimp in the after-market upgrade vendor’s sales, but it is good to see. One of the things that made the Apple TV unappealing to me was the high cost-to-storage ratio. 40GB isn’t even enough for just my music collection.
I’m still not about to buy one, but I’ll certainly keep watching to see what happens. If the price comes down and/or the functionality goes up, I may yet try it.