Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Mac Mini should become the Apple TV Plus

An article on Apple Insider today has Analysts urging Apple to upgrade the AppleTV to add Cable TV support. I think Apple would be better off keeping the price of the AppleTV low and instead building in the Cable TV interface to the Mac Mini when they revamp it. The Mac Mini with a cable TV interface and a large hard drive, plus the ability to add extra storage would make the Mini a great home media hub. The AppleTV could then continue as the satellite device. With a great hub product a family could easily add an AppleTV to each TV set in the house.

A fully fledged Mac running as a compact media hub opens the opportunity to sell additional wireless keyboards and mice too. The platform has Front Row and Mac OS X offers the opportunity to extend functionality more easily than opening up the AppleTV. The Mac Mini can be the adaptable point of entry for digital media and Apple can keep the AppleTV relatively closed. It stays as basically an iPod with an external screen and remote.

A fully fledged Mac OS X machine running as a home media server with iLife and iWork included further extends the influence of the Mac. A media optimized interface (via Front Row) makes it easier to break down the PC barrier in the home but the ability to do double duty as a computer further extends the reach of the Mac and breaks down the PC monopoly, ultimately making it easier for families to make their follow on computer purchase a Mac that would be compatible with their media hub.

Apple don't mess with the AppleTV instead upgrade the Mac Mini to be the home media hub. I am sure Robert Scoble and Dave Winer would agree with that strategy. They have been in the leading wave of Mac Mini Media Hub users.

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