At a recent Apple event, Steve Jobs – in standard Jobs uniform of black shirt and jeans – announced iTV (currently just a code name), a nice little box that connects your computer to your TV in a very Media Center-ish fashion. You can see the demo here about 55 minutes in. Like most Apple designs it is pretty slick.
Everybody’s favorite ex-Softie, Scoble, accuses Apple of copying the UI design from Windows Media Center, and I have to say, there are some heavy similarities. Naturally, Apple’s looks a bit more slick. But consider: if one assumes the two UIs were developed completely separate, with no influence from the other, might two well-designed UIs look similar simply because they are both good designs? Don’t good designs often share similar good traits?
Either way, I doubt I’ll be buying the iTV gadget any time soon, even though I have a Mac at home. There’s already a Media Center PC in the house, too, and it connects to my TV through the Xbox 360. Lord, do I love my toys…
One bitch I have: HDMI. See, the iTV device and an expanding number of devices have HDMI ports to connect to the TV in addition to component ports. All well and good. But my TV, like most HD TVs, has only one HDMI input. And it’s already taken (I recently got a DVD player that up-rezzes regular DVDs to HD res). My TV already has literally a dozen inputs for video. Must more HDMI inputs be added? Should I have two dozen?