The iMac PVR or Media Centre

The new iMac is beautiful. But misses three things to make it perfect for the living room.


1) It’s too small. People are now buying 32″ and 42″ and even 50″ flatscreen TVs. 20″ isn’t enough. I would like Apple to stick together the 30″ display with the iMac. If you just took an iMac without the screen, you could glue it on the back of the 30″!

2) The harddisk is too small. With the OS and a full Final Cut Studio install, almost 60 GB is used. When I first digitized all the CDs, I used AAC. But if I should use the Mac as the station for playing music at stereo at home, I would redigitize most CDs as pure 44100 KHz AIFF. That would take lots of space. Add videos, audiobooks, podcast (many with video), and 250 GB would be gone in days.

What Apple really should consider is making a home edition of the Xserve with an Xserve Raid. Install it in a closet somewhere you can’t hear it, put cables around the house. And let all music and video stay on the Xserve instead of the individual computers. Make a version of iTunes that just hooks up to the Xserve Home, and puts all media there.

3) Look at the picture of the iMac with the new Front Row software again. Four “buttons”: Music, Videos, DVD and Photos. What’s missing? TV. Why on earth isn’t there a TV tuner inside?? Unbelievable. If Apple want people to put their Macs in the living room they have to make the screen bigger and put a TV-tuner inside. I want to record my own TV-shows. I want to pause live TV. I want to use an EPG to program which programs I want to record.

Also: Make an easy way to make plugins for Front Row. I want to be able to see my RSS feeds in there as well. The weather. The webcam for the roads on the way to work. The babycall from the kids room. Just add two more buttons, TV and Yours. And make an easy way for people to hook all kinds of things up to the software under Yours. Many of the widgets people have made for Tiger would be very nice to use (in a different form) on a big TV-screen with a remote. I would even consider reading mail in there, if the interface was good enough.