Archive for August 15th, 2007

Boohoo, I want a (better) AppleTV

I blogged about the AppleTV back in the day. My idea of using digicam clips instead of miniDV still stands, although since then I purchased an HDV camcorder so it makes sense to try to make use of it. Now that I can export real progressive 1080p videos out of my HDV 1080i camera I need a device that can manage 10 Mbps 1080p h.264 files. Unfortunately, the Quicktime engine is extremely slow playing back files created by the x264 encoder instead of Apple’s own encoder — no matter how you encode the file (with CABAC or CAVLC). So not only the AppleTV must be fixed to work better with h.264 but it must add support for 1080p too — currently it can go only up to 720/24p and iTunes will REFUSE to upload to the device a 720/30p file even if it was carefully encoded with less than 5Mbps which is AppleTV’s maximum bitrate. 1080p playback would probably mean that a hardware decoder must be used. 250 GBs of disk and ability to add DivX/WMV plugins wouldn’t hurt either. Give me that for $400 and I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

Update: And apparently AppleTV will refuse to work via an HDMI switcher that has no support for content locking (most cheap ones don’t).

Optimize, optimize, optimize…

I actually don’t dislike the features and flexibility the Javascript language provides, but I don’t like the slowness it brings. On Digg today there was this article about javascript and how it slows down the web. And this is so true.

Heavy JS/Ajax is the No1 culprit for my 12″ 867 Mhz G4 Powerbook not being able to keep up with most sites today. As you may remember, I have JS+Plugins all turned off on all of of my browsers there in order to be able to get a respectable rendering time without the computer overheating from the intense computations talking place and burn my lap. Sites like, and of course Flash on YouTube (Adobe stopped optimizing Flash for PowerMacs a long while back), used to, or continue to bring my Powerbook down. We are talking about over 10 seconds to register a click if one of these sites is loaded. When I bought this laptop, it was surfing the web just fine. Today, it can’t just even do that properly. Heck, I am forced to even use the mobile version of Hotmail instead their new Ajax-based one these days.

For me, these are the culprits:
1. Heavy javascript used even when it’s not really needed. Advertisers should get a clue too.
2. Flash video not optimized enough, at least not on PowerPCs.
3. Heavy CSS.
4. Unoptimized WYSIWYG-created bloated HTML.

To make it clear: I am not against using these technologies. But they must be used wisely.