00:00:00 ◼ ► All right, let's start with some follow up and let's talk about some very interesting tweets that some
00:00:14 ◼ ► I can't tell if you're doing like a Roderick on the line riff or you're trying to get back to Gruber.
00:00:18 ◼ ► No, none of the above actually. An indirect hit. No, actually I was not trying to get back. In fact, if anything, I need to go on Gruber's show not to yell at him and remind him what my name is, but actually to yell at him.
00:00:30 ◼ ► And you come to think of it for your absolute all three, all three of you, the two of you and Gruber, now I'm all fired up for your absolute slander of sweet tarts.
00:00:38 ◼ ► Sweet tarts are delicious. Yes, they're just, you know, compacted sugar, but they're delicious in all of you. Oh, sweet tarts are very good.
00:00:44 ◼ ► There's a big dividing line here between people who can tolerate just like just give me sugar squished into shapes and people who understand that all forms of chocolate are superior to that.
00:00:57 ◼ ► I don't know if I'd say that. I mean, I was thinking about it. I'm like, well, do you mean like even like the plain Hershey bars? It tastes like wax. And when I think about it, I'm like, yeah, probably like when I was a kid, when you know, you go through the Halloween candy and it's you start dwindling.
00:01:11 ◼ ► You know, it's kind of notice like towards the end of the Halloween candy. Let's look what's left. You know, that that really shows you what you actually care about. And I think what would be left would be sweet tarts and the stupid, disgusting, waxy Hershey bar would be gone.
00:01:22 ◼ ► Not that I enjoy the Hershey bar, but when you're down to that desperation, like, oh, what's left? And you're looking easy sweet tarts. You see that terrible chocolate bar like, I guess I like the chocolate bar.
00:01:36 ◼ ► I feel like this is an un, this is your, this perfectly perfectly fits with your, let's say, I was going to say unrefined. I'm trying to think of more chatter or more than I'm refined. But I say your unrefined palette. How about you just give me sugar and painted a color? I'll eat it.
00:01:49 ◼ ► There's flavors. Now, are you sure you're not thinking of Smarties? Because Smarties are legitimately no.
00:01:54 ◼ ► I know what you're doing. I understand. I mean, you're right. It's, there's a hierarchy, but it's still, as we discussed in Slack today, it's, it's a hierarchy starting from the bottom with pixie sticks, which is like, let's not disguise this at all. And then working your way up to fun dip. And then you've got Smarties, sweet tarts and you know, all that.
00:02:10 ◼ ► Now, did you enjoy the like white stick in fun dip or were you a like, oh, that's just a delivery system and nothing else sort of person?
00:02:19 ◼ ► I mean, when I was eating fun dip at all, I think we'd all take a bite of the stick towards the end when you decide you're done with the thing. But like, like I said in the Slack fund, it was kind of a project at least.
00:02:34 ◼ ► Exactly. And as a candy, it's not great. But like when you can combine the two things, I mean, did you two, I guess you two probably missed this. But did you two have candy cigarettes?
00:02:53 ◼ ► That's yikes. It is kind of amazing how long they lasted. And like now they still make things that look just like them. They just like rebranded them as some other like candy sticks or something. But it's, it's, it's definitely candy cigarettes.
00:03:06 ◼ ► Did they get rid of the, the, uh, the simulated chewing tobacco, a big league chew? Remember that?
00:03:14 ◼ ► Oh, it's good that you never got that connection. You that one, one harm of being a kid and whenever you were a kid, it was avoided by you. But yeah, that was the connection.
00:03:23 ◼ ► And on the picture on the cover, it's cause we didn't know about chewing tobacco. If you live somewhere where more adults chew tobacco, I suppose you would maybe be familiar with seeing the, the cartoonish adult on the cover with a big lump in their cheek.
00:03:34 ◼ ► Well, in all fairness, like, you know, I, people think Ohio is like that when I, when people hear him from Ohio and much of Ohio was, but it started about one mile away from where I lived.
00:03:43 ◼ ► I loved big league chew. Was it the one that the gum lasted forever, but the flavor lasted like four chews? Is that what it is?
00:04:00 ◼ ► Yeah. There's lots of surface area. So you're going to really deplete the, uh, the whatever chemical they put on it that tastes good for two seconds. And then all you've got left is just a ball of tasteless gum.
00:04:18 ◼ ► It's not, it's better than massive amounts of sugar is better than chewing tobacco for your mouth.
00:04:29 ◼ ► Well, here we go. All right. So John, all kidding aside, you put in a bunch of tweets. I'll put in, where are you putting them in? I don't know. You posted a bunch of tweets.
00:04:39 ◼ ► I'm a mess tonight. You posted a bunch of tweets and they were the graphic representations of kind of the, the, um, theorizing that you were doing on the show last week about what would a very large M one look like or perhaps a series of M ones all kind of squished together.
00:04:59 ◼ ► Yeah, I accepted my own challenge. Uh, last week when we were talking about those rumors and saying like, okay, well, you know, assuming it's on the same process size, here are the rumors. Here's how many cores of the different kinds of the things have.
00:05:09 ◼ ► I was like, just multiply that out. Just, you know, we know what an M one looks like. And again, with the caveat that I put 20 times on Twitter to try to defend against people yelling at me about this.
00:05:19 ◼ ► Yes, we understand that Apple's marketing diagrams of its chips bear very little relation to the actual layout of the chip, right? But it's what we have to go on. And ballpark wise, the area of an M one as represented by this thing is a reasonable approximation.
00:05:35 ◼ ► If you just say, well, what, however big an M one is this square equals an M one and you know how much stuff an M one has in it, so you can get kind of a back of the envelope thing of how big this is going to be. And I talked about it on the show last week, but shortly after the show, I said, you know what? I have the graphic of the M one from the shirts that we just sold.
00:05:51 ◼ ► I should do what I said and just multiply that out and see what it looks like. So first thing I did was I just made a big chip that is like the highest end to Mac Pro when they were saying so.
00:06:01 ◼ ► You know, the M one has four high performance cores, four high efficiency cores and an eight core GPU. And the big honking Mac Pro rumor one is 32 high performance cores, eight high efficiency cores and 128 core GPU.
00:06:13 ◼ ► So I made that and I call it M one XL, which is not a real name. It's just a joke. Like, look, it's extra large. Just to see how much bigger it would be in area. Again, ballpark because it's not as if it's a straight multiplication of the things because there's other ancillary stuff that ties all this together and it's more complexity that we get into just to see the size difference.
00:06:29 ◼ ► So the size difference, as you would imagine, is massive. We'll put a link to the tweet. You can take a look at it. It's way, way, way, way bigger. Right. And then shortly after that, I said, OK, yeah, but they're not actually going to make a chip that looks like that because, you know, it's not only is it huge, but it is if you look at the little diagram.
00:06:44 ◼ ► It really, you know, this if they made a chip that was like this, it would only be used in that high end Mac Pro. And it's not like they're going to make one for the high end Mac Pro, one for the lower level Mac Pro, one for the MacBook Pro. Like they don't want to make custom chips for every single one of these things, as evidenced by the fact that, you know, even though we don't know what they're going to do in the high end, we do know that on the low end, they literally use the same chip in like tons of computers. Right.
00:07:06 ◼ ► So if you're expecting them to make a totally different custom chip for each one of its high end computers, that's not going to happen. Right. And anyway, what the rumor said and what Marco was trying to get me to understand last show, but I wasn't quite getting, was that's not what they're going to do.
00:07:21 ◼ ► They're going to make these these chips with these code names. It didn't make any sense to me. And I had some info from folks after the show telling me what the whole chop versus die thing meant. Apparently, chop is a term of art in the Silicon world where you it's not what Marco was surmising as like binning, where you take a, you know, a thing that has 32 GPU cores and you just disable 16 of them or whatever a chop is.
00:07:45 ◼ ► And this is my understanding from a small amount of feedback I got. It's when you take a design that you have for a chip and you say, well, we want to make a chip that's like that, but with less stuff. But we don't want to design a whole new chip.
00:07:57 ◼ ► So is there a way we can essentially take like the blueprint for that chip and just chop part of it off and, you know, sort of tie up the loose ends right as a cheaper way to get a smaller chip without having to design an entirely new chip.
00:08:09 ◼ ► So the weird names that I couldn't make sense of last show were Jade C die and Jade C chop Jade C die was rumored to have eight high performance cores, two high efficiency cores and 32 GPU cores.
00:08:22 ◼ ► And then Jade C chop is exactly like Jade C die, but with half the GPU cores chopped off as in they wouldn't, you know, it's not like they make it big and cut it off.
00:08:32 ◼ ► They cut it off in the blueprint and then what they print is a thing with 16 GPU cores. Right. And hopefully all of them work. Right. So it's not as if you make the bigger chip and cut off the end of it.
00:08:41 ◼ ► The whole point is you want to make a smaller chip. You don't have to design an entirely new chip. You just you're able to take an existing design and chop part of it.
00:08:48 ◼ ► That's my understanding. If I'm still wrong about this, someone in the industry, please let me know. But either way, with those code names at hand, now we have what I think is a reasonable graphic representation of what that rumor was saying.
00:09:00 ◼ ► Again, we don't know if these things are true or not. Right. So here we've got the M1. We'll try to put this in the article, try to put this as chapter art. But I do have a link in the show notes to a high res ping version of this.
00:09:11 ◼ ► Yeah, it's going to be very small to be chapter. Also, thanks for making it a tall rectangle.
00:09:16 ◼ ► I know it's difficult to get all these things. But we will put a link in the show notes to the tweets and also a link to the high res version if you want to see all the stupid little lines and stuff. Right. Anyway, here is a reiteration of the rumor. Right.
00:09:30 ◼ ► And this gets back to what Marco was saying in the last show that Apple is going to have essentially two designs. One is the M1. We know what it is now. Right. It's out there. Right.
00:09:38 ◼ ► And the other one is this Jade C die thing. And the Jade C die is, like I said, eight high performance cores, two high efficiency cores and 32 GPU cores. And that is a new chip design.
00:09:50 ◼ ► It doesn't look like an M1. It looks like an M1 with different numbers of stuff in it. Right. But it's bigger. It's bigger than an M1.
00:09:56 ◼ ► And that Jade C die is the building block for all of their pro chips. That would be the one that's in the higher MacBook Pro.
00:10:04 ◼ ► And for the low end MacBook Pro, you get a chopped version of that. It's exactly Jade C die, but they take the blueprints of that. They chop off half the GPU cores and you get a little bit smaller chip. It's actually not that much bigger than an M1.
00:10:16 ◼ ► And that you put in your low end MacBook Pro and maybe your low end iMac Pro or something like that. Right.
00:10:22 ◼ ► And then for the Mac Pro rumored chips, Jade 2C die is just two Jade C dies. Right. And probably a chiplet type arrangement. I don't think they would actually print these on a single die.
00:10:35 ◼ ► The whole point is they just have this one design and they have to have some kind of, you know, interconnect fabric for them.
00:10:42 ◼ ► We talked about this many, many shows back. Like, would Apple do chiplets? Like AMD does chiplets because it's cheaper to print a bunch of smaller chips and then put them on a fabric type thing in a single package or whatever versus just making one big die.
00:10:55 ◼ ► And some of the feedback we got was like, well, AMD has to do that because they can't afford to have the fancy expensive process that Apple can have. But Apple wouldn't do that because it's worse in lots of ways.
00:11:05 ◼ ► And I think that's mostly true for things like the M1 and Jade C die, which will be in fact a single die.
00:11:12 ◼ ► But once you start getting up into the higher end ones, I think Apple will end up not wanting to make a new custom single die for this, but rather end up doing something like chiplets or some other way where you take multiple multiple dies and put them in the same package and connect them together.
00:11:29 ◼ ► So Jade 2C die is two Jade C dies and Jade 4C die is four Jade C dies. So that's the way Apple can get away with making just two chips, the M1 and whatever they're going to end up calling Jade C die.
00:11:42 ◼ ► And then they just either chop Jade C die or multiply it out by twos or fours for their high end computers. And that covers their entire range.
00:11:50 ◼ ► So tell me again, walk me through what each of these is. So Jade C die is the baseline and you expect that to go into which devices?
00:11:57 ◼ ► Right. So Jade C die is the building block and that is the other die that Apple has designed. They've got all the little traces they're going to print out. That's the other design they do.
00:12:06 ◼ ► Because that is its own design. It's got four high performance cores, two high efficiency cores, 32 GPU cores and who knows what other things.
00:12:13 ◼ ► And it probably supports more Thunderbolt lanes, you know, supports more memory, like all the things that you would want out of a high end design.
00:12:19 ◼ ► That's the thing they design. That's the other thing they designed. From that design, they have to get chips for all of their high end computers.
00:12:26 ◼ ► So the first one is a step down from that because that one has 32 GPU cores. You get the chopped version that has 16.
00:12:32 ◼ ► And that would go in the low end MacBook Pro. Right. Gotcha. Right. And the high end MacBook Pro would, you know, I don't know how they're going to divvy it up, but you've got two MacBook Pro-ish chips.
00:12:40 ◼ ► As you can see from the sizes and you'll see in the picture, those are both MacBook Pro-ish sized chips, depending on how important GPU is to you.
00:12:47 ◼ ► Right. And then what do you do for the Mac Pro? Well, you take multiples of those, either two of them or four of them, and you put them together in the same package or, you know, with some kind of, you know, using chiplets or something like that.
00:12:59 ◼ ► I suppose they could try to make them on one die, but if you look at the size of the dies, that seems highly unlikely to me.
00:13:04 ◼ ► But either way, the whole idea is that rather than being like we said in the last show, like the idea that these would be like four actual chips separated by several inches on the motherboard, extremely unlikely.
00:13:13 ◼ ► But they could be chiplets inside the same package for sure. So J2C die, I imagine would only be in like the low end Mac Pro, probably the one that I would buy. Right.
00:13:22 ◼ ► The quote unquote low end Mac Pro. Right. And then the 4C one would be the top of the line 40 core giant monster thing that nobody would buy. Right.
00:13:32 ◼ ► I buy it. Of course. Yeah, I suppose maybe. Like, here's the problem. Because the GPU is tied up in this, maybe I would end up getting the 4C die thing.
00:13:40 ◼ ► I'm the opposite. I'm like, can I just have four of the C chops, please? And I don't need all those GPU cores.
00:13:46 ◼ ► They're tied together, though, right? So because, again, if you want GPU power rivaling Nvidia 3090, you have to get the 4C because the next step down is half the GPU cores.
00:13:57 ◼ ► If you don't care about GPU cores like Marco, but you just want 40 CPU cores, you have no choice. They come together because, again, they're on the same die.
00:14:03 ◼ ► So, you know, and same thing with these things like where would the RAM be? Probably high bandwidth memory stacked all around it.
00:14:10 ◼ ► There's lots of nuances of this and how Apple can save money. Like one way they're saving money is by not making custom chip for the Mac Pro by just making essentially a chip for the MacBook Pro and being able to do chiplets or something similar to stamp that out to the other higher end Macs.
00:14:24 ◼ ► But then you also have to say what is the maximum amount of RAM and how is that tied to the other things? You can use a cheaper process for things like the memory controllers.
00:14:34 ◼ ► Like not everything has to be printed at five nanometers like the main JDC die would be.
00:14:39 ◼ ► You can stack the high bandwidth memory because memory gets less hot than the rest of the chip.
00:14:44 ◼ ► So you can't really stack those, you know, your actual CPU and GPU dies because I'm not sure how you'd get cooling there.
00:14:50 ◼ ► But you can potentially stack RAM to get higher RAM amounts. Anyway, this is all based on rumors.
00:14:57 ◼ ► We don't know if it's true, but this is a graphical representation of the rumor we just talked about and I think it is eminently plausible.
00:15:04 ◼ ► And then we'll put some more links in the show. It's about chiplets and multi-chip modules and stacking things.
00:15:10 ◼ ► They have a bunch of nice diagrams showing how you can use your expensive parts to make a bunch of CPU/GPU dies, stick them in chiplets inside a single package, stack the RAM all around it.
00:15:25 ◼ ► Yeah, once we learned what a chop was, I feel like that was the final piece in the puzzle of reading into these code names.
00:15:34 ◼ ► It's right there in the name what these are going to be and it's pretty obvious how they're going to use these or how they're going to sell them and what products and everything.
00:15:44 ◼ ► And to me, really the only questions are, you know, the last half of which I was talking about, how are these packaged?
00:15:50 ◼ ► Are the 2C and 4C, are those actually single dies that are just really big and really expensive?
00:15:56 ◼ ► Which I think from our previous research into feasible die sizes that exist in the industry, it does seem like it is possible and reasonable to make the Jade 4C die as one giant die if it's for a high-end, expensive, low-volume product like the top of the line Mac Pro.
00:16:15 ◼ ► Yeah, the good thing is they're coming from Xeons which through no fault or thanks to Apple is horrendously expensive because that's how much Intel charges for them. So as long as Apple undercuts Intel's giant profit margin on these Xeons, they could conceivably excuse the incredible expense of trying to put this on a single die.
00:16:40 ◼ ► Well, that's what I'm saying, they can undercut the price of the current Mac Pro and still get huge profits, right? But it may be more, like they may not, this is a good test, how much do they care about the Mac Pro?
00:16:51 ◼ ► Because it's surely cheaper to do them as chiplets and I don't think it would be that much worse that Apple would care about it, but we'll see what they do.
00:17:00 ◼ ► I mean they are called "die", Jade 2C die and Jade 4C die, so you can't tell, does that mean it's just two Jade C dies? Or does that mean it's a die called Jade 2C which is like two Jade Cs? These codenames I still don't like. But anyway, I drew them as like single blocks, again these are not realistic anything, I'm just trying to sort of show square millimeters, I guess? Relative size? And if you squint at them you can kind of see how many components are in them.
00:17:26 ◼ ► So I'm curious, just as a quick bet that we can revisit later when we're all hilariously wrong, what do you think is the cheapest Mac Pro price that you can get the 4C die in?
00:17:37 ◼ ► I, ugh, the 4C die? Oh, that's hard. I've been thinking about whether the base price for the Mac Pro will go down or not.
00:17:53 ◼ ► Yeah, I think I'd rather do that to compare. If you get the 28 core Xeon, what does that cost?
00:18:06 ◼ ► I really think if they chart, well, let's see here's the thing, I was going to say it's not going to be expensive, then I was like, well, Apple loves their margins, so maybe it will be expensive just because it can be, not because it has to be.
00:18:16 ◼ ► But we'll never know one way or the other. So, I don't know, I wouldn't be surprised if they put the 2C die as like the base configuration and only a little bit more money as the 4C die.
00:18:29 ◼ ► I think it'll be less expensive than any of us expect. And you can yell at me when I'm wrong about this, but that's my guess.
00:18:34 ◼ ► It should be, because here's the thing, like when you go, I just went to the configurator, when you go and you spec, you say, you know, it comes with an 8 core Xeon, right?
00:18:43 ◼ ► And it's like, okay, what if I want to upgrade again? This is not how much it costs for the CPU, this is how much more it costs because they take away the default CPU and in its place they give you the better one.
00:18:53 ◼ ► And Apple charges 7,000 additional dollars to swap out the 8 core for the 28 core, right?
00:19:02 ◼ ► Now, I can guarantee you that nothing, no way that Apple makes the Jade 4C will cost Apple anywhere in the neighborhood of $7,000.
00:19:11 ◼ ► These chips are relatively speaking, like the ARM chips, the Apple's ARM chips, so much cheaper for Apple than getting something from Intel. It's not even funny.
00:19:22 ◼ ► Not even just like half of them, I mean, have you ever seen like the parts breakdown of like how much does it cost for the stuff on the iPhone?
00:19:32 ◼ ► The system on a chip, they estimate it like, I forget, it's like $15 or $30, and that's the iPhone chip that was like faster than all of our Macs for a long time, or my Mac anyway.
00:19:40 ◼ ► So how much does the Jade 4C actually cost Apple to make? I'm going to say it's in the hundreds of dollars, right?
00:19:54 ◼ ► So in theory, Apple, that's why I keep thinking Apple could make the Mac Pro cheaper than it is now by passing along some of the savings to us.
00:20:03 ◼ ► I don't think they will pass on many of the savings, but I think that, you know, I think they will be able to undercut, so the 28-core Xeon, if you just take the Mac Pro, and the only change you make to the configurator is you click on 28-core Xeon, that's $13,000.
00:20:18 ◼ ► Marco said he doesn't think you'll be able to get to Jade 4C under, what did you say, 12?
00:20:23 ◼ ► I said 12, although now, see, I'm rethinking that, I think that might be too low, because the $13,000 base price of the current Mac Pro with its best CPU is still with its worst GPU.
00:20:35 ◼ ► Now if you bump up the GPU to, you know, maybe the second highest option, then it becomes $18,000, because these are now bound together.
00:20:43 ◼ ► I mean, the thing is, Apple is reaping the savings on the GPU as well, because they don't have to buy one from AMD, it's part of their thing, so.
00:21:02 ◼ ► See, what I keep wrestling with is, I could see Apple deciding, you know what, we're just going to absolutely shame Intel and PCs, and say that for a not-egregious amount of money,
00:21:15 ◼ ► say, I don't know, $7,000 or $8,000 or something like that, look at the performance you can get, and that's because we're so frickin' awesome at what we do.
00:21:23 ◼ ► And so I could totally see them going that route, but Apple really likes money, like, a lot.
00:21:29 ◼ ► And so because of that, I'm convincing myself that's not what they would do, because as much as they like to flex, they really like money.
00:21:37 ◼ ► So I think $10 ish is where I'm gonna go. You guys are probably right, but I will wager $10 ish is how much it will cost to get a Mac Pro with a 4C die.
00:21:50 ◼ ► I'll be, this is starting, getting back to my base Mac Pro discussion, I think Apple will try to undercut the Intel Mac Pro on cost.
00:21:58 ◼ ► I think they will say, here's the new Mac Pro, and shocker of shockers, in general, the prices, if you try to compare them to the previous one, have gone down a little bit.
00:22:06 ◼ ► Because Apple's costs are gonna go way down, especially if they don't have a discrete GPU, that means they don't have to buy ridiculously overpriced Xeon from Intel, and they don't have to buy a graphics card from AMD and pay their margins.
00:22:24 ◼ ► Especially if they also make the case smaller, you know, if it's a half-size thing or whatever, they have to cut out fewer of those little golf ball holes, like, it's going to be a cheaper machine.
00:22:33 ◼ ► And this is, I think what will happen in the chat room is talking about this, Apple's margins will go up on this Mac at the same time that I think the price can go down.
00:22:40 ◼ ► That's how much headroom there is. That's the magic of ARM, is that the cost to Apple to build these computers is so much lower than it was when they were paying big, especially on the high end.
00:22:49 ◼ ► Because the higher end you get, the bigger the margins are. The margins on the 28-core Xeon are way higher than they are on the Intel chip that was in the MacBook Air, right?
00:23:02 ◼ ► Yeah, and once you factor in, like, when Intel's making a chip, that's a very different ballgame, you know, when they're making a giant Xeon.
00:23:10 ◼ ► That sells to a certain market, but Apple can amortize a lot of that R&D stuff across everything they make, including the iPhone.
00:23:18 ◼ ► Because the iPhone CPUs are the same high-performance and low-performance cores, much of the same stuff in the chip.
00:23:24 ◼ ► Much of that R&D cost is shared across their entire product line, and so I feel like they could, you know, obviously there's always going to be the inherent high costs of manufacturing large chips.
00:23:36 ◼ ► Because they're always going to have lower yields and cost more money to make just at the silicon level, but, like, the R&D costs and everything are going to be much lower for Apple, I think, compared to somebody like Intel, because they're able to spread it across the entire smartphone market in addition to their entire PC business.
00:23:52 ◼ ► Yeah, and Apple's building exactly what they need, not whatever stuff Intel wants to put in them for the server market, because Intel's not really building Xeons for Apple.
00:23:59 ◼ ► They're building Xeons for, you know, the enterprise server market, whatever, and Apple has to just take what they have.
00:24:05 ◼ ► Like, well, here you go, you want a high-end chip with a lot of cores, this is what we have to offer, and Apple probably looks at it and says, "A bunch of that stuff we don't need, a bunch of that stuff we wish was slightly different."
00:24:13 ◼ ► They can make exactly what they want here. And speaking of spreading the cost around, they've already made the M1, and so those are the same cores probably in there.
00:24:22 ◼ ► And, you know, like, the big amount of work that went in was like, the big hit was the M1, and they're getting some of that back by using it in the iPad, so they don't have to even do that work again.
00:24:30 ◼ ► And it's all based on iPhone chips in the end, too, so there's a lot of cost savings. In general, Apple's tech stack is doing pretty well in terms of not wasting effort.
00:24:43 ◼ ► We've talked before in the past about how it's easy to forget that Apple uses essentially a single-core operating system from their watches to their giant Mac Pros and everything in between, and that's the software version of that, the hardware version of that is totally true now that they're off of Intel.
00:24:58 ◼ ► They do some very difficult core design work once, and that pays dividends for years and years. So, we'll see how much of that savings get passed on to us, but I really hope it's some, especially at the high end.
00:25:12 ◼ ► Yeah, so my concern is, like, because they have, because, according to this rumor, like, it's most likely that they have combined the number of CPU cores and the number of GPU cores together into, like, two presets or four presets, that if you want a high amount of GPU power or a high amount of CPU power, you might have to take both and take the costs of both.
00:25:34 ◼ ► So, I think we're going to have fewer options than ever on this new crop of machines that use the Jade series of chips, including, you know, even down to the MacBook Pro, but, you know, I think we're going to have very few options, and that's not a great thing for cost management or future upgradeability, but that's a whole separate thing.
00:25:52 ◼ ► All right, can we move on from the Mac Pro? I know that's a pipe dream with you, too, but let's try. Let's talk about something else I really don't care about. Hey, how many fans does the iMac have?
00:26:03 ◼ ► This is one of the revelations from the iFixit teardown. Apparently, the base model iMac, the new, you know, candy-colored iMacs, the base model one has only one fan.
00:26:15 ◼ ► And, you know, there was some, I was like, "Oh, what does this mean?" Because the only difference is one GPU core and this is actual binning, right? The other thing is the high-end one has more I/O, and maybe those I/O chips cause more heat. Like, I don't think there's a lot of heat going on in there anyway. You know, they have two fans may even be overkill, one fan is probably plenty. These are not noisy machines. I don't think it's a big deal, but it is interesting to me that Apple made that difference. Why not just have two fans in both of them?
00:26:40 ◼ ► They're really trying to make them as quiet as possible, and, you know, the combination of maybe whatever extra chips they had to have in there for the extra USB-C ports, and the one fewer GPU core put it below the threshold on the low-end one.
00:26:54 ◼ ► And so the low-end one, I mean, might be quieter, might be noisier if that fan has to go on more and go up to a higher RPM. But it's a strange difference that, you know, it's kind of, you would think for uniformity purposes they would differentiate the machines, maybe just not putting the ports in.
00:27:09 ◼ ► And in the end they were the same thing under the covers, but that's a pretty big difference. And no one has mentioned that who's gotten review units. I don't know if everyone got the high-end ones or everyone got the low-end ones. Mostly because in general you can't hear these things anyway. So it's mostly academic, but I thought it was interesting.
00:27:24 ◼ ► I was kind of curious why they didn't try a more passive design with the iMac, because if you look at how the M1 MacBook Air is physically designed, like how it is fanless, it basically uses the air around the chip's heatsink as kind of like a thermal buffer, because for various ergonomic safety reasons, laptops can't be above a certain external temperature.
00:27:51 ◼ ► So they didn't just like bond the heatsink to the exterior casing and transmit all the heat to the casing. They kind of like use the air inside as like a thermal cushion/insulator/thermal mass, whatever it is. So the heatsink is not directly touching the outside of the case.
00:28:07 ◼ ► So the performance of the MacBook Air is limited by basically how much heat they can dissipate with a very small heatsink really in a pretty small enclosed space. The iMac is a much bigger space, and I know they don't have a ton of room in that thickness behind the display, but I'm surprised they didn't attempt a totally fanless iMac as well and basically use part of that massive display area, which is mostly an empty cavity.
00:28:34 ◼ ► I think mostly for speaker reverberation or whatever. To have just a giant heatsink with a giant air pocket and have that be totally fanless for a much longer time than the MacBook Air can do it.
00:28:46 ◼ ► I mean, well, the iMac is thin, and also that giant screen does produce its own heat. So it's not like the only thing in there producing heat is the system on a chip. It's just so thin. Is it thinner than the MacBook Air?
00:28:58 ◼ ► It's tight in there, and that screen has got to be producing a lot of heat. I think a lot of the stuff behind the screen might also be for dissipating heat from the monitor, but I think if they made the right call, especially if it's super duper quiet, give the desktops and fans. You don't want it thermal throttling. It should be one of the benefits to having it plugged in all the time, is you don't have to deal with any thermal throttling.
00:29:18 ◼ ► I mean, think about the iPad with the M1. There's no air gaps in there for that thing to be a thermal buffer. Is the iPad clocked lower? Same thing with the iPad. It's not like they're going to heat weld that system on a chip to the case either, because you don't want your iPad to be hot in your hands either.
00:29:33 ◼ ► The bottom line is the M1 just doesn't produce a lot of heat, so you have a lot of options, and it's generally quiet and kind of cool.
00:29:39 ◼ ► So speaking of the MacBook Air, let's talk about the ski feet. Alex Elkins writes, "The MacBook Air ski grips could also be so that the grips actually work when the laptop is on your lap. With grips at the corners, they don't really do much when the laptop is sitting on top of your lap."
00:29:53 ◼ ► I mean, I guess it depends how far apart your legs are. The rumored picture showed the little rubber skis on the bottom sort of at the far edges of the laptop, so if your knees are together, those rubber strips might be still floating in the air. But it's a theory.
00:30:07 ◼ ► Lord Matthew also writes that the ski feet lines under the new MacBook Air are probably so it's super grippy on the table to help MagSafe function correctly.
00:30:15 ◼ ► Bigger contact patch for tired Gs. Again, plausible, but it could just be a style thing, as people have pointed out. If you look under the horrendously expensive Pro stand, it also has two rubber strips like that.
00:30:32 ◼ ► The new iMacs also have two strips. It might just be a style thing. I'm trying to think of a functional reason why having two strips is better than having a U-shape or, I don't know. On a laptop, I think it's going to be weird, but we'll see if that rumor is even true.
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00:32:21 ◼ ► So we have some more news with regard to Apple's lossless audio in Apple Music. Does somebody like Marco want to tell me about this? Because I really don't care that much.
00:32:42 ◼ ► So there was an Apple support article put out explaining some of the nuances of lossless stuff, right? So a bunch of info is in there, but we'll pull out a few highlights.
00:32:55 ◼ ► One is regarding the Lightning 3.5mm cable for AirPods Max. In other words, when you connect a wire to your AirPods Max, the support document says,
00:33:03 ◼ ► "The Lightning 3.5mm audio cable was designed to allow AirPod Max to connect to analog sources for listening to movies and music. AirPods Max can be connected to devices playing lossless and high-res lossless recordings with exceptional audio quality.
00:33:17 ◼ ► However, given the analog to digital conversion in the cable, the playback will not be completely lossless."
00:33:22 ◼ ► So the "in the cable" part is the thing I think either I didn't know or have forgotten about. Is there a DAC in that cable? Is that what it's doing?
00:33:29 ◼ ► So it's there so you can listen to analog audio sources, but apparently it's taking the analog audio and converting it to digital for... I don't understand this. Marco, can you try to explain what the hell's going on?
00:33:41 ◼ ► Sure. My best guess is that the cable itself does... I'm not sure if inside the cable actually has a DAC, which would be at the Lightning end. They do fit. That's how the little Lightning to USB or headphone adapters work.
00:33:56 ◼ ► So you could put a really tiny little crappy DAC in there and it would be fine. But the main reason it has to become digital in the first place, on the way from analog source to your analog ears, is most likely because the entire signal path inside the AirPods Max is digital to do things like the noise processing.
00:34:14 ◼ ► So that's probably why it has to then resample any analog input as digital and just do a very low latency conversion and processing of that. So that's probably what they're doing. And that is common in the industry to do stuff like that in certain areas.
00:34:31 ◼ ► Even most microphone interfaces these days, most of the good ones have digital processing, which is actually one of the reasons why I still prefer my old Sound Devices USB Pre 2, which as far as I can tell is all analog processing stream, compared to the new Sound Devices MixPre series, which I think does digital processing because I sound very slightly different and worse in my own ears on a MixPre than I do on a USB Pre 2.
00:35:00 ◼ ► And I think what I'm detecting is a little tiny bit of latency with the digital signal path. Anyway, so making that very low latency is hard. And I don't know quite how low it could reasonably get and still do any level of processing.
00:35:15 ◼ ► But anyway, that's probably what they're doing in these headphones for all that. So what they're basically saying is it's not going to be lossless, there will be some loss of quality because on the way from your analog source through the analog cable into the headphones, it's being converted back to digital one more time before it's processed and then converted back to analog for your ears.
00:35:38 ◼ ► Yeah, and this is just their technical explanation of what we said in the last show, which is you think you're going to lossless, you connect a cable, you're not, in this case with the AirPods Max, right? So that's their explanation. And it's a little bit confusing because they don't go into too much technical detail. But what you said, Marco, sounds plausible.
00:35:54 ◼ ► They also say in the document that Apple's lightning the 3.5 millimeter adapter that you use to connect wired headphones only supports up to 24 bit to 48 kilohertz. And if you need something higher, you need a dedicated DAC for that.
00:36:08 ◼ ► And we knew that like we just last show, it seems like that all of the DACs that are built into the stuff that Apple has, including the tiny cruddy one that's inside this little adapter, don't support 192 kilohertz, right? So if you want that, you got to use something else.
00:36:21 ◼ ► Yeah, and a few other points to add to this. Number one, people tend to think that the quality of the DACs matters a lot between like whether it was the built in headphone port on older devices or whether it's like the little stupid little headphone dongle that we were just talking about.
00:36:37 ◼ ► And I think when people can detect differences in quality in like, you know, the new lightning to 3.5 millimeter adapter versus old jacks, I think they're actually detecting a difference in amp power because the little tiny little amp that would be in that little adapter is going to probably be weaker than whatever amp was built into the phone before.
00:36:58 ◼ ► And where that manifests itself in like noticeable way is you're probably not going to hear like noise differences, but you will probably hear like if that little amp doesn't have enough power to like hit a strong bass note or something that that's like a big power spike when you're amplifying something.
00:37:14 ◼ ► And usually like depending on what kind of headphones you're plugging that into if you're plugging into like larger, nicer, maybe headphones that are not entirely meant for portable use and maybe meant for like studio use or high end listening, like with powerful amps, you would notice like, Oh, this this sounds kind of muddy at the low end because it's not getting enough power to actually deliver that big thump for the bass note.
00:37:34 ◼ ► A couple other things to mention here before we move on. The reason why Bluetooth headphones don't support these lossless codecs. I didn't realize that the Bluetooth data transfer speeds were not as high as I thought they were, especially if you want to stick to Bluetooth low energy, which I would imagine Apple probably does whenever possible for battery life reasons.
00:37:57 ◼ ► They actually don't have the bandwidth to transmit a lossless stream above like basic CD quality basically even I think even CD quality would be pushing it.
00:38:08 ◼ ► So yeah, Bluetooth does not have a ton of data transfer bandwidth if you're keeping it within a low power envelope.
00:38:15 ◼ ► So that's that's possibly one more reason why AirPods don't support like the higher the higher range of things. In addition to them just probably not even having built in DACs that go higher than 2448.
00:38:27 ◼ ► But but at least you know with losses in particular they probably can't they probably can't stream lossless just for bandwidth reasons alone.
00:38:33 ◼ ► And we'll see how Apple you know works on that in the future like Apple can compress losslessly but lossless compression as I mentioned last week tends to max out at around 50% efficiency.
00:38:46 ◼ ► And you can't guarantee that it will hit that efficiency like there will be bursts in certain complex passages where it won't hit that efficiency.
00:38:54 ◼ ► And so you have to accommodate for the full bandwidth of the signal like the full uncompressed bandwidth you have to accommodate for that when you're figuring like whether something has enough bandwidth or not to transfer.
00:39:03 ◼ ► So there's that to deal with. And then finally I we actually didn't really spend much time last week talking about the difference between lossless and lossy coding.
00:39:14 ◼ ► I spent a lot of time and we debated a lot about high bitrate or high sample rate and high bit depth so like you know basically higher than CD quality sampling of audio.
00:39:25 ◼ ► But we didn't really talk at all about like compressed formats loss lossy compressed formats like MP3 and AAC versus lossless formats like FLAC and ALAC and just uncompressed.
00:39:36 ◼ ► And I did want to touch on that briefly this week but I don't have that much to say about it because this has been talked to death for so long for the last like 30 years.
00:39:49 ◼ ► We all have heard bad MP3s you know like the 128K MP3s that we all pirated from Napster in the late 90s like yeah we we heard bad MP3s.
00:39:59 ◼ ► Like my first MP3 was Bullet with Butterfly Wings it was 128K and it sounded like garbage. I couldn't even play it at full fidelity because I still had a 486 based PC at the time.
00:40:09 ◼ ► And so I had to only play it at half quality because a 486 was not fast enough to play an MP3 in real time at full quality.
00:40:19 ◼ ► And it's alright my my 400 megabyte hard drive couldn't hold many of them anyway I only had like four or five songs before I had to fill it up.
00:40:26 ◼ ► Anyway so the point is MP3 and especially the more modern formats like AAC and especially if you go into like the new stuff like Opus.
00:40:37 ◼ ► These compression algorithms are so good almost no one can hear a difference between compressed and between lossy and lossless.
00:40:45 ◼ ► Like if you take the exact same input and compress it well at reasonable bit rates like 256K almost no one can hear it.
00:40:52 ◼ ► The only people who can hear the difference typically are people who are trained specifically in like identifying an exact certain type of situation in the audio that that compression codec is not super good at encoding.
00:41:12 ◼ ► Where like you can you can test how bad a video codec is by playing the HBO static intro like from an old HBO show and you see like it just macro blocks up like crazy and looks terrible.
00:41:23 ◼ ► There are audio equivalents of that that if you're a super compression nerd you can do some research and you can train yourself to figure out like okay this kind of pattern in the sound.
00:41:33 ◼ ► The compression algorithms are not good at reproducing this especially if it's like you know below certain dynamics or whatever.
00:41:44 ◼ ► Even those people have trouble doing it reliably when the input is well encoded and encoded at a high enough bit rate.
00:41:52 ◼ ► And even then it's like you would have to be paying such close attention and be and know exactly what you're listening for.
00:42:07 ◼ ► I will say almost nobody can hear the difference and the people who can can't do it a lot of the time.
00:42:13 ◼ ► So the difference between a lossy codec and a lossless codec is yet one more reason why lossless generally is not worth it for almost anybody.
00:42:25 ◼ ► As we mentioned last week you know the files get way bigger and it's less practical in a lot of different ways.
00:42:30 ◼ ► But like the difference I think the difference is sold to people as a way to have them upgrade to higher end plans and buy higher end gear and everything else.
00:42:40 ◼ ► In practice I'm telling you as a self professed audio file it's not something I can hear.
00:42:50 ◼ ► Granted I'm almost 40 maybe it's just my ears but I couldn't hear it when I was 20 either.
00:42:54 ◼ ► And so maybe I'm just I'm too much of a plebe to hear that I guess but I can't hear the difference.
00:43:01 ◼ ► And in an actual like blind or you know ABX style testing most people can't hear the difference.
00:43:09 ◼ ► So enjoy your lossy format if you want to save all your disk space because that's you know that's what we all do for for good reason.
00:43:17 ◼ ► And if you really have if you really think you can hear that difference and you can really spare a massive amount of disk space and bandwidth and everything else.
00:43:27 ◼ ► You know no one's going to stop you but you know most people are not going to need that.
00:43:31 ◼ ► Well I think I'll add to that as a bunch of people wanted us to mention this in case people listening don't know.
00:43:38 ◼ ► How is it that a lossy compressed file that it's encoded well 256 kilobit AEC well encoded is indistinguishable to most people's ears from a much much bigger lossless file.
00:43:52 ◼ ► It's exactly the same way that image compression algorithms work which people may be more familiar with because we probably all see like JPEGs on the web all the time.
00:44:01 ◼ ► The way these algorithms work is they throw away information that our brains don't consider important.
00:44:07 ◼ ► So for images you know by our visual system is a mess you think it works just like a camera where it just gathers all the RGB values of all the pixels.
00:44:20 ◼ ► But anyway there are quirks to our visual system that let us throw away huge amounts of information from images and our eyes say I don't see anything missing.
00:44:30 ◼ ► That's why if you get a JPEG and you know crank up the quality of a JPEG to a reasonable level it looks almost identical to the original PNG image despite being like one 18th the size.
00:44:41 ◼ ► But audio is the same way there are certain things in audio that our brains don't consider important and don't really detect.
00:44:47 ◼ ► And if you throw out that information it makes the file smaller but then when we listen the reason we can't hear a difference is because it threw out stuff that we weren't hearing anyway.
00:44:56 ◼ ► It's more complicated than that but like that's what these things are called perceptual algorithms.
00:45:01 ◼ ► They use how we perceive sound or vision or whatever to figure out what they should throw away.
00:45:09 ◼ ► Because in the end if you want to make it smaller and you know if it's a lossy codec what lossy means is they're throwing away information and if you just threw away half the information it would be terrible.
00:45:19 ◼ ► But if you throw away the half that we weren't hearing or seeing anyway yeah it's not that bad right.
00:45:27 ◼ ► Which makes you think like you know if you have different perceptions say you're a different kind of animal like cats and dogs or bats or whatever.
00:45:34 ◼ ► An algorithm that is indistinguishable from lossless to us is not necessarily indistinguishable to another being that has a totally different sensory you know set.
00:45:45 ◼ ► Like you can imagine this is a great sci-fi this is the world's most boring sci-fi short story.
00:45:50 ◼ ► We land on an alien planet and we look at their images on their web pages and they all look like garbage because their version of compression throws away information that their alien eyes don't consider important.
00:45:59 ◼ ► But it throws away like all the information that our eyes consider important so we can't read their we can't read their ad banners on their websites.
00:46:06 ◼ ► Anyway that's free just take that's a if you can turn that into a tweet link sci-fi story and post it to that what is that Twitter account like mini sci-fi fantasy stories they post sci-fi fantasy stories that fit in a single tweet.
00:46:19 ◼ ► This one will be tough because it's kind of high concept with the whole lossy compression algorithms and alien web but I think someone can make it work.
00:46:27 ◼ ► All right I am happy to report that HomePod and HomePod mini will support Apple Music lossless.
00:46:31 ◼ ► Apple says that they currently use AAC to ensure excellent audio quality support for lossless is coming in a future software update.
00:46:38 ◼ ► Yeah that was nice like we were asking that question last time like what is it about the HomePod that would not allow it to do lossless because you know it's got plenty of bandwidth they're all on Wi-Fi.
00:46:47 ◼ ► Like it's not like you know we could either all network together if we could somehow tell them in the HomePod is a little computer itself just you play the music from Apple Music and then why can't you get the loss of some play it and the answer seems to be the software teams responsible for the HomePod didn't get that done yet.
00:47:03 ◼ ► So they get a until until you know because what it does now is it just plays the AC but anyway it's nice to see that support coming it probably doesn't really make a difference if you're less listening on the HomePod mini.
00:47:14 ◼ ► I feel like to Marco's point last show your speaker is your problem there not really the the lossiness of the music you're playing but you know whatever.
00:47:23 ◼ ► No I mean even on the full-blown big big discontinued HomePod even in a wonderful stereo pair first of all it's doing so much processing to that audio that there's no there's no real benefit in feeding it you know something like super pure like pure signal uncompressed 24/1/2 because it's you know it's gonna do the same thing that the headphones are doing.
00:47:43 ◼ ► It's gonna like you know sample it as digital and process it in a certain pipeline and everything but that's another point we should point out that we've already moved on from that is one of the other pieces of feedback we got which is not really relevant to our discussion but now it suddenly is because you're talking about reprocessing audio.
00:47:57 ◼ ► One of the contexts where high bitrate you know I you know 24-bit no 192 kilohertz audio files where that was actually useful is in the audio production pipeline not the finished product but in the audio production pipeline because if you're running it through a series of
00:48:11 ◼ ► steps and grinding it up you really want to have a little bit of excess quality because every time you do some processing you shave off some edges or whatever so it's not as if we're saying these formats are pointless we were talking about for end consumers like when you download a song this is the final product that you're going to listen to that point it's pointless for you to get 22 kilohertz right but for processing maybe not so to your point Marco about well the HomePod is going to chop up that audio anyway I don't I still don't think this is true given the quality of the speakers that are in the HomePod.
00:48:40 ◼ ► But theoretically if you fed it a higher fidelity file and it chopped it up through its machinery maybe you know it would it would come out slightly better if it was a little bit of excess quality that you couldn't hear on the way in.
00:48:55 ◼ ► Yeah, yeah, I'm glad you made the distinction because we did hear from a couple people who were like you know I work in a recording studio and we record it you know 24 bit like well yes you should record a 24 bit I'm recording this podcast right now at 24 bit lossless because I'm going to do stuff with the files that's very we don't deliver it that way it is funny I actually as a joke I wanted to deliver last week's episode as lossless as an option but the the 24 bit 192 kilohertz stereo lossless file.
00:49:24 ◼ ► Was four gigs and I didn't think it was worth putting that up anywhere for nobody to be able to download it and if anybody did it would cost a fortune.
00:49:36 ◼ ► But yeah that was a fun joke anyway yeah so there is like there is definitely reason for these fronts to exist it but it's not in like delivering them to consumers after they've already been mastered and mixed and everything at that point yeah there's there's not much point.
00:49:51 ◼ ► I will say on the on the home pod from we got this I don't think we ever talked about this on the show yet there the home pod the full size home pod and the with the new Apple TV now supports this eARC thing was this on our list anywhere.
00:50:05 ◼ ► So this this is kind of amazing so HDMI ARC is I think audio return channel is what it's called right.
00:50:20 ◼ ► Right so there is a protocol that TVs can use to send audio that to send whatever audio the TV is playing back down an HDMI cable to a receiver or something you know something to to play audio.
00:50:33 ◼ ► Apparently the Apple the new Apple TV I think it's the hardware that requires I don't think I don't think it's just a software change I think you need the new Apple TV to do it.
00:50:40 ◼ ► But if you have the new Apple TV and you know one or two original big discontinued home pods it now supports the thing where the TV can through eARC connected to the Apple TV can play any TV audio including stuff that is not playing from the Apple TV like a game console or something.
00:51:05 ◼ ► Now there's a massive disclaimer here we don't know how well this works yet we don't know how much latency it might introduce which could be bad for things like games.
00:51:19 ◼ ► B I think this is the most ridiculous convoluted way Apple could have possibly added a line into a product and that's funny.
00:51:26 ◼ ► And C why is it only on the old home pods that aren't being sold anymore? Something happened to the home pod product line.
00:51:37 ◼ ► I hope I assume that the reason the big home published discontinued while it's seemingly still getting new features that the small one doesn't have.
00:51:47 ◼ ► I assume this is you know possibly COVID introduced or COVID induced supply chain disruption combined with poor sales of that model while they hopefully are preparing some kind of new big home pod but it just isn't ready yet.
00:52:03 ◼ ► Like that's that's what I'm hoping is going on here because I mean the home pod mini is a fine product.
00:52:08 ◼ ► I have a bunch around the house now I like them but the big home pod sounds so much better.
00:52:17 ◼ ► I hope that that line is not done yet as we said before and I and what we're seeing now from like how the big one keeps getting new features mysteriously especially when the small one doesn't have them or gets them like much later.
00:52:32 ◼ ► I think that supports that theory that Apple's probably not done making new home pod models yet.
00:52:38 ◼ ► They probably just got some kind of you know disruption or ended the big one early because it was selling so poorly or whatever but hopefully hopefully there will be more large home pods in the future.
00:52:50 ◼ ► I mean the simple explanation is who the heck wants to listen to their TV over their home pod mini.
00:52:55 ◼ ► Like you know it's the worst it's probably worse than the speakers that are built into your TV so don't do that.
00:53:01 ◼ ► All right then final piece of follow-up I promise when he had an email from David Steir and maybe the two of you already understood this but I just could not wrap my mind around what people were saying with regard to this and this was the first time it really clicked for me.
00:53:15 ◼ ► So the question that David was answering was why is it that the original AirPods the non-pro AirPods support spatial audio but don't support it in the context of video or whatever it's called when it's with video.
00:53:28 ◼ ► You know so you can't do the thing where if you twist your head while watching a show on your iPad it'll change the soundscape but you can use spatial audio with Apple Music when that's a thing.
00:53:37 ◼ ► And David writes the reason first generation AirPods will work with spatial audio is because it won't be proximity based for music.
00:53:44 ◼ ► It kind of makes sense for video where you have a fixed position in relation to the screen.
00:53:48 ◼ ► However with music the listener is likely to be moving around so it'd be extremely disconcerting to have the sound continue to emanate from a single point in space.
00:53:55 ◼ ► So what David's saying is if you think about it when you're watching a video there's a clear origin of the well there's a clear theoretical origin of the sound which is the iPad.
00:54:04 ◼ ► But if you're just listening to music there's no real origin of the sound and so you don't have to worry about mutating and changing that sound as you move your head necessarily because there's no like spot that it's supposed to be coming from.
00:54:18 ◼ ► And again maybe the two of you are way ahead of me on this but it just did not click in my mind until I read David's comments so I wanted to share.
00:54:24 ◼ ► That's why we're talking about the lack of gyroscope last time to tell orientation versus just accelerometers and all that good stuff.
00:54:30 ◼ ► The only thing I had here is that a lot of people wanted us to tie this in in case this wasn't clear the spatial audio stuff obviously ties into the AR VR stuff right.
00:54:39 ◼ ► So many things that Apple does tie into the AR VR stuff in fact we talked a lot about this when spatial audio was first introduced and when the AirPods Pro came out with their transparency mode and how that was kind of audio AR.
00:54:51 ◼ ► Yeah obviously if and when Apple ever fields an AR VR product this technology will surely be heavily featured because it is essential for lots of cool stuff to work when you're wearing AR VR glasses and or goggles and or whatever.
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00:56:55 ◼ ► All right let's talk about Apple TV 4k all three of us have received at least one of them and by received I mean pay for it.
00:57:10 ◼ ► I don't know where we want to start on this other than this delightful tweet from Matt Craig and the tweet reads the box leaves little doubts what the selling point is this time around.
00:57:22 ◼ ► And there's a picture of the previous Apple TV 4k and a picture of the box of the previous Apple TV 4k and a picture of the box of the new Apple TV 4k.
00:57:31 ◼ ► And the difference between the two other than a little bit of size difference is that if you look at the previous Apple TV 4k you see this black box you know the Apple TV box.
00:57:40 ◼ ► If you look at the Apple TV 4k box you see the black Apple TV box and the remote is shown right there on the box because we're really excited about it.
00:57:52 ◼ ► It's one of the couple of things that's a little bit strange and un-Apple like about the new Apple TV 4k box like the packaging that it comes in.
00:58:02 ◼ ► Look at the you know see again see this picture on the chapter look at the the previous Apple TV 4k that looks like an Apple box dead center is a top view of the Apple TV it is very sort of elemental and spare.
00:58:16 ◼ ► And then look at the new box it's kind of tight like the two elements that the picture of the remote and the box are kind of jammed in there and it's not symmetrical.
00:58:27 ◼ ► It's not a particularly pleasing composition but it's like it's so important that you understand that this thing does not come with the old remote like hey I mean they I wonder if they even considered like let's just put the remote on the cover like that's not even because the Apple TV just looks like a black void anyway it's a black rounded rectangle right you can barely see the Apple TV.
00:58:45 ◼ ► You know the Apple logo and the word letters T and V on the top of it. How about we just put the remote because honestly that's the only thing people touch you don't see the little box under your TV somewhere it's black it's got one little light on it right.
00:58:57 ◼ ► So yeah this is all about the remote and also the other thing is I think the box had to be physically bigger because the remote is bigger so once you had the box is physically bigger maybe putting the Apple TV in it started to look a little lonely with all that white space but yeah it's all about the remote.
00:59:14 ◼ ► Yep. Alright so I figure we can just kind of go through what we have here in the show notes and talk about the experience for setup.
00:59:21 ◼ ► Again I was coming from the first I don't remember the formal name for this but the first generation of Apple TV that actually let you install apps and I had never upgraded since as we talked about quite a bit over the last few weeks.
00:59:34 ◼ ► You know it's still 1080 it's 100 megabit Ethernet port etc etc. And before I installed my new Apple TV in its place I remembered that there was a thing and I forget exactly where it is I'll put it in the show notes, but I won't remember off the top of my head but there's a thing and it's something like use a shared home screen again that's not actually what it's called but something like that.
00:59:57 ◼ ► And I thought to myself you know what I should verify I have this on and I did find it it is buried in the menu system again I'll put the steps in the show notes but basically I verified it was on on the old Apple TV and then I disconnected it and I put the new Apple TV in its place committing the same sin I did before of using the same power cord that was already there the same sin I committed.
01:00:21 ◼ ► That's the difference because that is literally a power wire there is no wall wart brick so you're actually safe in doing that Casey you have better preparation.
01:00:34 ◼ ► Oh well I did and we'll get it we'll get to that later on but nevertheless I plug it in and you know I reuse all the same cabling and all that that's there and the setup process was pretty darn good.
01:00:48 ◼ ► You are asked to put your phone near the Apple TV in order to get I guess iCloud information and stuff like that.
01:00:57 ◼ ► And I did that and it all came up on the home screen and it looked like the default home screen for a few seconds and all of a sudden it started filling itself in and downloading apps and so on and so forth.
01:01:08 ◼ ► And it all worked pretty well I do have a couple of test flight apps that it didn't even consider installing which was a bummer and the only other thing I'd like to briefly complain about is I don't think any non-Apple app persisted login information.
01:01:23 ◼ ► So like Plex I needed to repair, Netflix I needed to repair, we actually pay for Sirius XM for reasons and I needed to repair that I needed to repair Spotify which I actually think that wouldn't work until I turned my piehole off.
01:01:40 ◼ ► Sometimes you have to go to companyname.com/activate sometimes they make you enter a username and password but the bottom line is it doesn't know who you are.
01:01:49 ◼ ► It says please authenticate with some system that lets us know that you are a person who pays for a thing.
01:01:55 ◼ ► Exactly right and that was kind of annoying because it has gotten way better over the years because among other things when you're on the same network in the same iCloud ID or whatever the requirements are as an iPhone you can actually do that text entry via your iPhone.
01:02:11 ◼ ► And in fact I use 1Password everywhere and so it would prompt me on my phone "hey do you want to enter your password for Netflix?" and then I could use the 1Password integration with the iPhone's password manager such that it would automatically load my Netflix password out of 1Password, paste it in the field on my phone and then transmit it over the air to the Apple TV and paste it in there.
01:02:36 ◼ ► So it wasn't nearly as egregious as it used to be but it's just a bummer man like there should be a better way to do this and I would assume that there's APIs for this maybe I'm wrong but nevertheless that really bummed me out.
01:02:50 ◼ ► Apple has a solution because Apple identified this as a problem back when they had their first Apple TV with apps.
01:02:55 ◼ ► Hey isn't it super annoying that you have to re-log into HBO and re-log into Hulu and re-log into Netflix and you know I subscribe to a million things so I get this like the maximum version of this.
01:03:04 ◼ ► But they made an API for like "hey if you're making an Apple TV app use this thing so people don't have to re-log into your thing" and everyone said "yeah no thanks."
01:03:12 ◼ ► Well there's a number of things in here like so one of them is like the single sign-on thing which I don't think that ever went anywhere with like your cable provider.
01:03:21 ◼ ► That's part of it that's like that's only like things that require cable logins to do and that's not many of the certain like you know that doesn't include things like Netflix or Disney or whatever.
01:03:30 ◼ ► No I think like the rest of Apple's stuff has a way to do this. It's Keychain and iCloud Keychain and the reason why I think that this is not available on Apple TV is that Apple TV has no concept of a local passcode at least not by default.
01:03:45 ◼ ► And the way iCloud Keychain works on other devices is like Apple tell developers don't store login credentials in iCloud because they don't use like the regular iCloud store key value store or whatever else don't use that.
01:04:01 ◼ ► Right what they say but they have to they have Keychain which is like the local device you know secure storage thing that's encrypted and everything else and they have iCloud Keychain and the way iCloud Keychain works in a secure way at a high level is it's not storing all those credentials and stuff that you put in Keychain directly in iCloud it's storing them encrypted.
01:04:20 ◼ ► That's why when you set up a new device with iCloud Keychain you don't have to just log into your Apple ID it prompts you to enter the password or passcode from some other device that's in your iCloud Keychain.
01:04:32 ◼ ► Because then it uses that encryption key like from that local device to decrypt a new copy of it for itself or something like that like but anyway Apple TV doesn't really have a concept of a local passcode or you know local user authentication beyond like purchases.
01:04:50 ◼ ► That being said with the exception of the password stuff I've replaced a number of Apple TVs over the last you know five or ten years and I do that single home screen sync thing and it works fantastically for me with that one exception it never saves my passwords for things but with that one exception it works perfectly and I really enjoy that feature and like I did the upgrade for mine where you know I was basically moving to Apple TVs I did the I did that upgrade in like ten minutes it was it was one of the smoothest upgrade experience I've ever had for any product.
01:05:18 ◼ ► With the again with that with that sole exception exception of entering passwords but even even the password thing was it was improved by by a couple of factors number one I don't think I have as many video watching apps as either of you but some of them like Disney has this thing I think Amazon did the same thing.
01:05:35 ◼ ► Disney had a thing where you if you have the Disney plus app installed on your phone you just open it up on your phone on the same network and it says hey do you want to authenticate this new TV you say yes and that's it so it's like you know two taps right and then Amazon had a thing where I could just use the phone camera to scan a QR code on the TV and it did a URL scheme trick to authenticate so there were there were a few others the only one I actually had to type my password in was Netflix.
01:05:58 ◼ ► See but the problem with the Disney plus thing which I agree with you and is nice in principle is that for almost all of these apps when they ask me for local network access it's typically citing a Chromecast as the reason for local network access so I turned them all off because I don't have a Chromecast.
01:06:15 ◼ ► So for a minute there I was like why is the Disney app not letting me log in what is the right because it doesn't have local network access so can't even see the Apple TV that's the problem so other than that I do agree with you by the way while I'm talking real time follow up it is called one home screen and it is in settings users and accounts.
01:06:35 ◼ ► Then you have to click on your users so for me it would say Casey lists or whatever, then in there is one home screen so it is 1234 screens inside into settings but it is there and if you keep I don't know how long it needs to be on on the old Apple TV I would guess you know a few minutes.
01:06:50 ◼ ► But yeah if you leave that on and then it will sync everything up when you install the new one.
01:06:55 ◼ ► That should totally be the default I remember when I first found that feature I'm not sure if it is anymore but I remember when the feature first came out I'm like oh thank god because I was so tired of setting up the home screens because you know I want them to be all the same.
01:07:06 ◼ ► It's nice because I think most of us don't have a lot of Apple TV apps certainly as compared to our iPhone apps probably and so it is actually fairly quick to get everything set up in terms of you know the local authentication all the things you just described hey the Disney app does this thing where you can launch it like this one uses scan to QR code so that's type in the password.
01:07:24 ◼ ► Sometimes I have to type in the password sometimes I don't know how to log in that's exactly the problem Apple is supposed to be solving right and the single sign on thing with cable companies was at the time it came out a good solution because you know most of our TV was through cable stuff then that you know and there weren't as many streaming services right and I think they've made a couple of efforts at similar things in this to try to get everybody on board but of course we know Netflix isn't going to be on board they won't even be in the TV app and it's just it's too fragmented so this problem persists like this should be something that Apple is trying to do.
01:07:53 ◼ ► Something that Apple should continue to work on solving if they want to just go with iCloud keychain which I think is a reasonable solution they have all tech to do that and it's not like these Apple TV boxes are you know too cheap for them to include this.
01:08:06 ◼ ► Hey let's just put touch ID in the center of the little pad on the remote and right and there is your passcode make me enter a four or five or six digit code help make me enter an alphanumeric passcode right.
01:08:18 ◼ ► It's not like we don't have the technology to put a passcode on the Apple TV just do it I'll use my phone to enter the passcode once instead of entering my password five times and scanning a QR code three times and going to website.com/activate two times and using Disney+ app.
01:08:32 ◼ ► Like it's too much there too it's too different and I granted I'm an extreme case as I subscribe to every video service in the world but it's the it kind of really undercuts the you know one home screen experience because you think you're done like oh everything's back to the way it was and then you sit down.
01:08:47 ◼ ► I mean this even happened to us even I knew this was going to be the case I just you know slipped my mind after I had set the thing up because I had to go you know set up some other stuff upstairs or whatever.
01:08:54 ◼ ► And then we go down to watch a show and it's like oh what's the Netflix password no one knows what the Netflix password you got to get out your phone and you got to do the thing and it's just and then you forget about it again you go to watch something on Hulu the next day like oh I didn't sign into Hulu it's just this death by a thousand cuts.
01:09:08 ◼ ► Some of the things that even Apple controls they didn't manage to sync right the accessibility setting the one accessibility setting that I use on my Apple TV which I highly recommend that everybody use again maybe in case we will look up where this is but somewhere under accessibility.
01:09:22 ◼ ► I think under like increased contrast or something under accessibility there is a setting that lets you change the selection contrast.
01:09:30 ◼ ► What that means is and I'm sure there are some people who don't think it's an issue but other people know exactly what I'm talking about if you ever look at your Apple TV you know the television when your Apple TV is in use and you can't tell what the hell is supposed to be selected.
01:09:43 ◼ ► This feature is for you the one Apple TV the one TV OS does is it makes the selected thing bigger.
01:09:51 ◼ ► Then the non-selected things slightly and also depending on what remote you have if you move your finger around on the touch pad or wiggle the remote or whatever you can see the little tile that is selected slanting and reflecting the light you know this used to be a demo they would do look at this it's kind of slanting and reflecting.
01:10:06 ◼ ► So yes you can figure out what is selected but imagine if the screen visually told you what was selected in an unambiguous way.
01:10:13 ◼ ► That's what this accessibility feature does it draws a white outline around the selected square imagine that so you can look at the screen and say I know which one is selected it's the one with the white outline.
01:10:24 ◼ ► I think we call that highlighting and it's been a technology used in graphical user interfaces for many many decades and it is extremely effective at letting you know what is hard.
01:10:34 ◼ ► Oh God it drives me nuts to just use that zooming thing I don't know why there's not more complaints about it I guess everyone else is that much you never bothered me you can always tell the one thing is 7% bigger than the things next even if I can't if I just think about touching the touch pad trackpad whatever it's called you find that you find the thing that wiggles I feel like I shouldn't need to wiggle that's that's a sign that this is a bad interface I shouldn't need to induce a wiggle to say I can't tell what selected but let me make it are the thing that moved my eyes move to the motion that's a selected one.
01:11:03 ◼ ► And the worst is like you never know where the selection is like when an app launches you're like is if I want to go to search say there's like a search at the top of the thing how many rows up do we need to go where is the selection now am I already in the search bar you can't tell unless you move the move the selection out of it oh it went dimmer so I must have already been in the top bar so I should just move to the right two spaces to get to the magnifying glass.
01:11:23 ◼ ► The only way I can know that is if I swipe down and realize the top bar now gets dimmer which means the previous selection was in the top bar selection state in tvOS is a problem so please go to accessibility and try the setting I think you'll like it but anyway that setting hey draw a white outline around the selected things didn't carry over from my one home screen thing it's on all of my Apple TVs and has been since the feature was rolled out everything else synced but not that setting and the second thing that didn't sync was the function of the little button that has like a button.
01:11:54 ◼ ► Oh yep yep yep yep I was I couldn't figure out what the heck was going on I was like I TV app versus home screen yeah I hit the button I'm like where am I I'm on the TV app what the hell is this I want that button to go to the home screen saying that is my preference on every single Apple TV it didn't sync so I had to manually set those two functions back to their correct things.
01:12:13 ◼ ► So yeah set up in general easy but I feel like migration assistant on the Mac does a better job of actually I mean granted there are advantages here we are going over the iCloud keychain will bring all of my login information with me but the Mac doesn't drop settings like this Mac doesn't forget oh did you allow you know right click on your mouse it's like doesn't forget things like that it remembers everything down to like my keyboard repeat rate right so I feel like the few preferences that I said on Apple TV should also be synced.
01:12:42 ◼ ► I can totally understand that there's a reason why I haven't mentioned anything about Apple about tv OS because if we're talking about tv OS I have many problems that will probably never be solved and some of us seem to be getting worse but this Apple TV hardware and the new remote that's that's a different thing.
01:13:01 ◼ ► Before we get to the remote I would just like to say that I was unaware before tonight that John Sirkis the superpower is being able to spot his mouse cursor on his screen the size of a house without jiggling his mouse that is absolutely incredible that you can spot it without ever jiggling your mouse.
01:13:17 ◼ ► It's like saying how can you spot where your pointer finger is like don't you always know where your pointer finger is just an extension of my arm like where's my pointer finger I have to wiggle it to follow there it is at the end of my arm it's always in the same place.
01:13:33 ◼ ► No I don't even have that feature on the draws lots of people use this feature I don't like it at all if you if you needed more power to you but I cannot stand this feature I guess because I moved the mouse too quickly out Mac OS has an accessibility feature where if you shake the mouse cursor the the cursor will suddenly get larger to let you see where it is which is a useful feature if you have trouble finding your tiny very tiny mouse cursor.
01:13:56 ◼ ► But for me when I turn that feature on it's like every once in a while something my cursor gets big for no reason because I guess I just move my mouse naturally very quickly and it interprets that as a as a shake so no I don't use that feature maybe if my vision gets worse eventually I'll start using it but for now I don't use it.
01:14:11 ◼ ► You know here was I thought I'd backed you into a corner and I was really really proud of myself but no apparently that legitimately is your superpower.
01:14:18 ◼ ► Do you use that shaky feature? You're darn right I do I always use my damn mouse cursor. Your vision is really bad Casey so you probably need that feature.
01:14:26 ◼ ► Well no not with contacts with contacts my vision is pretty good if I take them out I'm basically blind but with my contacts in I'm good.
01:14:32 ◼ ► Anyway all right let's talk about this remote I should have brought it upstairs I think I didn't think about that so I can I can mess with it while I'm talking to you guys but I really like it I definitely there it is not the panacea that I thought it would be but it is definitely way better and I am not a prior rounder.
01:14:47 ◼ ► I'm not a prior remote hater I just thought the prior remote was fine it was annoying in ways it was good in ways it was fine this is just my opinion I know a lot of people disagree but this new one I really like and I'm jumping ahead ever so slightly.
01:15:02 ◼ ► However, I still am unconvinced I feel like the whole world is trolling me because this whole jog dial click wheel thing does not exist as far as I can tell.
01:15:14 ◼ ► I didn't until just a moment ago and so I wasn't listening to it and Mike Hurley you know from upgraded and connected was telling me no no no you got to hold your finger on it or something I don't know have you made this work because I've never made this work.
01:15:27 ◼ ► It didn't even occur to me to try that feature when I was actually using the Apple TV to you know watch TV so the first time I saw the feature in action was in this tweet that someone has a video of them doing it and the interface is exactly what I thought it would be if you just told me what do you think it's gonna look like exactly what it looks like so you.
01:15:42 ◼ ► I don't know I'm sure that the procedure but my guess would have been pause the show put your finger on the jog dial and then that in the timeline in the little scrubby timeline on your TV screen where you have the little dot showing your current position in the timeline suddenly a little circle will appear around that with a dot in it like a jog dial around the part where you are and then as you move your finger on the remote in a circle you will see that circle roll like a wheel as the.
01:16:09 ◼ ► Timeline scrubber thing moves back and forth now I think part of the problem is and this was again discussed privately between Mike and me and a few other people.
01:16:17 ◼ ► I think I had tried this I feel like I tried this in a couple of apps but Plex was definitely one of them and I am fairly confident that Plex does not use the out of the box video player so in that case I think it's a combination of me not really knowing how to activate the feature.
01:16:33 ◼ ► And the app I was using didn't support it but I could swear I tried it in the Apple TV app because I've been rewatching Ted lasso in preparation for it coming back next month or 2 months from now and I swear I tried it in the Apple TV app and I didn't get it to work then so I'm sure it's at least in part user error maybe entirely user error but I really want to see this and try it and for the life of me I just can't get it to work right.
01:16:57 ◼ ► Did you remember if you post first I thought so but again I'm not confident I did and since I had this conversation with Mike I haven't had a chance to go to go down and try it but I will definitely try it and maybe we can do a very brief follow up next week.
01:17:10 ◼ ► I'm not sure how much I'm going I mean I'll try it you know just now because I'm curious but I'm not I'm is not a feature that I was looking for is like I really I really need a way to scrub around timelines more quickly because that's one of the few things that the swipey touch pad was actually OK at right.
01:17:26 ◼ ► And the thing is I don't think the jog that I'll give in theory the jog I'll give you more precision and swiping but I'm not sure it really does because if it did give you that much more precision it would take forever to jog your way any appreciable distance because you'd be drawn tons and tons tiny little circles with your thumb right.
01:17:42 ◼ ► So I'll try it and see what it's like but I think it was remote. We talked about it very a lot when it was introduced but none of us have one in our hands and I think pretty much everything that I said about my expectations to the remote in that episode is the truth.
01:17:59 ◼ ► Like if you look at a picture of it you have a good assessment of its strengths and weaknesses versus its predecessor and versus other remotes having it in hand now and having used it on two different TV's it remains too small for my hands it's bigger than it was.
01:18:23 ◼ ► They're shy these buttons are shy they're small and elegant right they're kind of closely packed they're not really different sizes or shapes from each other other than the volume rocker.
01:18:43 ◼ ► It's okay lots of remotes what Casey I think is getting at is if you if you just get a cheap crappy remote you know the rubbery button feel that's not a good button feel in general like you want something that feels like you're pressing something in a really cheap remote will just feel mushy.
01:18:58 ◼ ► But you can have what I'm describing as a button that has a positive click where you're sure when you clicked it and you're sure when you didn't and it's also not like one 18th of a millimeter off of the surface.
01:19:09 ◼ ► Yeah yeah that part I agree with like I don't personally find it a problem but I don't think it would be bad for them to be raised higher off the surface of the remote and separated more widely on a larger mode.
01:19:18 ◼ ► Yeah like it is what it looks like you're not it's nothing you're in for a surprise here.
01:19:28 ◼ ► One thing I did immediately find when going through the preferences is there is a setting in there that if you don't want to use touch pad at all you can turn it off.
01:19:35 ◼ ► And then it just becomes a five way up down left right press the button in the middle right and it will just ignore all touch input and I think that is a great feature to add for people who have motor difficulty dealing with the touch interface which at various times is me.
01:19:49 ◼ ► And again we talked about this last time one of the great things about the remote is that the entire top of it is not a touch surface so you can confidently lift it off the table by its tiny little sides which still should be bigger but you can confidently lift it off the table knowing I'm not accidentally doing something to the touch pad because it's so clear you're not going to be able to touch it.
01:20:04 ◼ ► And the other thing is that you can't touch the touch pad because it's so clear that you're gripping the metal edge of the remote and you're not touching that one little touch sensitive area in the middle granted the jog valve is also touch sensitive but if you brush up against that I don't think it does anything.
01:20:14 ◼ ► It's that center thing that if you have the touch thing on you know is the danger zone but it's very easy to tell that you're not touching that danger zone versus the other remote where half literally half the remote was a danger zone and you could never tell which half it was because they were looked identical in the dark right.
01:20:29 ◼ ► So that's good about this remote, but I didn't disable the touch surface because I found through years and years of using the stupid diving board you do eventually get used to swiping because it is faster than going down down down.
01:20:41 ◼ ► And suddenly with the danger of me accidentally hitting the touch pad gun I'm left with only the benefits of well when you do want to go you know before I bother to get off the couch and get my phone sometimes I'm actually trying to enter my email address with the little swipey thing on the little alphabet number line thing where you're trying to go from A to Q to whatever.
01:21:03 ◼ ► Swiping is good for that. And even just going around on the home screen just looking around for something swiping is good for that too. So I don't know if I'm going to keep the swipe function on but for now I'm still seeing some benefits of having the little swipey area and you would think the area is too small to be useful for swiping but it's not.
01:21:18 ◼ ► Because in general you just, you know, flick flick flick you're not, it's not like it's not like a trackpad where you're dragging your fingers around it's more of a gesture pad. Right. So that I think works, maybe slightly better than I expected.
01:21:31 ◼ ► The one good feature that I didn't anticipate about this remote is the fact that the back button is like more concave I guess I don't know, do any of you have the remotes none of us thought to bring it with us.
01:21:46 ◼ ► Anyway, the back button feels different than the home button that's right next to us. Imagine that making buttons feel different. It's the same size, it's the same shape, but it's like its indentation is different than the home button.
01:22:01 ◼ ► So, when it's dark and you've got the remote in your hand, which is no longer symmetrical, and you're moving your finger off of the touchpad onto the back button it's very clear to your finger that you are on the back button because it feels different I'm pretty sure it's more concave than the others right maybe the other was a totally flat and this is the only concave one, it doesn't have a big white outline around it like the menu button did.
01:22:21 ◼ ► This difference in feel is merely the top surface of the button feels different and that tiny little thing it's like an ice water in hell as Steve Jobs would say, "Ah, imagine that, different things feeling different on a remote in a tiny way in the smallest possible way."
01:22:36 ◼ ► It doesn't because again if you're looking at the photos you've been everywhere to pick this up, but it makes such a big difference. That's what you want out of a remote.
01:22:43 ◼ ► You want different things to feel different so that you can, you know, that's one of the great things about the TiVo remote. You pick that thing up in your hand and you can feel where the buttons are with just your finger without looking at them and you will be sure that you're on the one that you expect because it's like a, you know, I don't know how you describe it.
01:23:00 ◼ ► It's like a map. Everything is a different shape and there's no ambiguity, right? When you're on that pause button or on the button to the right or the left of it or you move up to the five-way pad, everything feels different. On this remote, one thing feels different and that's the back button and it's a super important button so I'm glad that they did that and you know the five-way feels different as well.
01:23:18 ◼ ► So that is an advantage that I didn't expect. I've seen some complaints about the play/pause and mute.
01:23:25 ◼ ► Oh, that's me. Sounds good. Oh, it's driving me bananas. So to back up just to establish context here on the prior remote, there were three buttons kind of below the fold, if you will.
01:23:40 ◼ ► And of those, the upper left was the Siri button, the bottom left was play/pause, and then the entire right side was volume up and volume down. Now, where the Siri button was, which is the button that I never hit, is now play/pause, which is the button I hit more than any other.
01:23:59 ◼ ► And in the bottom left, which is where the play/pause button used to be, is mute, which is a button that I do want to hit from time to time, but like a tenth as much as play/pause, and then the right hand side is still volume up/down.
01:24:12 ◼ ► So in effect, they've taken the play/pause button, moved it up to a different spot, and then taken an entirely new to the remote button, the mute button, and put it where play/pause used to be.
01:24:22 ◼ ► So every time I play/pause, I hit the friggin' mute button every single time, and it's driving me nuts. And I'm sure I will eventually retrain myself, but it's driving me absolutely batty, and I don't understand why they did it that way. I just don't.
01:24:36 ◼ ► I mean, I think I understand it a little bit in that it's kind of like when we talk about our iPhone home screens and people wonder why my apps are the way they are. Some parts of the remote are easier to hit with your thumb than others, and the far lower left bottom I think is harder to reach, especially if your thumb is mostly on the 5-way and then occasionally on the back when you're navigating.
01:24:55 ◼ ► I feel like to the extent that this remote acknowledges a hierarchy of controls, which is just what you were describing, Casey, which things do you use most often, second most often, third most often, to the extent that this remote acknowledges that that hierarchy exists, it expresses that through the positioning of the buttons.
01:25:10 ◼ ► Because they're all the same size, they're all the same shape, and they're all in this one little skinny remote, and there's not that many of them.
01:25:15 ◼ ► You would imagine that if you were designing a good remote, for example, you'd realize that play/pause is probably the most important playback control in the entire thing. 5-way is probably more important for navigation, but in terms of while you're watching DVD, play/pause is probably number one with the bullet, right?
01:25:35 ◼ ► But they did give it a position that I think is easier to get to than the mute button. And yes, it's the reverse of the previous arrangement, which is messing with all of our muscle memory.
01:25:46 ◼ ► Because the remotes are similar enough, if you ignore the 5-way, the buttons in the middle, it's like three circles down the left side and then a circle and a lozenge. It's exactly the same.
01:25:57 ◼ ► And so we've spent years with that terrible Siri remote reaching for the bottom button of the three buttons on the left and having that be play/pause. And now the bottom button of the three buttons on the left isn't play/pause anymore.
01:26:11 ◼ ► And again, they're all the same size, all the same shape, you just have a tiny symbol that you can't read on it because it's dark when you're watching TV.
01:26:16 ◼ ► So I think our muscle memory will remap, but this just highlights another instance of this remote refusing to do the good thing, which is put an actual hierarchy in the buttons.
01:26:28 ◼ ► And by the way, I understand why they do this, it looks nice and everything. Game controllers suffer from the same sin. See my long episode of Hypercritical about this, right?
01:26:36 ◼ ► In most video game controllers, there's a button that gets hit more often than the other button, and the second most often button. There's a primary button. Ask anyone who has both a PlayStation and a Switch how much they can't stand the fact that the primary action button is bottom of the four buttons on the PlayStation, but is the right of the four buttons on the Switch.
01:26:58 ◼ ► It really makes navigating menus very difficult if you try to have muscle memory on both of those things. But either way, the correct solution was what the GameCube came up with, which is if there's a button that you hit most commonly, make that one the biggest button.
01:27:10 ◼ ► And then the button you hit the second amount, make that the second biggest button. And then maybe the tertiary button should even be a different shape. The TiVo remote does that, this remote doesn't.
01:27:19 ◼ ► Right now we're all suffering from bad muscle memory. I think we'll mostly get over it. I'm mostly just sit here trying to enjoy the one good thing about the remote, which again is the concave back button that actually feels a tiny bit different. I just celebrate that every time I hit back, but play pause. Yeah, we'll get used to it, I guess.
01:27:38 ◼ ► Well, no, but you say that, but I challenge you on that because for me, I am still going to use the Siri remote and the now upstairs Apple TV because no, you're not good. Why would you do that to yourself? Why would I spend $60 for this new remote if I don't have to?
01:27:54 ◼ ► Oh, it's a $60 well spent. Well, cause this, this right here, this is the reason that your muscle memory for play pause is going to be totally broken until you consolidate on one of these remotes. And that's exactly what I was thinking to myself five minutes ago was, Oh my God, I am going to buy one of these stupid remotes for that stupid Apple TV because it's going to drive me nuts.
01:28:11 ◼ ► It's like, it's like a soft close toilet seat. You can't have just one of those in your house. If you just have one of them, you're constantly slamming it. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Like you got to convert the whole house or none.
01:28:21 ◼ ► Yep. You're not wrong. No, my only complaint about this is that I agree with some of the Twitter people who have been complaining about the button click feel and sound kind of feels and sounds cheap.
01:28:37 ◼ ► Oh, hard disagree. Very hard disagree. I think it sounds great. You also like the butterfly keyboard. Honestly, it kind of feels and sounds like a butterfly keyboard, but it doesn't feel rubbery, which is one kind of cheapness for remote.
01:28:50 ◼ ► So for sure it doesn't feel rubbery, but I, but I think the cheapness comes from it is smaller and lighter weight and it is kind of like, you're not going to get a solid kachunk from a plastic button of this size and thickness in a remote this size.
01:29:04 ◼ ► You're just not going to. Oh no. But if you look at the Siri remote that, that proceeded this, it had the exact same size buttons and they feel and sound better.
01:29:13 ◼ ► They are less clicky I think. And it depends on if you really want that positive, like you have clicked the button versus you have just pressed down and felt something go down. I feel like the, the Siri or what's are more damped.
01:29:25 ◼ ► They are, but I think, I think that makes them feel a little bit nicer and more luxurious. Like the last thing you want in, in like your TV environment is to hear loud clicks from your buttons on your remote and it just, it doesn't, it doesn't feel high quality.
01:29:38 ◼ ► Yeah. I feel like we're getting with the volume control, cause you might be adjusting the volume while you're watching and you don't want to hear click, click, click, click, click. So I see what you're getting at there. It's just that I never used the volume on this thing anyway. So I don't have that problem.
01:29:50 ◼ ► Oh, then you're not even qualified. This is my, I'm using it exactly as Apple says, it's my only remote the vast majority of the time. The old one was too, like a lot of people didn't realize that the old one had the ability to turn your TV off as well.
01:30:02 ◼ ► Like you just held down the home button for a few seconds and it would say sleep all devices. And if you wanted to buy into HDMI C C sure. Yes. Yes. Marco and I are unicorns. Every, it works for everybody except you.
01:30:14 ◼ ► Yes, exactly. Exactly. Speaking of that though, the power button they added to the top of this, like, so there's a power button on this, which is nice. And, but the, you know, I was confused by it because I thought, Oh, this is great. This remote has an IR, you know, emitter on the front of it, I assume, cause it's a big black thing up there. Right.
01:30:32 ◼ ► So I'll just be able to let this thing know what kind of TV I have. And then when I press that power button, it will send the IR signal that my TV needs to turn off. As far as I can tell, it doesn't do that. Apple TV does supposedly understand what kind of TV I have, but it is not.
01:30:50 ◼ ► It doesn't, as far as I've been able to tell, there's no way for me to get the new Apple TV remote to send out an IR signal to turn off my TV. Have you dug around the settings? Cause the old one could actually learn an IR remote for volume control and stuff.
01:31:02 ◼ ► You can, so you can, what you can do is you can tell the Apple TV to learn like any other remote. Like I use the TiVo remote with my Apple TV for years. Right. So you can say, Hey, Apple TV, forget about your old remote. This is your new remote. Learn this, right? You can do that. But when I looked for the thing that said, can I tell you Apple TV, what kind of TV I have so that the power button on the Apple TV remote will do stuff.
01:31:25 ◼ ► Basically what I found in the documentation was like, don't you worry about that. Apple TV knows what kind of TV you have and it will support stuff. And it does support things like the volume, like the volume buttons work. I just don't use my TV's volume. I use my receiver's volume. Right.
01:31:36 ◼ ► That's a different remote. Right. But I don't think there's any way, like it knows what kind of TV I have and in theory it knows what kind of IR signal it should emit to turn my television off, but it's just not going to do it. And if you look at the support document, it says, Hey, you want Apple TV to turn TV off? Use HDMI CEC. And that's where I say, Nope.
01:31:52 ◼ ► Well, it's your own fault. You should try it. Maybe in my next TV setup, I'll try it again. But I've been my current setup. I have tried HDMI CEC and it is very bad with my current setup.
01:32:02 ◼ ► Well, for what it's worth, my TV is turned on and off via the Apple TV via CEC, but I am like you controlling the volume of a receiver that is completely and utterly unrelated from the television. And that all works. No problem. It did with my prior Apple TV. It does with this TV.
01:32:20 ◼ ► I guess I just have a better TV than you is what it boils down to because it actually works with CEC. I mean, you do remember I don't even have a 4k TV. That's right. I forgot. I knew it was plasma. I forgot it wasn't 4k. Don't worry. I'll make you feel a lot better about my TV situation. There's no there's no 4k plasma, Casey.
01:32:35 ◼ ► Yeah, well, fair. I just I don't keep up with it as much as you. All right. Who wants to talk about calibration, which is something I haven't done yet, but should probably do.
01:32:53 ◼ ► I'm going to say it's your brain, man. Yeah, which has many limitations to it. But a lot of people did a bunch of tests on this. My my favorite my favorite television techie YouTube channel, HDTV test, despite the fact that the host of that channel tries to make a sexual innuendo joke in every single one of his videos and every single time.
01:33:16 ◼ ► I'm begging you stop doing this. Stop doing anyway. Other than that, the TV content is really good. And he did a test of the Apple TV calibration. We'll put a link in the show notes if you want to see this video.
01:33:29 ◼ ► It gets very techie into the details of calibration. He basically says the same things like, hey, there's a bunch of settings in your TV. The Apple TV can't change. So if you actually want to calibrate your TV, you actually have to calibrate your TV.
01:33:41 ◼ ► But if you're not a professional TV caliber, like the person who runs this channel, and you just want to use this feature to make your TV better, especially if your TV is on some horrendous preset that really mangles the colors, it can get you closer to being calibrated.
01:33:53 ◼ ► So I figured I should try this on my TV, too, just to see how it works. Maybe it's because my TV is super duper old, as we just established. It is a it is a non 4K plasma television.
01:34:12 ◼ ► So I'm not sure if you if you've ever seen like a slow-mo video of what a plasma TV does to put its picture on the screen, especially older plasma TVs. It is not what you expect.
01:34:23 ◼ ► It is not as if there's a line scanning from top to bottom. It's not as if it changes the image on the screen and then waits and changes the image to something else.
01:34:32 ◼ ► It basically builds the image from a series of colored dots that are put up on the screen sequentially.
01:34:38 ◼ ► And if you see it in slow motion, it looks like nothing. But if you see it in full motion, it looks like a picture. Because, again, see our human visual system being messed up.
01:34:47 ◼ ► So I tried to use the feature. It said, oh, look at these sparkly things. Hold your phone one inch from the screen and inside this thing.
01:34:54 ◼ ► I did that for a surprising amount of time. And it would just be like, are you sure you're holding it within an inch? Hold it within an inch. Make sure the top edge of your phone is within the rectangle.
01:35:04 ◼ ► I'm like, it is. I'm here. This is an inch. I do it farther. Should I do it closer? I tried every possible distance.
01:35:10 ◼ ► Sometimes it would start showing. I'm going to show you red. I'm going to show you green. It was up. Where's your phone? Did you take your phone away? Put your phone in the rectangle.
01:35:17 ◼ ► I spent a long time. It was like a poltergeist episode. I spent a long time. My arm was getting tired. Holding my phone. Is this the right distance? How far away should I be? Closer? Farther? Try to -- oh, my God.
01:35:30 ◼ ► I think it just doesn't know what to make of the cameras in my iPhone. And, again, I'm using an iPhone 12 Pro, the latest Apple TV. The only thing that's ancient in this setup is my stupid TV.
01:35:38 ◼ ► Eventually I got it to go through a calibration cycle. What was different about the, you know, five minutes into this, the 90th time I tried this and the other times? I have no idea.
01:35:48 ◼ ► But it was super finicky for me. I don't blame the device. I blame my ancient TV. But anyway, after it did everything, it gives you a screen that lets you swipe back and forth from like -- I forget what it says -- like original or calibrated.
01:36:00 ◼ ► Basically like an A/B test. It shows you a video of an aerial view, probably like a drone footage of a beach with water, and it lets you switch back and forth. Here's what you were like before, and here's what we calibrated you to.
01:36:12 ◼ ► And kind of like the 256 kilobit AAC and the lossless version of the same file, I switched back and forth. I'm like, is anything changing? Did you change anything?
01:36:27 ◼ ► Because in some televisions, if you use Dolby Vision, if your television sports Dolby Vision at all or something, it just says, oh, we refuse to try to calibrate your TVs probably fine, which A is not true, but B is its way of saying, look, we're not going to be able to make any improvements here because we can't make heads or tails of this.
01:36:42 ◼ ► But anyway, my TV, as previously established, is I think reasonably well calibrated, and the fact that the Apple TV calibration thing couldn't make -- like I spent a while going back and forth and staring at certain sections of the image like, does it look a little different there?
01:36:59 ◼ ► Let me turn the lights off. Is that sand a little bit browner? Oh, it's hard to tell. A, B, A, B, A, B. I'm going back and forth. So I guess that means that my television was close enough in the areas that it was trying to calibrate.
01:37:17 ◼ ► There was a difference. Eventually I could tell if you could look at certain structures or certain sections of the wave, because it's just a video loop, and eventually you've seen the same video loop 100 times. I think it did take a little bit of blue out of my picture.
01:37:29 ◼ ► The problem is, is that the right thing to do or not? I don't know what this beach footage is supposed to look like. If it pulled down a little tiny imperceptible amount of blue out of the picture, is that making my picture closer to being accurate or farther from being accurate?
01:37:43 ◼ ► I don't know. Either way, it only affects the Apple TV, so it was kind of a moot point, so I just ignored it and left my television the way it was.
01:37:50 ◼ ► But if you use the Apple TV calibration picture and the before and after are radically different, one thing you could choose to do is say, "Oh, I'll take what Apple TV did," because that's probably better, which is probably true.
01:38:03 ◼ ► It probably is better than what you're on. But the other thing you could do is take that as a very strong signal that your TV is super screwed up, calibrate your television set somehow, and then redo the Apple TV calibration and see if the difference is smaller.
01:38:15 ◼ ► Because if you have a huge difference there, it shows something is messed up, and you don't want to just fix it for the Apple TV. You want to fix it for everything, right? Unless you literally only ever watch stuff through the Apple TV.
01:38:24 ◼ ► But even then, please, everyone, consider calibrating your TV. You can actually pay people to come to the house and do it. I don't know who to recommend except for this one guy who has a YouTube channel. He lives in the UK, so unless you live in the UK, you're probably not going to get him to your house.
01:38:37 ◼ ► But there are options. I always recommend the THX TuneUp app, but it is super old by this point, and I'm surprised if it's even still supported or downloadable.
01:38:45 ◼ ► There are other options on the Apple TV store, whatever it's called. Most of them are terrible. That's why I always recommend THX TuneUp. It's hard because there's not a lot of great options to recommend. You can buy calibration DVDs and Blu-rays and use them to try to calibrate things.
01:39:04 ◼ ► You can go to RTINGS.com and look for a bunch of presets for your specific television, which might be better than nothing, but maybe not. But I guess failing all of that, try the Apple TV calibration feature. It's probably better than nothing.
01:39:19 ◼ ► A glowing recommendation. It's probably better than nothing. Did either of you try it on your TVs?
01:39:26 ◼ ► I did not, but I was fighting many other problems, which we'll get to here in a moment.
01:39:35 ◼ ► Yeah, like, I usually, you know, when I get a new TV, which is not a common occurrence, I do a rough calibration. I did it this time. I based it on RTINGS as a starting point, and then I did a few minor tweaks for my own taste. But then I just leave it.
01:39:51 ◼ ► Well, at least one of you should try it, because what I'm curious to know is, hey, did it actually work for you? Could you hold your phone up in front of your TV screen and then it said, "Oh, we see your phone. Let me cycle through a bunch of colors." Or did you have to sit there like I did for five minutes, wondering why it's not doing its thing?
01:40:09 ◼ ► Well, I may or may not be using Dolby Vision anyway, because I do not have an ancient TV, so apparently there's nothing I can do according to the Apple TV.
01:40:20 ◼ ► Speaking of Dolby Vision, yeah. Another thing that you will see is a second video from HDTV Test. So this is the confusing thing, because this is not an Apple YouTube channel. This is a television reviewer YouTube channel, right?
01:40:34 ◼ ► So according to the person who hosts this channel, the old Apple TV, whatever that means, had a problem with the raised blacks in Dolby Vision, which means that you'd go on a screen that's supposed to be black, and instead of it being black, it would be super, super dark gray.
01:40:47 ◼ ► And that's not good. And this was a problem with the Apple TV device, not something wrong with the television. You'd calibrate the television exactly, but then you'd play a movie through the Apple TV, and everything would be a little bit brighter than it was supposed to be.
01:40:58 ◼ ► Right? And he says, "Okay, with the new one, that's fixed." The problem is, was that fixed done in the new version of TV OS? Or is that a fix done in the new Apple TV 4K hardware?
01:41:10 ◼ ► He didn't differentiate. For all we know, this was a software fix, and it affects all the Apple TVs, and it's fixed everywhere. Or it could be, I can't imagine it could be a hardware thing, but the way he presented it was like, "Hey, if you get a new Apple TV 4K, you won't have raised blacks in Dolby Vision anymore."
01:41:24 ◼ ► I find it hard to believe that that is a feature of the hardware, not the software. So I don't have a conclusive answer to this, but it's good to know that one of the major visual deficits of watching anything in Dolby Vision on the Apple TV in the past, raised blacks,
01:41:43 ◼ ► All right, so let me take you on a journey of my Apple TV upgrade experience, and this is probably going to take just a few minutes.
01:41:49 ◼ ► So I plug in my fancy-pants new Apple TV 4K, and I have an LG C9, which is a 4K OLED TV that I bought in late 2019.
01:42:00 ◼ ► And my setup, and you need a little bit of context to understand why I made the decisions I made and what's going on here.
01:42:14 ◼ ► Yes, as always. So Marco will make the image that I am sharing in the chat right now the chapter art for this chapter.
01:42:30 ◼ ► I know, you slaved over this image and you decided to hand-write the labels and no one can read them.
01:42:47 ◼ ► Like, you're using a program to make this, you didn't draw these lines by hand, use text, this is a text tool.
01:42:59 ◼ ► That's the bowl of oatmeal right below the outdoor speckers and next to the homey port.
01:43:16 ◼ ► I knew I was going to get so much grief for this. Oh my god, I knew I was going to get so much grief.
01:43:23 ◼ ► Wait, do you really have something where the HDMI ports are not all aligned to the same alignment?
01:43:32 ◼ ► Yeah, I didn't take a picture, in part because there's so many cables that, and I don't want to remove them all,
01:43:37 ◼ ► that it would take me forever to actually take a picture, but I assure you, this is what it looks like on the wall,
01:43:42 ◼ ► or in the wall, depending on how you want to look at it, behind my, like, A/V receiver area.
01:43:48 ◼ ► So I've got three HDMI, in case you're not looking, I have three HDMI ports, an optical port, and then four--
01:44:10 ◼ ► So I have TOSLINK, I have three HDMI ports, and then four, like, speaker jacks for outdoor speakers.
01:44:16 ◼ ► And so the reason I have this is, my, again, admittedly convoluted setup, I understand it's convoluted,
01:44:24 ◼ ► My setup is, because my receiver is frickin' ancient, it's so ancient that it has zero HDMI ports on it,
01:44:44 ◼ ► So I understand that, I'm well aware that I'm making problems for myself by using this old receiver.
01:44:51 ◼ ► All right, so the way this works is, I have optical going from the TV through the wall,
01:45:02 ◼ ► And so whatever the TV is playing audio-wise is coming back out of the TV through optical,
01:45:11 ◼ ► It's coming out of the TV via this TOS link, through the wall, out of the wall, and then into the receiver.
01:45:21 ◼ ► Then I have three HDMI ports. I have one for the Apple TV, one for a cable box, and one for the Switch.
01:45:29 ◼ ► We do have a Blu-ray player, but we used it so infrequently that I actually put it in the attic,
01:45:34 ◼ ► So I don't have an Nintendo, excuse me, I don't have a PlayStation, I don't have an Xbox.
01:45:38 ◼ ► I've only ever really needed three HDMI ports, and so in that sense everything is fine.
01:45:53 ◼ ► And immediately I realize I have a major problem, because what I didn't draw in this picture
01:46:25 ◼ ► which means I'm playing it on the Apple TV, but I don't necessarily want to have the TV on,
01:46:29 ◼ ► because maybe the kids are staring at it, or maybe I just don't need to look at the concert,
01:46:44 ◼ ► So what I had was, strictly speaking, Apple TV, a little teeny tiny HDMI cable to this HDMI audio extractor,
01:46:55 ◼ ► there's an HDMI cable in the wall, and then an HDMI cable coming out of the wall and into the TV.
01:47:08 ◼ ► So I pull that out, and I eschew it entirely, so now I'm going from Apple TV to the wall,
01:47:22 ◼ ► And then I start doing the calibration, or not calibration, but like, what video mode am I on?
01:47:29 ◼ ► And I should have taken better notes, but I was in such a hurry to try to figure this out that I didn't take good notes.
01:47:45 ◼ ► "Hold on, redetect the TV and see what the issue is, or see what video modes you support."
01:48:05 ◼ ► And I go to play some stuff. I play some stuff off Apple TV, I play one of the couple of things I have in 4K on Plex,
01:48:13 ◼ ► and what I'm finding is, even in 1080 content, every 30 seconds, and this is where the problem comes in,
01:48:21 ◼ ► every 30 seconds, the TV loses all signal, I hear nothing, I see nothing, waits for 2 or 3 seconds,
01:48:34 ◼ ► I'm just periodically losing everything on the TV. I can't hear anything, I can't see anything.
01:48:43 ◼ ► Bad HDMI cable? Or HDMI cable that can't handle the full bandwidth of the full resolution that you're sending?
01:48:53 ◼ ► So I eventually think to myself, "Hmm, the cable inside the wall was put there in the aughts, so like 10+ years ago?"
01:49:06 ◼ ► So I go into the Apple TV settings, and I think, "Okay, let me see if I crank it down from 4K Dolby Vision and 60Hz,
01:49:14 ◼ ► the best bang for my buck, the thing I will miss the least is if I drop it down to 30Hz."
01:49:24 ◼ ► You're killing me with all these things. You watch a lot of 60 frames per second content on your television, do you?
01:49:29 ◼ ► Well, here's the thing, I don't. But, let me tell you, let me tell you what looks like garbage.
01:49:39 ◼ ► Anything Apple TV related, just the animations, like zooming in and out and moving around, I swear to you they look like garbage.
01:49:48 ◼ ► Right, but there is a setting that, I'm surprised this isn't the default but maybe important, the setting that you want is,
01:49:54 ◼ ► "Hey, when I'm on the menus, Apple TV, use 60Hz because I want 60 frames per second animation,
01:50:00 ◼ ► but when I'm watching an actual TV show, use the frame rate that the television show or movie was shot in, and please do that."
01:50:10 ◼ ► But it wouldn't solve the problem because even in the home screen then, I would periodically, I would assume, get these blackouts, dropouts.
01:50:15 ◼ ► Yeah, you have some other problem going on, but I'm saying the solution is probably not to,
01:50:19 ◼ ► "Let's pin my TV to 60 frames per second everywhere because that's going to make everything look really bad."
01:50:27 ◼ ► So nonetheless, I eventually come to this conclusion that I can do 4K at 30Hz with Dolby Vision, everything's fine.
01:50:34 ◼ ► And I thought I had at least gotten a stopgap for now, and I have already ordered through Monoprice a supposedly 8K capable cable,
01:50:43 ◼ ► because I think what I have to do is go back in the wall and string a new 15 foot cable through the wall.
01:50:49 ◼ ► So in other words, Marco, I think your conclusion was, or I can tell you, your conclusion is my conclusion, that the cable in the wall was no good.
01:50:59 ◼ ► What had happened was, unrelated to all of this work, I also, you know, one of the final steps on the screened in port, which is now pretty much done,
01:51:08 ◼ ► And for the first time in years, I've had a need to plug stuff in to the four speaker ports that are below one of the HDMI ports and the Toslink port that's in this diagram.
01:51:18 ◼ ► In the process of doing that, I removed the upper left HDMI cable, which just so happens to be the Verizon FiOS cable box.
01:51:26 ◼ ► In placing that cable back in the wall, once I was done with the outdoor speakers, I accidentally pushed the HDMI receptacle inside the wall, further into the wall, so I can't plug in the HDMI enough, right?
01:51:44 ◼ ► So now I've got to take every-- I've got to remove the faceplate, I've got to take-- I think it was-- I only had to remove the left hand, you know, gang or whatever it's called, the left hand box,
01:51:55 ◼ ► and pull it out so I can shove the HDMI receptacle back to where it's supposed to be, blah blah blah.
01:52:00 ◼ ► So then, when I was reconnecting-- what I've diagrammed in this picture is blue and pink or whatever, but they're really not color-coded--
01:52:06 ◼ ► when I was reconnecting the two HDMI cables for the Switch and the Apple TV, because I was in such a rush to finish this, I accidentally swapped them.
01:52:17 ◼ ► And I know this because all of a sudden my TV was like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, there's something new here."
01:52:22 ◼ ► And then it occurred to me, "Well, holy s***. I wonder if this cable happens to be better."
01:52:27 ◼ ► And sure enough, I accidentally solved my problem, because whatever 15-foot HDMI cable the Switch was on seems to be good enough to carry 4K Dolby Vision at 60Hz.
01:52:41 ◼ ► So you did swap it to a better cable. It just happened to be one that was already in your wall.
01:52:45 ◼ ► I was going to say it was kind of weird that your previous Apple TV was working, but then again I remembered your previous Apple TV was not 4K.
01:52:50 ◼ ► Exactly right. So all of this to say, either for bootleg people or regular show people, all of this to say, as it turns out, if you're having very wonky and intermittent problems with video dropping out or something like that,
01:53:05 ◼ ► it's worth, first of all, doing the HDMI test in the Apple TV, because that was my first hint.
01:53:10 ◼ ► I don't remember if I said this in my dissertation just now, but there is an HDMI test in the Apple TV.
01:53:15 ◼ ► In addition to the thing that tells you what resolutions the TV supports, there is a separate HDMI test.
01:53:20 ◼ ► And when I was on the original HDMI port cable, what have you, it was like, "Mm, nope, this isn't going to work."
01:53:30 ◼ ► But then, again, when I accidentally swapped them and ended up accidentally solving my problem, I did the HDMI test again.
01:53:40 ◼ ► So this not-too-cheap 8K, theoretically 8K cable, HDMI cable that's on its way from California to me,
01:53:48 ◼ ► it will probably eventually have to go in the wall, and I will do it one day, but the good news is I don't have to do it today.
01:54:02 ◼ ► Now I'm in a situation where I think I need a second amplifier, but what I really want to do is the following.
01:54:11 ◼ ► I want to be able to have maybe the kids, for example, watching something on TV indoors,
01:54:24 ◼ ► I just choose whether or not I want it to play on both sets of speakers or one or the other.
01:54:29 ◼ ► But I don't like that because, A, if the kids want to go in and watch TV and I want to listen to something outside,
01:54:36 ◼ ► we can't do both of those things at the same time, and B, the way I have things set up right now is that
01:54:45 ◼ ► For example, if I'm playing something on Plex, like a concert or what have you, and I'm broadcasting it outside.
01:55:07 ◼ ► All sort of medium to high end ones have multiple zones, and that will solve this problem.
01:55:11 ◼ ► Well, so that's the thing is I don't know if I want a new amp, and the reason I say that is because
01:55:19 ◼ ► It just plays whatever comes in over TOSLINK and doesn't have to extract it out of HDMI.
01:55:33 ◼ ► And by the way, I'll put a link in the show notes to this TechHive article that has a nice chart
01:55:40 ◼ ► The summary is TOSLINK is 384 kilobits per second and HDMI eARC is 37 megabits per second.
01:55:51 ◼ ► No, yes, that's what it was designed for. It's the optical version of SPDIF, which is designed exactly for CD quality sound.
01:55:57 ◼ ► So, but if you're watching movies on your television that have Dolby Atmos 7.1 tracks, don't use TOSLINK.
01:56:17 ◼ ► And when you get that new receiver for your TV, it might solve this problem for you by having multiple zones.
01:56:24 ◼ ► Well, and so the thing is, I mean, maybe the Sonos amp is the right answer, but I mean, $650?
01:56:32 ◼ ► Yeah. No, the reason why I suggested that is because it is kind of beautifully dumb the way I use it,
01:56:56 ◼ ► You say that, but I've been in this house for 13 years, 14 years, and I haven't had surround sound that entire time.
01:57:02 ◼ ► Yeah, and what I like about it is that as input, it either has regular analog RCA jacks
01:57:14 ◼ ► And you actually can buy a little adapter to convert that into an optical in if you need to for your setup,
01:57:24 ◼ ► And what's nice about it, this is the part that made me think of it for you, is that you said remote volume control.
01:57:41 ◼ ► And so what this means is you can AirPlay something to it from your phone, so can anybody else on your WiFi network,
01:57:48 ◼ ► and then you just control it from the AirPlay 2 interface and control center on your phone.
01:58:03 ◼ ► And it correctly switches between them. Like, if it receives an audio signal over the HDMI port,
01:58:09 ◼ ► that takes priority over anything else. So like, if you're playing AirPlay and then somebody wants to watch TV,
01:58:15 ◼ ► it'll take over with the TV. It's a very well implemented device for a very narrow set of requirements that I happen to fit.
01:58:23 ◼ ► And I absolutely love the Sonos amp for this purpose, because then I don't need a separate amp.
01:58:27 ◼ ► I don't need a separate receiver, because I don't, the other features that receivers tend to offer are all things I don't really need or want.
01:58:34 ◼ ► And the Sonos amp is a really nice product for exactly, like, if you want an optionally TV connected two channel,
01:58:43 ◼ ► you know, two channel speaker amp that is also AirPlay 2 and has no other requirements, it's fantastic.
01:58:53 ◼ ► Well, and so that's actually, it's funny you bring that up, because people have been making, have been excited about this thing,
01:58:59 ◼ ► the Belkin Soundform Connect, which appears to be basically an AirPlay 2 receiver, not an amp,
01:59:07 ◼ ► but an AirPlay 2 receiver with, you know, digital optical out that you would still have to plug into something.
01:59:13 ◼ ► So I wonder if what I, and this is a hundred bucks, which is kind of expensive for what it is, but it's within reason.
01:59:19 ◼ ► Oh no, trust me, that's fantastic, because that product has not existed until this point.
01:59:24 ◼ ► That, I'm so happy this product has finally launched, because it's been, I think they announced it like a year ago,
01:59:28 ◼ ► and it finally has officially launched. I really could have used a couple of these over the last year.
01:59:34 ◼ ► So my question is, you know, do I use this? I actually do have an AirPort Express that I haven't used in like ten years,
01:59:40 ◼ ► sitting around somewhere, like do I use that? And the question then becomes, what do I plug either in AirPort Express or the Belkin Soundform Connect?
01:59:49 ◼ ► What do I plug it into? I need some sort of amplifier to drive, presumably, the outdoor speakers, but here's the kicker,
01:59:55 ◼ ► and this is where I really don't want a $650 amp that Sonos makes, but your point is fair, how do I control the volume remotely?
02:00:04 ◼ ► Because I really, really, really want to do that. The whole point of half the stuff I've done in the screened-in porch,
02:00:09 ◼ ► we actually have an update about that for the after show, but half the stuff I did in the screened-in porch,
02:00:13 ◼ ► I really wanted to be able to control via my phone, and it's already been a bear, even though we've only had the outdoor speakers connected for like a week,
02:00:21 ◼ ► it's already deeply frustrating me that I have to get up off my butt and go and walk inside the house to adjust the volume.
02:00:27 ◼ ► It's really frustrating me. So if you, the listener, know of a preferably cheap, because sound fidelity doesn't matter, I don't care.
02:00:35 ◼ ► No, honestly, the Belkin Sound Reform Connect thing, this might be your answer. If you feed that into any cheap amp,
02:00:42 ◼ ► that will give you what you want, and you can get an amp to drive two speakers, you know, what kind of power output do you really need here?
02:01:03 ◼ ► The nice solution to this is the Sonos amp for $650. The cheap solution, the cheap solution to this is probably a Soundform Connect,
02:01:13 ◼ ► and whatever like cheap 50 watt, two channel speaker amp you want to plug it into, you can get those for like 50, 60 bucks on Amazon,
02:01:20 ◼ ► you know, the little desktop ones or whatever, those are easy to find. Keep the amp at a fixed volume, a high fixed volume,
02:01:26 ◼ ► and then just use the line input from, or the line output from the Belkin thing and control it via AirPlay.
02:01:33 ◼ ► It's not an incredibly elegant solution, and if it's a terrible enough amp, or if the Soundform Connect has terrible enough output,
02:01:41 ◼ ► you might hear hiss noise at low volumes, because the amp will be fixed at a high volume, but it would have to be pretty terrible for you to hear that.
02:01:56 ◼ ► Yeah, so I like this idea, I think that's a very reasonable thing, and again, for my priorities, I'm not saying you Marco or you the Royal You,
02:02:05 ◼ ► your priorities may be very, very different, but for me, I don't need flawless audio fidelity, these are outdoor speakers.
02:02:12 ◼ ► This is the worst possible place to get good audio fidelity. I just want to be able to hear stuff that I'm beaming from somewhere,
02:02:21 ◼ ► and I would like to be able to hear it with a volume control that I can do via like a phone.
02:02:26 ◼ ► And I think you're right Marco, I think this paired with some sort of amplifier that's not a complete and utter piece of crap would probably do the trick.
02:02:42 ◼ ► You have to control the volume from anywhere, it's independent of your television, it's got an amplifier.
02:02:46 ◼ ► Yeah, but I can't mount the home pod up at the ceiling, which is where I've mounted these.
02:02:50 ◼ ► You have to mount it anywhere, just stick it anywhere in your screen and porch and you're all done.
02:03:04 ◼ ► Alright, so anyway, so listen, it's all kidding aside, I like what Marco's got going here, but if you have a solution that, and I think I'd like to spend like no more than 200 bucks on this.
02:03:15 ◼ ► If you have a solution that you think would work, please, you know, send me an email or tweet at me, because I'd love to hear, this is one of those times where I really do want to hear input.
02:03:23 ◼ ► If you think that you have a different way of handling this, I'd love to, or if you have an amplifier that you recommend or whatever the case may be, please let me know, I'd be interested to hear.
02:03:36 ◼ ► No, no, it's not, because I don't want to hear you complaining about the price for the next six months.
02:03:46 ◼ ► I mean, what many people would do is just use a Bluetooth receiver instead, but I don't like Bluetooth for this purpose, not only, not for sound quality reasons, I couldn't care less about that in this kind of context, but because Bluetooth is annoying to pair to.
02:03:59 ◼ ► And if you want to have more than one device that can send it audio, AirPlay is so much nicer for that.
02:04:05 ◼ ► If you have multiple people in your house, or if you want to send it from multiple devices, what if you want to play something from your iPad once, and then the next day you want to play it from your spouse's phone.
02:04:17 ◼ ► So that's why I would highly suggest using AirPlay as your protocol here, and just figuring out then what the hardware has to be to do that.
02:04:40 ◼ ► Now the show is over, they didn't even mean to begin, cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental.
02:04:51 ◼ ► John didn't do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn't let him, cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental.
02:05:02 ◼ ► And you can find the show notes at atp.fm, and if you're into twitter, you can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S, so that's Casey Liss M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M, A-N-T, Marco, R-M-N, S-I-R-A-C, U-S-A, Syracuse, it's accidental.
02:05:46 ◼ ► So if you recall, I was trying to figure out a way to get two ceiling fans, two kickler ceiling fans, to work with HomeKit.
02:06:02 ◼ ► So obviously the wall is connected to the fan, but in terms of control, they used radio frequency to control between the thing that you're touching on the wall and something internal, well not internal, but sitting right above the fan.
02:06:15 ◼ ► And my theory, after a lot of talking with many different people on the internet, I mean it was genuinely extremely helpful, so thank you to everyone who reached out.
02:06:23 ◼ ► But my theory was, and several people suggested this, what if you just remove the RF receiver from the equation?
02:06:30 ◼ ► So instead of the wiring being from the fuse box to the wall unit to the RF receiver to the fan, just take out the receiver.
02:06:48 ◼ ► And this, I think it was this past weekend, we finally got around to rebouncing the fans, my dad and I did.
02:06:55 ◼ ► We removed the little RF controller boxes, and sure enough, no problem because they're AC fans, it works no sweat.
02:07:03 ◼ ► So my beloved Lutron Caseta switches can control fan speed, I can do that from my butt when I'm sitting on the porch, and it all works lickety split.
02:07:11 ◼ ► And I didn't have to do anything like the Bond RF repeater thing, which we had talked about, where it will receive something from HomeKit and then repeat that as an RF signal.
02:07:26 ◼ ► So, if you're in the situation where you have a fan that you want to make HomeKit capable, I can't guarantee this will work, your mileage will vary, I'm not a lawyer, etc. etc.
02:07:35 ◼ ► But, what we did was pulling the RF receiver from the fan, and it was an external thing, it's not like I'm removing the internals of the fan, it was this box on the outside.
02:07:44 ◼ ► We pulled it from the fan, and now I can control the fan via the Lutron Caseta switches, and I'm super happy about that.
02:07:53 ◼ ► No, actually, so if you recall, the fans were way way way too low, and I don't remember how much of this I actually talked about on the show.
02:08:01 ◼ ► But, we were talking, we had a heck of an experience with an electrician for all this work.
02:08:09 ◼ ► Our builder to do the physical construction was amazing, I loved this guy, he was so great.
02:08:22 ◼ ► To any of you out there, if you or someone you know is looking for a career change, become an electrician or a plumber.
02:08:43 ◼ ► There are so many, in both places I've lived recently, there has been a massive over demand and short supply of electricians and especially plumbers.
02:08:59 ◼ ► And those jobs, you can charge pretty much whatever you want, because people need you so badly, and there's not enough of them.
02:09:07 ◼ ► And really, if you're looking for a job that can never be easily outsourced to other places, or that's always going to be in demand, that's always going to be needed in the economy, become an electrician or a plumber.
02:09:27 ◼ ► Yeah, I couldn't agree more. In fact, I think part of the reason my experience with this electrician, who by the way came extremely highly recommended from the same individual that recommended the builder that did the job, and again, I loved the builder.
02:09:44 ◼ ► And so what I think ended up happening is we got the JV squad for doing most of the build.
02:09:57 ◼ ► And eventually we were like, look, whoever, this JV squad ain't working for us anymore.
02:10:15 ◼ ► But when he was here at one point, he looks at these fans and says, wow, those are low.
02:10:23 ◼ ► I forget exactly what the measurement was, but they were probably six and a half, seven feet off the floor.
02:10:34 ◼ ► I don't know what we're going to do about it, but for right now, like we're just going to live with it.
02:10:50 ◼ ► So as it turns out, I think in the county in which we live, the fan blades need to be something like seven foot, six inches off the floor of the thing, of the room.
02:11:02 ◼ ► And when we measured these things, like I said, we're like six, six or seven foot off the floor or something like that.
02:11:23 ◼ ► So first of all, let me just kind of think about what to do about this in the first place.
02:11:27 ◼ ► And let me see if I can find any sort of solution to bring these up, because these fans were not flush mount.
02:11:32 ◼ ► I had actually emailed Kickler, the company that makes them, was like, hey, can I flush mount these?
02:11:39 ◼ ► And so I went looking for like a smaller down rod, which is the thing that the fan is hanging on.
02:11:44 ◼ ► And we got one that was marginally smaller, but it really didn't make a noticeable difference.
02:11:54 ◼ ► What the guy ended up doing, the electrician ended up doing, was he had like some piping,
02:11:58 ◼ ► like metal piping that I think was supposed to be used for plumbing or something like that.
02:12:02 ◼ ► I don't even know why it was in his truck, but he had this tubing that was really, really, really short.
02:12:14 ◼ ► So it's still lower than I would like in the grand scheme of things, but it's not like you step into the porch and go, oh, what the hell's going on there?
02:12:32 ◼ ► I can control the fans via my phone, which of course I almost never do because the only speed that's worthwhile in Richmond, Virginia in the summer is high.
02:12:39 ◼ ► But nevertheless, I can turn them on and off and I could adjust the speed if I so cared.
02:12:46 ◼ ► I can't wait to hear the conclusion of the story of when this quote unquote 8K HDMI cable arrives.
02:13:04 ◼ ► They don't make it easy for, like, they don't let you, you know, you can't say that an HDMI cable is an HDMI 2.1 cable.
02:13:14 ◼ ► They have these apps, various manufacturers make apps that let you scan, like, the barcode of an HDMI cable and try to tell you what it's actually rated for.
02:13:32 ◼ ► I don't remember exactly when all this was done, but it was shortly after we moved in, if I remember right, that we had put all this stuff in the walls.
02:14:00 ◼ ► Oh, look, it's got the little QR code. So you should get the app and scan the little QR code and it will tell you something.
02:14:07 ◼ ► I'm sure it's fine. You don't have an 8K television. Like, you just need literally any reasonably modern HDMI cable.
02:14:13 ◼ ► Your problem is that the cables are long, though. You said it was like 15 feet or something.
02:14:16 ◼ ► Well, I don't remember exactly how long I need, but my TV is obnoxiously high, to the point that Jon would burn down my house if he...
02:14:51 ◼ ► So it's probably... I think it's a 55-inch TV, and I think it's somewhere between 6 to 12 inches off the ceiling.
02:15:01 ◼ ► Again, I concede and concur that it is not the perfect placement for a television, but given that my room is situated the way it is,
02:15:16 ◼ ► I couldn't do really anything else without just completely turning the room into a television room rather than a living room. You know what I mean?
02:15:27 ◼ ► Yeah, that's what living rooms are. Welcome to modern society. Your living room is a television room.
02:16:18 ◼ ► And then down the road, pay for the renovation to pull the fireplace out and just mount the TV on a regular spot in the wall.
02:16:31 ◼ ► I kid you not. I guarantee there will come a time before we move out of this house that we're going to be playing cards or something outside.
02:16:38 ◼ ► And I'm going to have a really good hand of like, I'm not talking like poker or something like that.
02:16:45 ◼ ► You know, like Aaron and I used to play 500 rummy a lot when we were just the two of us.
02:17:00 ◼ ► Like it's not going to be comfortable, but I don't think it's going to cut your hand off.
02:17:10 ◼ ► Oh my God. My wife grew up in a house where every single room had a fan. What is wrong with you?
02:17:17 ◼ ► Yeah, but like, how do you, like, what I like about ceiling fans is that they extend much further upwards the comfortable temperature rings that you can sleep in a room without using the air conditioning.
02:17:32 ◼ ► Yeah, people are just addicted to fans. They just need to have the noise, they need to have the wind constantly blowing on them.
02:17:38 ◼ ► Especially, probably people also who are often hot, right? People who really run hot or run cold.
02:17:42 ◼ ► If you run hot, you probably want air constantly blowing past you to take all your body heat away so you don't get overheated.
02:17:50 ◼ ► I do not. I do not want fans. I don't want the noise. I don't want the breeze. I don't want any of it.
02:17:55 ◼ ► You know, that's because you're always cold. Like, what I love about fans is that if you're in a place that doesn't have a lot of wind, which like my other...
02:18:06 ◼ ► No, but I was for the last 10 years. And it's so nice to have a constant slight breeze if it's artificially created, if you can't get a natural one.
02:18:16 ◼ ► Because otherwise, if it's like 74 degrees, it's so hard to sleep. And that's stupid. And I hate having to use air conditioning if I don't have to.
02:18:29 ◼ ► Well, so you're saying you only need it in the bedroom? Is that the only place you want a fan is in the bedroom?
02:18:34 ◼ ► I like a ceiling fan in the bedroom and in the office. Because those are the two places where I have to like sit for a long... like stay for a long time.
02:18:50 ◼ ► No, like in the summertime, like I don't like using the air conditioning in my office more than I have to. Like I would rather... like I can be in my office comfortably up to about 80 degrees with the ceiling fan before I want to switch over to air conditioning.
02:19:04 ◼ ► Because they're effective. They're very good. And it saves a lot of energy. I think it's nicer. I'd rather be in a room with a fan that's a little bit warmer rather than having to switch over to air conditioning and then have like the weird cold hot transitions as I come in and out of the room or in and out of the house. Like I hate all that.
02:19:19 ◼ ► If I don't have to do that, I'd rather not. So I greatly prefer... like if a fan can keep me cool enough and I don't need to use the air, I'd rather not use the air.
02:19:29 ◼ ► See, I have nothing... I love air conditioning more than almost anything. I just really feel like for my comfort, I need two things. And this may make me very weird and I'm okay with that. I need moving air almost always. It's very rare that I'm okay in still air. Wow, that was way too much rhyming. Oh my gosh.
02:19:49 ◼ ► Secondly, I really... I get uncomfortable if there isn't some sort of audio somewhere nearby. And I think this is where Jon and I would never be able to be roommates.
02:19:58 ◼ ► No, no. This is terrible. You're just combining all the things that I don't like. You have an easy solution, Casey. Get a Mac Pro and put it on your desk. And live inside it. Just turn it around. Face the back towards you.
02:20:11 ◼ ► Do you have the television on? Casey's going to have the television on constantly at maximum volume with seven ceiling fans in each room all at full blast all the time. But all the TVs are going to be up on the ceiling.
02:20:21 ◼ ► Up on the ceiling. That's exactly right. Generally speaking, when I'm around the house, whatever room I'm in will have the fan running, usually but not always. And pretty much always there will either be ambient music playing or I will be privately listening to a podcast. One of those two things is almost always happening.
02:20:43 ◼ ► Uh, Erin has learned to live with it. I think. Oh God. Well, no, I don't know. That's not entirely true. Like Erin, her family grew up with, they were big into white noise when sleeping, typically fans. So this definitely qualifies Jon as the people who need the noise.
02:20:59 ◼ ► So like Erin cannot do silence and I used to be able to do silence just fine in terms of sleeping. That is, I used to be able to do silence sleeping just fine. But now after years and years and years of very faintly hearing the white noise machine in the kids rooms because they're being piped through the monitor.
02:21:16 ◼ ► Now when there's silence, like it was a right after new year's, I think my parents took the kids for the first time in months and months and months and months and months. And we had a night, just the two of us here at home and we didn't have the monitor on because there were no kids and there was no white noise machine on because no kids.
02:21:33 ◼ ► And it was actually somewhat hard for me to sleep because I'm so used to now this stupid white noise and I've had arguments with Erin where I've said, I don't want them addicted to this white noise like you freaking are because she cannot sleep without some sort of fan. And now I've done it to myself.
02:21:49 ◼ ► Well, I mean, it's, it sounds like Casey should, should move to the beach because that's got white noise and wind at all the time. That's true.