…lacks NTSC video output. It’s true, see for yourself.
That means that you can’t hook AppleTV up to any TV that’s not HD-compatible. I have an HDTV and I love it, but the room where I want to put an AppleTV isn’t the room with the HDTV…it’s my bedroom. And in there we just have a plain, old-fashioned TV.
I remember hearing rumblings of this at the time of the January announcement, but I didn’t really take it seriously. It seemed a little ridiculous: Apple wouldn’t just be shutting out non-HD owners, they’d also shut out HD owners that just happen to have a few older TVs sitting around their house. They’d scuttle the plans of people who’d hoped to put one of these in every room. (It can’t even be used as a music player if you don’t have an HDTV.)
And it didn’t seem to fit in with Apple strategic goals. What does Steve Jobs care about HDTV? Apple doesn’t sell them, and they don’t sell any HD content. Furthermore, HD is yesterday’s news, at least according to Apple: the Year of HD has already passed.