Apple TV 3.0 with Blu-ray and HD tuner (I wish)
A wish list for what Apple should (but won’t) announce for the Apple TV for this year’s holidays.
(Update: lots of attention and pointers back to this little musing, including Fortune and CNNMoney in addition to a slew of Mac fanzites. But just for clarity and for posterity: this was a wish list, not a prediction.)
Rumors swirling around Apple’s “Let’s Rock” event this coming Tuesday generally focus on an expected fourth-generation iPod Nano (roundier and with a bigger screen), iTunes 8.0, iPhone 2.1 software, Mac OS X support for BluRay, and other tidbits. And whether they reached their goal of 10M sold iPhones in 2008 (or 12.8M, as the case may be).
I hope there will be more surprises than that. And I’m not talking about overhauled MacBooks or spruced up iMacs. I want Apple to roll out a new Apple TV. In fact, I’ve been delaying setting up a new cable/DVR/HD solution in my new digs because I was sure that Apple would come out with something new. Unfortunately, as I surf the global echo chamber, I see little if any indication that an Apple TV 3.0 is in the works.
Steve Jobs has said that Apple has three legs to their stool – the Macintosh, the iPod, the iPhone – and that they are hoping for Apple TV to become the fourth leg. Well, in all honesty, all the legs are looking pretty solid to me. Except for the fourth one.
This post is my way of saying a prayer that Steve really will rock us this week.
Here’s what I am hoping that Apple will announce: a new generation Apple TV that would take the current Apple TV features and add a HD (“over-the-air ATSC”) tuner, a Blu-ray player, and a big hard drive with DVR and Time Capsule features. And maybe toss in the ability to buy simple games on the iTunes store, like for the iPhone, making the box also work as a low-end gaming console. But I can live without that last part.
Here’s the thing. On February 17th, 2009, old televisions will “go dark”. That’s the date the FCC has mandated full-power broadcast television stations to switch to DTV (dtv.gov). So this coming holiday shopping season will be the first (and last) that faces an upcoming all-digital year.
Similarly, it will be the first holiday season following a resolution to the next-generation DVD format battles: Blu-ray won.
Add to this the overall lackluster response that Apple TV has received to date, and it would seem that now’s a good time to roll out a new shot at the living room.
In fact, adding Blu-ray to the Apple TV was rumored in the NYT back in January at the MacWorld Expo. Instead, Steve announced the iPhone 3G, iPhone 2.0, Apple TV 2.0, Mobile Me, and a bunch of new iPhone apps – altogether not a bad keynote.
A Blu-ray version in January would have made little sense, anyway. It’s clearly a consumer product, and overshooting the holiday season is not the way to launch. But more importantly, the HD DVD vs Blu-ray war was only just being decided. Warner Brothers announced that they would not support HD DVD in January (making Paramount look foolish), and were shortly followed by similar decisions by Netflix, Wal-mart, and Best Buy. HD DVD officially cried “Uncle!” in February, when Toshiba surprised everyone with a perfectly clear press release.
By the way, the right format won the war. In a nutshell, the difference between HD DVD and Blu-ray was that HD DVD was trying to re-use older DVD technology to lower the cost of retooling the industry, including allowing for cheaper players. Blu-ray, on the other hand, tried harder to make good use of the possibilities of the new blue-colored laser LEDs that powered both standards, so across the board Blu-ray was a better technology. So in the end, the VHS vs Betamax analogy was flat out wrong: the better technology won the day this time. So much for the theory that Microsoft calls the shots. And the pundits that said “In this kind of battle, the guy who is out there first and cheaper is going to be the winner; the more expensive and later one is going to be the loser”? Wrong, too. (Names omitted to protect the overconfident.)
So what, exactly, should this box look like? Here’s my wish list:
- Blu-ray disc player; of course one that can also play DVDs and CDs.
- ATSC tuner. That’s a fancy way of saying over-the-air digital TV.
- 500G hard drive (1T optional).
- WiFi. (UPDATE: stop pestering me, I *know* Apple TV already has WiFi; I’m just including it on this list to put emphasis on wanting the ATV3 to be able to serve as the only “computer” in the house.)
- DVR capability added to iTunes 8.0.
- Time Capsule functionality, in other words, Time Machine backup.
- Full Safari browser and support for (optional) keyboard.
- Various new and improved options for internet video.
- Support for using the iPhone or the iPod touch as smart remotes. (UPDATE: ditto, I know this is in place already, it’s here for emphasis.)
Of course, all the current Apple TV 2.0 offerings: music, audio and video podcasts, Mobile Me integration, movie and TV show rentals and purchases, photo galleries, YouTube, and AirTunes.
And yeah, no need for CableCard support; let’s see a pure Blu-ray and iTunes solution. Dare one wish for a new channel through iTunes of bringing free, advertising-supported digital video? Games would be neat, too, and useful commercial widgets, especially now that the iTunes store pretty much has the infrastructure in place.
It would also be nice if it seamlessly supported iPods and iPhones – so that you technically would not need another computer in the house besides this one.
And full iChat support with a webcam connected to the USB and Bluetooth so that I can voip conference off my TV screen while watching CNN in a box … ok I’ll stop now.
What about pricing? Currently, Apple TV 2.0 sells for $229, Time Capsule sells for $299, and a stand-alone Sony Blu-ray players sells for $229 (and up). And, of course, the Playstation 3 (60G) sells for $499. So Apple should price it at $299, but could probably get away with up to $399 initially.
And the coolest thing of all? If I’m watching a movie with the sound turned way up, it would gently pause when my cell phone rings.
The battle for the digital living room has not been settled yet. After both Sony and Microsoft have mostly fumbled, there is an amazing opportunity here. I’m only hoping Apple will seize it.
CORRECTION: Readers have pointed out that the $40 rebate specifically does not cover devices that have other features (under rule 2e).
Ok so it’s kind of cool that if you do a Google search on “Apple TV 3.0” right now, 5 out of the 10 top hits are all this blog posting. But it’s kind of sad, too, since it points to the low level of interest in what’s up with the “fourth leg”. Notably, the Apple 2.0 column at Fortune picked it up for a morning piece, so there are a bunch of comments on that site. But this is my blog so I’m responding to them here. So here are some updates/clarifications, in no particular order:
- Yeah, yeah, I know that Apple TV has wifi and that the remote app is already there. I should have edited more clearly, but I wanted to accentuate what features are really important and go together. So stop pestering me about it.
- An astute reader pointed out that the $40 rebate does not apply to multi-featured devices. My bad. Typical bad government subsidies (they can’t help themselves from using *our* tax dollars to in detail control *our* lives, sigh).
- I know the Apple Mini kind of can do this stuff. That’s why I have a picture of one, ya dopes. But *quite* doesn’t cut it in consumer land. It needs to be out-of-the box and cost effective. Ze devil is in ze details.
- I know modern TVs have tuners. But you need the tuner straight into your digital box if you want good quality DVR.
- I appreciate the “Apple doesn’t want to upset the content providers” comment, but I think the reverse is true. Thanks to the personal power of Jobs over Apple strategy, they are indeed the *only* player that is willing to risk rocking the boat. That’s, after all, how the iPod came about. And indeed, to less extent, the iPhone.
- People arguing that physical media is dead should take a second look at the DRM on BDs combined with the profit margin per BD. Physical media ain’t dead yet, folks.
- Yes, Apple TV would also need to provide an SD output solution.
- No, this won’t cost $1000, or $800. This should be doable under $400. Especially since it will drive other revenue (iTunes store).
- One reader pointed out that this would make a great device to take along on family travel. I agree! A bunch of movies and simple games and just plug it into the hotel TV!
- Yes it would be nice if they were to support more formats, notably divx. But I don’t think that will happen, and I think it could be a compelling (but not perfect) product without those useful codecs.
- Those of you who complain that you don’t need the HD for NAS backup, you guys really should try Time Capsule for a while. It’s addictive.
Phew, I think that addresses most points. Thanks for reading and commenting, y’all.
UPDATE (after the event): What, no “and one more thing?”. The iPod improvements look cool, and all, but I am obviously disappointed. I guess I need to call Comcast or AT&T now, after all …
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I couldn’t disagree more, The Apple TV is fine as it is. A DVR? surely everyone that wants one has one by now and anyway Apple would have to get into providing an Electronic Programming Guide, which would probably require a subscription etc. Also don’t forget that Apple sells these devices around the world, each region has differing TV standards, EPGs and so on – not Apple’s thing
Blu Ray? Apple are in competition to blu ray, I realise that blu ray has a better resolution, but I don’t think that people care very much. We rent apple TV HD films at our house and it’s great, priced a bit high maybe (especially here in the UK) but all in all much more convenient than Blockbuster or Netflix. Why would Apple encourage people to buy or rent blu ray disks?
I already have a web browser on my Nintendo Wii and I never use it, the novelty of having the web on my 42 inch plasma screen soon wore off. The Apple “Remote” app on the app store already enables an iPhone/Ipod Touch to be used as remote for the Apple TV, do you need this to be smarter?
Sorry, I don’t see this as being in any way viable.
[PSM] It’s not so much to encourage people to buy Blu-ray, it’s more about being the centerpiece of the future living room. And that will require being able to play DVDs and Blu-ray.
Good list – although WiFi and apple remote already exist. However my biggest gripe about the Apple TV is the content and pricing of the rentals. Content is king – they need to do away with the 24 hour after your start watching a movie thing, improve the content selection immensely (streaming options are catching up), and lower prices. Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, all are catching up fast and in some ways, surpassed Apple in terms of content.
[PSM] Yes I wasn’t consistent about what was on the wish list and what is mostly there already; I first wrote the list I wanted, and only at the last minute added the stuff that was important to keep, and was then sloppy about sorting that out. The Remote iPhone app could be improved but it’s not at a bad place today. And yes the 24 hour thingy is very annoying.
@Hari Seldon, I couldn’t disagree with you more. The AppleTv like all Apple products is bound to evolve at some point. Thus far, the only thing that has changed is the software.
Apple is in no way in competition with Blu Ray. The content providers are distributing their content in a variety of different formats, Blu Ray represents the top of the line. If Apple offers a Blu Ray player, they are just diversifying their line up and giving the consumer more ways to consume the media they want to watch.
The wii browser is okay, not great and I don’t use mine either, but if I could use the iPhone as a remote I would at least re-think that option.
I don’t see how Apple giving us more options is a bad thing.
I completely agree, as a big video/audio user! I would replace over 1700 dollars worth of equipment (mini + software), DVR, Blueray, eyeTV, airport…) with the AppleTV if it became a dedicate audio/video (DVR/Blueray/iTunes) device. It would also make alot of room available in my entertainment rack.
[PSM] Word! And it would help fight global warming.
The Apple TV already has Wifi and iPhone remote capability…
[PSM] Yeah, yeah, I did a sloppy edit. So shoot me.
….and as for Blu-Ray, you know Apple already sells/rents movies dont you?
[PSM] Yes of course. I mean, why watch my DVD collection when I can pay new money to Apple to view the same movies at lower resolution? That sounds neat. Or maybe, just maybe, if Apple doesn’t offer it, I will just buy a Blu-ray player from somebody else. There’s a thought.
But seriously, I didn’t mention this in the article, but one of the key things I would want this edition of Apple TV to do is to support ripping/importing DVDs onto the hard drive. But I didn’t want to get into the whole mickey-mouse-owns-congress debate.
I agree that I disagree. This is a pipe dream. First, just note that ATV already works on your home WiFi network, and it can already use the iTouch and iPhone as smart remotes. But for the rest of your wishlist: 1Tb hard drive, ATSC tuner, Blu-Ray disc drive – the hardware alone would put the retail price at like $700-800! It doesn’t make sense.
Apple can do this stuff much more easily if they simply open the ATV up to 3rd-party development. The ATV/Front Row 2.0 software is already designed with a plugin architecture; and there’s an unused USB2 port in the back. Just enable the USB port, and open up an AppleTV App Store, with plugins vetted by Apple just like with the iPhone. Then, for example, Elgato could make a software plugin to allow use of their TV tuner hardware (and their EPG/DVR software, saving Apple that hassle). Someone could make a web browser plugin, or a feed reader plugin, or whatever. We already have the (Apple-made) YouTube plugin… why not more?
You could expand the storage with external drives. It’s got HDMI out, so someone could make a hardware/software plugin combo to attach an external Blu-Ray drive. Whatever your heart desires. And Apple wouldn’t have to change the box, and wouldn’t have to raise the price.
Everything is already in place, and the iPhone App Store has demonstrated that customers will make good use of it, and Apple can increase profits in the mean time. All Apple needs to do to make ATV a real fourth leg is pull the trigger…
[PSM] The Time Capsule is $300 for the 500G version. I can buy an ATSC tuner for my computer for $50 in retail. I can get an internal BD player for $130. These are all retail prices, dude; I can go out today and assemble the hardware pieces for $480. So maybe $299 is wishful thinking, but they can certainly do it for $399. But yes, this could be done if they opened it up, but they won’t.
I have to agree with Hari Seldon above: I wouldn’t have any use for many of things on your wish list, except for the browser.
I’ve owned the AppleTV now for about a month, and all I think it’s missing is a good movie/music subscription service. When Apple creates a subscription service at the right price, they’ll own the living room.
What’s keeping me from getting an AppleTV is a lack of Codec (divx, xvid, almost everything) support. How come I always have to near-break every consumer Apple product to get it to do what I want?
There’s nothing essential to what Apple is offering that I couldn’t get somewhere else, while not getting locked into their proprietary video format.
[PSM] Well I didn’t want to bring up the whole walled garden aspect of Apple products. I don’t expect them to support many of the popular codecs anytime soon. But sure, it would be very nice.
Peter, you are 100% correct. I hope your wish comes true.
[PSM] Now that’s the kind of readership I like!
A DVR makes no sense without cablecard support, and supporting cablecards would be a pain in the ass (since the cards themselves are a pain in the ass). Almost nobody gets their TV OTA…95% of people have cable…analog or digital…analog is gradually going away, and digital is a mess, with some stations via QAM, some encrypted, and poorly-supported cable cards as the only alternative to cable company’s own crappy hardware. Maybe in the future, if tru2way ever takes off, then apple could create a great box utilizing this, but for now, a dvr would be a huge can of worms for Apple.
[PSM] Actually on the order of 40% of households still don’t have cable (NCTA numbers from 2007), but that’s not really the point. Your point is (if I may paraphrase) that over 90% of typical Apple customers probably have cable. But my implied point is that the cable industry revenue (cable fees and advertising) is some $100B. I believe Apple can get a presence in that market; they could shake it up. And yes it would require DVR functionality, but they should be able to merge that nicely into the iTunes platform. And yes indeed, cablecards are (intentionally painful). OTA costs $0 per month, plus the government will chip in $40 subsidy for the Apple TV if it has a tuner. What’s not to like about it? Wouldn’t it be great to have a single iTunes interface on my iPhone that I can chose to buy TV shows, rent HD movies, set up to subscribe network newscasts and shows, and queue up podcasts? All on-demand, with no monthly fees besides internet access?
I would have to say that my only suggestion would be DVD player. I disagree that Apple competes with Blu-ray. Apple could easily replace the need for a Blu-ray player with an add-on accessory blu-ray player, or even SD DVD player. It could plug in through the USB port and enabled through a software update. It would totally replace my DVD player, and simplify my whole set up. It could realistically replace a DVD player for many people, and move ATV into a new market of people looking for a device to replace their SD DVD player.
Nice to see this article. I’ve been calling for this since the last conference call when Apple mentioned a new product revision and much lower margins. What new product would be worth low margins? A new Apple TV! The immense halo effect from being a key element in the digital living room would make razor thin and non-Apple like margins worthwhile. They keep referring to ATV as a ‘hobby’, but they wouldn’t keep it around unless it’s potential was worth it. They have simply been waiting for the time when the product and market were right — I agree, it’s now! Other have convinced me I’m wrong, but I think it really fits. If not now, then in January.
[PSM] The problem with January is that they would then miss the holidays. But in any case, I’m not predicting that 3.0 will happen. Just hoping.
You know what’s wrong with a stool (or anything for that matter) with four legs? It will never be perfectly level no matter what you do to it. A three legged stool will never wobble.
[PSM] That’s hilarious! A nice example of how to push analogies.
I don’t think you understand Apple at all. They specifically design out all the vestigial functionality to make their products easy to use. PSM’s wishlist would just give us another MediaCenter PC and why would Apple emulate that failure? Apple aren’t trying to poach or aggregate everybody else’s ideas, they are coming out with new ones and if iTunes music success hadn’t scared the big studios TV would look more like AppleTV by now.
What it does need is; for iTunes to ingest DVDs, for iTS to provide interactive promo videopodcasts, for the iPod Touch/iPhone remote to cover full ATV functions not just iTunes (i.e. search YouTube etc.), for mobileme to create an intranet cloud (probably more time capsule based than Mac/PC) so all devices could sync/deliver media from anywhere to anywhere without active management. I would also be a big fan of an iChat/USB iSight add-on.
Here’s hoping. McD
[PSM] Well, that’s sort of what I’m hoping for, too, so I’m not sure where we disagree. I totally agree that the key here is to make these core features very easy to use, and maybe strip some non-core aspects.
I have to laugh at people like Hari. “Perfect just as it is”? Wow.
I’m chiming in with assorted’s 10:45 am post and PSM’s “walled garden” comment:
I just bought an eGreat EG-M31B Networked Media Tank. It’s Sigma SMP8635 based and has played every single video I’ve thrown at it so far. I have a MacBook Pro 2.16 GHz Core Duo (i.e. original 17″ model from 2006) and this thing simply can’t handle 1080p HD files (be they MPEG2-TS, MKV, AVI etc.) whereas the eGreat doesn’t even break a sweat.
Seeing this little box in action made me realize that the only way is using outboard specialty video-processing hardware. Apple is using an underpowered CPU to do the heavy lifting and there’s no decent deinterlacing chip in the AppleTV and thus the limitation to 720p is just laughable in 2008.
On the other hand, what all these Networked Media Tank/Network Media Players sorely lack (all of the Sigma 8635-based players use Syabas firmware running in an embedded Linux environment) is a decent software engine and Apple’s famed ease-of-use.
Every one of these Network Media Players I’ve tried so far has had a semi-lame UI (though they’re slowly improving) and Apple could really set the UI bar in this space (like they did with the iPhone) if only they’d stop requiring that their little boxes run OS X exclusively (on a slow Pentium M CPU) and push the graphics out through a pitifully underpowered nVIDIA GeForce Go 7300. It needs to be a video device, not a special-purpose computer that pushes out video through normal computer means.
AppleTV 2.0 as it stands is a great idea but a very poor implementation. And the “Walled Garden” codec/format support is just absurd at this point – I want a box to play ALL of my video and audio content, not just those few things that Apple deems blessed.
And no mention of the Mac Mini? Seems you’re rolling a Time Capsule (a glorified hard drive plus wireless router), Mac mini and ATV together, and throwing in a bump upgrade to Blu ray, and a digital tv card (maybe like freeview for the uk).
I think mini could merge with ATV a bit, or have the two lines join a bit more. Or at least update both!
[PSM] Actually, the picture is a Mac Mini, which was a little tongue-in-cheek, but nobody seems to have noticed. But yeah, sure, it’s basically a repackaging, except that in addition to the Blu-ray player, you want some specialized video circuitry that a normal computer wouldn’t have.
Great post. I completely agree, it’s time that Apple got on the Blu-Ray bandwagon, or they’ll risk making the same mistake that Sony made: by allowing their content division to prevent their hardware division from adopting MP3, they practically destroyed their lucrative Walkman franchise.
Coincidentally, I posted much the same thing on my blog at almost exactly the same time. http://www.macpredictions.com/2008/09/will-tuesday-be-blu-ray-day-for-apple.html
[PSM] It’s “in the air”, as they say. Just a few more hours and we’ll know.
I agree with the wishlist. I would buy that device too in a heartbeat for $399 (too me a few more heartbeats to settle on the PS3 over AppleTV for similar reasons). I have to agree with some of the comments about BD support however. From Apple’s perspective, they’ll want to push 1080p over broadband when the time is right and having a BD on board would be a legacy hangover at that point that would require some ‘splainin’ if they removed it then.
One thing you have not mentioned however that would be a huge add on looking forward is native AVCHD support. This is the new format standard for HD camcorders (HD or SD card-based). Apple is lagging in support for playback and editting. The PS3 supports this out of the box (you can drop teh files directly on the HD or even just plug a card reader into the USB port and play it back). Editing and burning these files successfully is currently an activity best perrformed at night with rituals involving the judicious use of chicken blood. Getting high quality edited content to your TV is a huge PITA. Apple could steal a march on Sony by trumpeting support for this format on on Apple TV 3.0, by fixing the editting problems that exist in iMovie and by avoiding the use of burned discs (DVDs with AVCHD content or fulll burned BDs) entirely, i.e. by allowing seamless streaming/export to the set top box …
[PSM] Good catch; better support for the new generation of consumer HD camcorders would be a serious plus, especially since those same camcorders are likely to be popular (in the early adopter crowd) under the tree this year.
I agree that it will be more than the ipod / iTunes combo announced. And partially i agree that the other element will be media related. However, I think they have a Flash-killer media streaming codec up the Apple sleeve which will enable the iPhone, iTouch and even the nano to view far more video and audio than you can store on your drive by viewing it across the web. Push technology and Chrome development using better WebKit all point in this direction, let’s face it current media streaming is really poor. Apple TV could benefit from quicker smaller streamed files also.
[PSM] I agree. I was alluding to stuff like this with my comment on better internet video.
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I couldn’t agree more with Peter’s wish list for the Apple TV, but all it would take for me to immediately purchase this piece of technology are the ATSC tuner and DVR capabilities. I don’t have cable or satellite and don’t intend to, but I do have an HD TV and it would be great to have a stand-alone DVR/Tuner to record/pause shows at 720p. For now, I am still waiting for Apple TV 3.0.
How about some subscription TV services? Specifically, ESPN 360, Disney on Demand, Setana Sports , or how about a wide variety of INTERNATIONAL TV channels?
I think the most important Update would be, that you should be able to switch language…
I think it would be even better if it would be possible to connect the AppleTV to a NAS where all the media and other files are stored and for all users to use. Supporting an iTunes library on a NAS that actually works with AppleTV would be a key feature.
it needs subscription service for movies and tv like Netflix (but even add new movies to download unlike netflix- maybe charge a premium $1 or $2 for each rental of a new movies)- it would rock – if they havd this I would drop netflix in second
i dont think it needs blu-ray – unneccessary large additional cost –
also def the ability to surf the web – if they want they could set up a limited user interface like iphone – open it up so developers make apps for your tv
imagine watching and you get a pop up in the corner telling you have new mail or text or message – this would be amazing
I would buy this in a hearbeat!!
I’m waiting for AppleTV 3.0.
I have been interested in Apple TV for a while. I would trade the “computer based” apps (safari, wireless desktop, though I do like where that’s heading) for a functional version of basically everything you’ve laid out.
I would add the ability to stream videos wirelessly from a computer (IE: stream videos from any web-connected computer without having to load them on the hard drive).
On the HD side, you’ve got to be 1080p before I’m even interested.
But yes on everything else, especially the All-In-One BluRay player (I can’t believe Apple hasn’t already been including BluRays in Macs).
When this equivalent comes out, I’ll stand in line to buy it. I like seeing Apple push the envelope, but feel like they’re concentrating on the iPhone too much right now (though I guess it worked because both my wife and I have one).
On a side note, I think that Apple is a company that could come in and roll with the big boys of home theater with a COMPLETE package (IE: 46″ 1080p 120Hz LCD Mac w/ built in iSight, DVR, TV Tuner, bluetooth, BluRay, Wifi, stereo receiver for wireless surround sound, etc: imagine having only a wireless mouse, keyboard and Apple Remote in your home theater). AppleTV 3.0 seems like a logical stepping stone, but there are many steps to that end.
I am hangning for the new Apple TV, seems pointless buying the current one which is under powered.
Blueray for sure is a must have but since Apple are trying everyone to download and rent HD format, I have a feeling this could be left out, especially in cost which would be a shame. Unfortunately, in countries where broadband is limited, Blueray is a must.
I do think support for other codecs is a must too. Nice to just drag a file type such as avi into your itunes to be able to watch it like you can on Front Row on the PC, saves a ton of hassle reformatting for iTunes.
Overall, the next version cannot come quick enough, how long will they keep us waiting!!!
I heard end of March is going to be an apple event, lets hope its a major one for Apple TV!
Over and out!
The more I think about what Apple TV 3.0 might include the more I am tempted to think it wi include the ability to play apps like those on the iPhone, however, you will actually use your iPhone as the controller much like the Wii using the iPhone accelerometer to play & control the games on Apple TV. You could even use the keyboard on the iPhone to write emails or instant message, certainly use as you can now to search your iTunes library.
Opening Apple TV to this new genre would open up an unimaginable potential revenue stream for Apple & the Apple store not least too the software developers. As for whether I would want it in Apple TV, probably not but I can just imagine the possibilities of what apps you could create the use the TV & the iPhone together.
All I know is that it appears everyone is anxiously waiting for the next Apple TV 3.0 with much anticipation. Will it be a computer type media consol in one, let’s hope we don’t have long to wait!
[PSM] The success of the app store should prompt them to do something in this area. Perhaps as Daniel Eran Dilger speculates, they will add mini-games that are HD.
I would love just a BLU-Ray and DVD attachemnt, I would be completely happy with that. All that other stuff sounds pretty damn good too, but sounds like it might be pricey. =(
I am late, am I? The idea of a blu-ray with an apple TV flashed in my mind and I immediately searched for it, and as you said, it is probably “in-the-air”. It will be commonsense for apple to put a blu-ray in apple TV if it really wants the centerspace in the drawing room.
If we know Apple, they will do it, albeit reluctantly, and yes I am sure it will not have a DVR (Apple makes money from renting TV Shows), and it will not have a Cable card (Apple makes people change there habits, it doesn’t change), surely no support for Divx or XVid.
@PD, your fantasy hardware could be a reality, but atleast with Apple TV 3.0, it will bring together everything required for a great home theatre except for the TV and Surround Processors.
I am waiting for this at the next Macworld.
[PSM] You’re not half as late as Apple is, lol! Yeah the DVR-vs-iTunes is a problem, but I think they are making an error in thinking of DVR as competition – if they can get people to buy their DVR solution on it’s own merits, they’d have a bigger platform for App Store, music, video rentals, etc. And at this point, I would add another item to the list: i want video iChat.
Stick a DBTV / Freesat tuner in the box and let us playback and record digital TV broadcasts. It would swing the purchase of an AppleTV for so many people. People want sexy-tech simplicity, not lots of grotty plastique boxes under their telly! Digibox on steroids!
Here’s my spin on it: