Steve Jobs told biographer he 'cracked' the secret to a simple HDTV

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
The forthcoming biography of Steve Jobs reveals that he worked to build an integrated, easy-to-use Apple television set, and that he felt he had "cracked" the concept for such a device.



The details from Walter Isaacson's book, set to arrive next week, are the latest indication that Apple plans to eventually release a connected HDTV set, as has been rumored for some time. According to The Washington Post, Jobs's vision was for a connected TV that would be synced with all of a user's devices, and with Apple's iCloud service.



The simplified HDTV would spare users from having to use complex remotes for multiple devices like DVD players and cable boxes. Isaacson wrote that Jobs "wanted to do for television sets what he had done for computers, music players, and phones: make them simple and elegant."



"It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine," Jobs was quoted as saying. "I finally cracked it."



Rumors of an HDTV from Apple have existed for years, though before the alleged comments from Jobs, there has been little evidence to support that Apple is planning to build such a device in the immediate future. In late 2010, Apple redesigned its Apple TV set top box to run on the same ARM-based processor and lightweight iOS operating system found in the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.



One recent report in July claimed that Apple will launch a total of three HDTV models by March of 2012, with three different screen sizes and price points. A recent update to the Apple TV already offers console-style gaming with the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S via wireless AirPlay.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 197
    This remains completely unsubstantiated until we read it in the book.



    And then it's only a matter of time until we see a redesigned Apple TV.



    What, you actually thought I'd subscribe to the idea that Apple would waste their time on a TELEVISION proper?
  • Reply 2 of 197
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 11,912member
    Count me in the group that thinks an Apple branded HDTV is inevitable within the next 5 years.
  • Reply 3 of 197
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    One recent report in July claimed that Apple will launch a total of three HDTV models by March of 2012, with three different screen sizes and price points. A recent update to the Apple TV already offers console-style gaming with the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S via wireless AirPlay.





    Bring 'em on!
  • Reply 4 of 197
    HDTV body + Apple TV brain + iCloud + Siri



    It's always on so it can always listen and take commands without physical interaction. It's Big Brother and we're going to love it. What else could we need?
  • Reply 5 of 197
    Maybe the AppleTv was just waiting for Siri...



    Imagine how beautiful it would be, I am in the mood for some How i met your mother episodes...

    And it will be there!

    It will be legen... wait for it.... dary
  • Reply 6 of 197
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    Count me in the group that thinks an Apple branded HDTV is inevitable within the next 5 years.



    Count me in the group that thinks it's uninevitable? evitable? Anyway, I could see Apple licensing "iCloud Connected" HDTVs and other HEC appliances to vendors but I don't see them lining their small stores with big ass TVs.
  • Reply 7 of 197
    Obviously this is pure speculation, but with all the rumors of Apple's interest in a 7-inch screen, despite their declaration they wouldn't go smaller than 10-inches for a tablet:



    Maybe the 7-inch screens are for the "remote" or whatever user-interface these TVs would have?? Presumably Jobs didn't envision us standing at the TV, and it seems silly to go backwards to a hard-button, non-touch interface. Assuming that owners would have an iPad limits the audience, so include a usable, but smaller screen as a dedicated controller.
  • Reply 8 of 197
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,380member
    Go Ireland!
  • Reply 9 of 197
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    Count me in the group that thinks an Apple branded HDTV is inevitable within the next 5 years.



    television is ripe for disruption.
  • Reply 10 of 197
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,667member
    It's odd though, because given Apple's (Steve's) legendary secretiveness you'd almost have to think that speaking on record about such a thing was a sign they had decided not to go forward.



    That, or Steve's illness and sense of looming mortality made him more inclined to talk candidly about projects he knew he would never get to introduce himself.
  • Reply 11 of 197
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brutus009 View Post


    HDTV body + Apple TV brain + iCloud + Siri



    It's always on so it can always listen and take commands without physical interaction. It's Big Brother and we're going to love it. What else could we need?



    Yep, that's what I thought too. No concept of channels or networks, just shows and movies. Tell it what you want to watch.



    You: "I want to watch tonight's Mad Men"

    Siri: "Here's tonight's episode of Mad Men"



    You: "Play Monday Night Football"

    Siri: "The game hasn't started yet, should I change to the game once it does?"



    You: "Give me a list of episodes in Community, season 2"

    Siri: "Here's a list of the episodes in season two of Community, would you like to watch one?"
  • Reply 12 of 197
    AirPlay mirroring on iPhone 4S and iPad 2 is the unsung killer feature that Apple really needs to start advertising to kickstart ATV sales!



    I do think, however, that Apple should have created an ATV AppStore already...
  • Reply 13 of 197
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BrooksT View Post


    Yep, that's what I thought too. No concept of channels or networks, just shows and movies. Tell it what you want to watch.



    You: "I want to watch tonight's Mad Men"

    Siri: "Here's tonight's episode of Mad Men"



    You: "Play Monday Night Football"

    Siri: "The game hasn't started yet, should I change to the game once it does?"



    You: "Give me a list of episodes in Community, season 2"

    Siri: "Here's a list of the episodes in season two of Community, would you like to watch one?"



    Siri would be great in a car, too, but I don't see Apple getting into that business. I at least hope Apple works with manufactures to allow access Siri from the steering wheel.
  • Reply 13 of 197
    I see a big fat 'I told you so' coming. I don't know why people bother arguing with me
  • Reply 15 of 197
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 11,912member
    http://gigaom.com/video/5-steps-to-c...nceling-cable/



    I cut the cord a LONG time ago. My mantra is "make your content accessible without an expensive bundle or I can do without your show"



    My bank account thanked me long ago.
  • Reply 16 of 197
    Thing is, the problem has never been the device itself but the content delivered to it. A good example is how the studios ran away from Google TV as fast as possible. If the TV studios don't like what you're doing, you never going to get your project off the ground. Just look at what happened to TV rentals on the Apple TV. It was heralded as a great innovation in TV but it only lasted a year. It certainly would've been more popular if they had offered more content for rental but they want to steer people towards buying more stuff.
  • Reply 17 of 197
    neo42neo42 Posts: 287member
    Is it not obvious that all it would be is an AppleTV built into a display? Pretty sure not much else would need to happen. Surely Apple will refuse to integrate a cable card or other such tuner, as they would provide their own video services.
  • Reply 18 of 197
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,699member
    Given Jobs and Apple's preference for secrecy, I am surprised he let this one be included in the book, if they are still planning something. Yes, Jobs agreed to give Isaacson full access, but it would have been expected that he would have qualified it with "full access to me and everything about me and Apple, except new products".
  • Reply 19 of 197
    irelandireland Posts: 16,462member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    go ireland!



    . . .
  • Reply 20 of 197
    I will buy at least one of the 22" models. Apple will have a user interface that is consistent an user friendly. Great news.
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