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NYT: Redesigned Apple TV interface, possible new hardware in the works

post #1 of 75
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Citing several people familiar with Apple's television-related efforts, The New York Times on Friday reported that Apple plans to redesign the interface for its Apple TV, and is also considering an entrance into the HDTV market.

Author Nick Bilton on the Times' Bits blog said it is not clear whether a new hardware product would accompany the software redesign, but it is believed Apple could base the software on its lightweight iOS operating system, which powers the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Citing one source, it was said that Apple recently hired several user interface and graphic designers who have a background in broadcast design for television.

"Another person, who recently left Apple and was involved with the company's television group, said some of the more advanced work on the next version of the TV is not taking place within the Apple TV group, but within another design group in the company -- this could signal an entirely new product," Bilton wrote.

Rumors of new living room hardware arrived just as analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray issued a note to investors in which he said the addition of an HDMI port to the Mac mini suggests that Apple is interested in selling its own Internet-connected HDTV. Munster believes such a product could hit the market within 2 to 4 years.

The sources told the Times that Apple realizes "the battle for the living room is going to be arduous, and the company must get it right the next time."

Apple has famously said that its Apple TV product is simply a hobby, as there isn't a viable market for set top boxes. Last month, Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said the market doesn't exist because cable companies subsidize set top boxes for prices so low that consumers are unwilling to pay for a separate one.

The prospect of a redesigned, low-cost, iOS powered Apple TV was first rumored in May, when a report from Engadget alleged that Apple will release hardware based on its custom A4 processor found within the iPhone 4 and iPad. That device would reportedly have just 16GB of storage, but would cost only $99 and be capable of playing and streaming 1080p high definition video.

That rumor suggested the new hardware would be small, with only a power plug and video out. It was described as "an iPhone without a screen."
post #2 of 75
Quote:
which he said the addition of an HDMI port to the Mac mini suggests that Apple is interested in selling its own Internet-connected HDTV

Why would adding an HDMI port indicate a future plan to sell internet connected TVs?

Does including a power cord indicate that Apple is planning to sell electrical outlets? or high power transmission lines?

There have already been discussions of how this would be a bad fit for Apple. Better to sell a really cool, high powered, high profit margin device to connect to any commodity TV that to get into that commodity market. Not sure Apple would do this but better would be a partnership with LG or Sharp etc to provide the integrated AppleTV device and leave the building, marketing, warehousing, etc of the 302" Megaphallix TV to others.
post #3 of 75
I'm read.
2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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post #4 of 75
Of course, curling up with a beer and snacks in front of the big screen is still the best way to enjoy a good movie (except for the cinema), but with Apple's own products now allowing movies and other content to be viewed anywhere, is the living room going to slowly become a thing of the past?

Just as the mobile phone has relegated 'home' and 'office' to anywhere you want it to be, will networked content do the same for the living room?

Discuss in less than 500 pages.
post #5 of 75
Agree that it's too much of a logical leap taken by the author here.

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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post #6 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

Why would adding an HDMI port indicate a future plan to sell internet connected TVs?

Does including a power cord indicate that Apple is planning to sell electrical outlets? or high power transmission lines?

I can't wait for my Apple HV transmission line!

I take this article with something of a pinch of salt though I'd love it to be true. Everything Jobs said at All Things D with regard the problems with improving TV interfaces were true, and any change will depend on them overcoming cable providers giving away set top boxes.

However, I could see that being possible. I know everyone thinks AT&T are a joke, but they took a big risk with the iPhone and it has paid off in terms of increased number of subscribers. You wonder if one of the TV companies might see it as worth taking a similar punt on subsidizing an Apple branded TV in order to increase subscribers.

At the moment, I stick with Comcast because I really don't see enough differentiation between the providers to make a change worthwhile. If say, DirecTV offered an Apple branded TV, with an improved "Apple style" interface, I would quite possibly switch.
post #7 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oflife View Post

Of course, curling up with a beer and snacks in front of the big screen is still the best way to enjoy a good movie (except for the cinema), but with Apple's own products now allowing movies and other content to be viewed anywhere, is the living room going to slowly become a thing of the past?

Just as the mobile phone has relegated 'home' and 'office' to anywhere you want it to be, will networked content do the same for the living room?

Discuss in less than 500 pages.

Call it what you will, I'm not watching movies on anything less than a 50" screen with a great 5.1 audio set-up and a big, comfy sofa.

As for a new ATV, yes please.
post #8 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

Call it what you will, I'm not watching movies on anything less than a 50" screen with a great 5.1 audio set-up and a big, comfy sofa.

4th generation iPad?
post #9 of 75
Apple buys a network or two as part of the plan? ... just kidding.
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post #10 of 75
Agreed, I was just being philosophical

Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

Call it what you will, I'm not watching movies on anything less than a 50" screen with a great 5.1 audio set-up and a big, comfy sofa.

As for a new ATV, yes please.
post #11 of 75
post #12 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Heh heh. This is from yesterday: http://forums.appleinsider.com/showt...86#post1666486

Box of Hero biscuits has been shipped......
post #13 of 75
I've been a big fan of AppleTV and have owned one for years now. Just having the internet radio for music and playing all my photos in a slide show with the Ken Burns effect on my 50" flat screen TV is worth the price of admission.

It is really impressive when friends come over.

To me it has revolutionized how I view my photos and listen to music. Not to mention getting rid of all my stereo components and the attendant wires, pwr bricks and clutter!

I used to order movies on AppleTV, but now have a redbox across the street and a free 6mo movie channels and a cox cable DVR (free) so I just record movies and shows.

Mostly have cable for TigerGolf and Formula One. Cannot watch TV with stupid, inane commercials anymore! Agghhhhh

Best
post #14 of 75
If Apple is serious about making a play for the living room then they should think about gaming. I don't see Apple challenging Microsoft or Sony for the throne. Heck, they could port iOS games if they wanted to and use iPhones as controllers.
post #15 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

Why would adding an HDMI port indicate a future plan to sell internet connected TVs?

Does including a power cord indicate that Apple is planning to sell electrical outlets? or high power transmission lines?

There have already been discussions of how this would be a bad fit for Apple. Better to sell a really cool, high powered, high profit margin device to connect to any commodity TV that to get into that commodity market. Not sure Apple would do this but better would be a partnership with LG or Sharp etc to provide the integrated AppleTV device and leave the building, marketing, warehousing, etc of the 302" Megaphallix TV to others.

Well put.
Monitors (or as the pundits seem to be implying, 'TVs') are a commodity item. Low margins, high warehousing costs. In addition, they are not 'one size fits all', the way peripherals are. Where is Apple going to display the variety of monitors necessary to serve the wide variety of needs out there? Scrap and rebuild ALL of the Apple Stores?

Come one... this is what Best Buy is for.
post #16 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

Why would adding an HDMI port indicate a future plan to sell internet connected TVs?

Does including a power cord indicate that Apple is planning to sell electrical outlets? or high power transmission lines?

Awesome analogy!
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post #17 of 75
My prediction...
  • The current TV only gets a bug fix, at most.
  • The next TV runs iOS and ARM, but will push 1080p.
  • An TV iOS SDK and App Store will not appear at the start, even though I think it's an ideal way to usurp all the other media extender appliances on the market. (no, not iPhone or iPad apps).
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post #18 of 75
Quote:
Munster believes such a product could hit the market within 2 to 4 years.

That wouldn't be Herman by any chance?
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post #19 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

Does including a power cord indicate that Apple is planning to sell electrical outlets?

Urgghh!! You just reminded me what i hate about my ATV. The power cord. Hopefully we'll get a simple on/off switch on the next revision.
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post #20 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

My prediction...
  • The next TV runs iOS and ARM, but will push 1080p.

Now that makes my mouth water.
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post #21 of 75
SJ said something about having a great lineup of new products

since the displays haven't been updated in nearly 2 years, I'm betting that they won't be updated, but rather morph into 3D HDTV and high-quality speakers with screen sizes starting at 30 and have the box incorporated, which goes along with SJ's loathing of extra cables

It could be interesting
post #22 of 75
More likely:

HDMI can carry audio, yet downgrade to DVI. DVI doesn't carry audio, therefore can't entirely upgrade to HDMI without audio cables.

DVI can do dual-link. HDMI cannot (????). DisplayPort can with expensive adaptor, or achieve the same with a DP monitor. If you want >1080p resolutions you'll need the adaptor or the expensive Apple monitor. More $$$ -> Apple.

At least the HDMI port is standard, unlike the mini-DVI thing Apple used before.
post #23 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcsegenmd View Post

SJ said something about having a great lineup of new products

since the displays haven't been updated in nearly 2 years, I'm betting that they won't be updated, but rather morph into 3D HDTV and high-quality speakers with screen sizes starting at 30 and have the box incorporated, which goes along with SJ's loathing of extra cables

It could be interesting

I mostly agree. Apple is going to remove what's left of the line between TV and Monitor. I don't expect 3D, though. 3D is a marketing gimmick that will fail.
post #24 of 75
I said this in another post (tried looking for it but i guess i have to re-type it). With Apple's current relationship with ATT as it stands today. I could easily see Apple partnering with ATT's U-Verse Cable group to produce a product that is subsidized through ATT and Apple does the rest. The UI, the App/iTunes Store, iOS4 (or whatever the current release is), A DVR that works with the UI and U-Verse. It seems like a very plausible scenario. Just like the iPhone, Apple would use it's own UI to do TV, like the YouTube app you'd have your Cable TV App.

But, one big hurdle would have to be overcome:

1. Pay-per-view. ATT and other cable companies rely pretty heavily on PPV TV programming, and the iTunes Store would take a big chunck out of that with Rentals, the Hulu and Netflix Apps as well.

But still, i think this is VERY plausible...

The TV and Home Entertainment hardware industry is too flexible on price than i believe Apple is willing to compete with. Look at the prices of HDTV's since 2005. I bought a 37" flat panel HDTV in 2005 for $2300. Today you can buy one almost identical, save for some updated features like internet access, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc built-in. It can cost you around 50-70% of the 2005 figures.

Now, looking at the History of how Apple prices it's devices, I just don't see the same flexibility. Apple's Hardware (save for the iPod and iPhone) have been relatively stable in the last 5 years. The iMac, MacBooks have all been priced at a point where they have gone down a little, but not 50%. The home entertainment hardware industry is way too cut-throat on price for Apple. Granted this is a company that primarily caters to the upper echelon markets, but with the invention of the iPod and the iPhone, that has changed slightly.

Personally, i'd rather see Apple tackle the HT STB first before diving into TV's. If they charged $2000 for a TV that replaved all our components, it would have to be pretty darn compelling. There are too many video/audio-philes out there (even in the base market) that would not buy into this. Look at Bose. They have tried over the past 20 years to simplify the Home theater down to it's basic components, not without a struggle, and even now their product still don't sell the kind of numbers that Apple would need to stay competitive in this market.

Think of all the different technologies Apple would have to invest in to make a quality product. Blu-ray (which SJ has been known to frown on physical media), Surround Sound receiver and amplification technology, TV HD tuner technology, etc. That's a lot of junk under the hood, and i'm not sure how willing Ives and Jobs are to play with all these different technologies. Plus, like computers, the monitor is the last thing that ever needs to be replaced. A STB is much more likely. I could see an STB, like what Sony and Bose are trying to market (with relative degrees of success).

Show me a STB that replaced my Cable, Blu-ray, Surrond sound revicer and Game Console (which i own non becase my computer works better for that), and i would be curious, but not 100% convinced.
post #25 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hattig View Post

DisplayPort can with expensive adaptor, or achieve the same with a DP monitor. If you want >1080p resolutions you'll need the adaptor or the expensive Apple monitor. More $$$ -> Apple.

It's all cooper. mDP and DP is newer so until recently audio of DP wasn't a concern for cable and adapter makers who cut corners to make cheaper products by excluding the wiring for audio.

In some ways mDP and DP is less expensive than HDMI as an interface stanadard because DP is free and HDMi has associated licensing costs.

The Mac Mini does audio over both mDP and HDMI. It can also output to DVI via the mDP or HDMI.

Some basic adapter costs from Monoprice...
Despite being newer to the market, therefore less used causing prices to be higher per unit these adapters are still inexpensive. The only caveat that is now being rectified by the mid-2010 Mac updates is the inclusion of audio support in the cable and adapters. Apple Store sells the only adapter I know of that supports audio and it's $35. This won't last long as it's just cooper.

As for these "expensive Apple monitors", DP nor mDP are NOT an Apple standards. Dell hit the market with DP-capable monitors before Apple did and high-end graphic cards use them as well as other PC vendors. It might be the last cooper-based system for display technology we'll see but it's here to stay and will only gain in popularity.
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post #26 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

there isn't a viable market for set top boxes

I would rephrase as " there isn't a viable market for closed set top boxes."

There are set-top boxes that can play verious free internet media, rent from Amazon, play Netflix, etc, but not play your iTunes video content. And some of those can even play your existing optical media and/or serve as DVRs. Then there is Apple's set-top box that will play your iTunes content and Utube, but little else (without hacking or a LOT of work to rip your DVDs).

People don't want a dozen different set-top boxes. Just like we didn't want both a VHS and Beta tape player. And we didn't want to have to have both HDVD and blu-ray boxes.

Unless Apple can make an AppleTV that can unify devices, I'll stick with my mini. It plays all my existing DVDs, my iTunes content, and any other internet content. The only drawback is Apple limiting the movies that are available to rent from iTunes (far more are on AppleTV than in the desktop iTunes app). But that's just Apple's lost revenue because I'll just go elsewhere for my rentals.
post #27 of 75
I'm going to guess that most of the guesses made here and elsewhere are not even close to the mark. Based on nothing but Apple's history, I'd predict that their next move in this market will be an effort to redefine it fundamentally. Either that, or they won't be bothered. If they do anything, it will be bold and controversial, not timid, incremental or obvious.
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post #28 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

Well put.
Monitors (or as the pundits seem to be implying, 'TVs') are a commodity item. Low margins, high warehousing costs. In addition, they are not 'one size fits all', the way peripherals are. Where is Apple going to display the variety of monitors necessary to serve the wide variety of needs out there? Scrap and rebuild ALL of the Apple Stores?

Come one... this is what Best Buy is for.

Oh, is that what they are for? I've been wondering...
post #29 of 75
Apple TV App Store, but wouldn't that be the equivalent to an iOS Mac?
post #30 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

I would rephrase as " there isn't a viable market for closed set top boxes."

There are set-top boxes that can play verious free internet media, rent from Amazon, play Netflix, etc, but not play your iTunes video content. And some of those can even play your existing optical media and/or serve as DVRs. Then there is Apple's set-top box that will play your iTunes content and Utube, but little else (without hacking or a LOT of work to rip your DVDs).

People don't want a dozen different set-top boxes. Just like we didn't want both a VHS and Beta tape player. And we didn't want to have to have both HDVD and blu-ray boxes.

Unless Apple can make an AppleTV that can unify devices, I'll stick with my mini. It plays all my existing DVDs, my iTunes content, and any other internet content. The only drawback is Apple limiting the movies that are available to rent from iTunes (far more are on AppleTV than in the desktop iTunes app). But that's just Apple's lost revenue because I'll just go elsewhere for my rentals.

yes! whatever, and ifever Apple comes up with something soon, they need to re-invent universal standards for media. I think this is the biggest failure of Blu-ray. All these video Codec's you ahve to constantly update your device to play. Drives me crazy!!! Personally, i think the Google platform for this is very plausible in the fact that it is so open to all things, but that will be viable until universal standards come out. Plus, the ability to download movies and media we ALREADY HAVE to these devices must be Paramount!!!
post #31 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilogic View Post

Apple TV App Store, but wouldn't that be the equivalent to an iOS Mac?

In what way? Mac is a brand of PC that runs Mac OS on Intel-based CPUs. iOS is their version of OS X for ARM CPUs. Having an TV App Store is simply a way to get apps designed for a 10-foot user interface that has to be controllable by a remote control, not an attached keyboard and mouse, the way Apple engineered the iPhone and iPad to be ideal for the user's interaction.

I am doubtful it will happen, but for it to work it has to be its own entity. Mac apps, iPhone apps and iPad apps simply won't work an TV. Even iPhone apps on the iPad are poor.
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post #32 of 75
A better version of Apple TV? Maybe.

I can't see Apple doing much of anything else. It's not like you can go around the cable companies and get your own STB. And there's no one MSO who dominates (or even has 50% of the market, right?) So for all the reasons Jobs stated in that interview, I can't see Apple getting involved.

And as others have posted, I definitely don't see Apple producing their own HDTV. There's too much competition, too little margin and prices are falling dramatically. And except in the area of setup, configuration and UI, I don't see Apple bringing much unique to the table.

The one thing Apple could bring to the party is designing a much better UI for set top boxes. But I can't see Apple being willing to sell that UI to the MSOs and the STB manufacturers probably wouldn't be too cooperative in supplying SDKs or documentation to Apple.

So I'm puzzled as to what Apple might be doing. But that's Apple: they create new industries out of their unique way of looking at things. Then after they do it, everyone claims how obvious it was and how Apple didn't do everything they should have. Then it sells millions.

One thing of note: there's a new networking standard that was announced earlier this week for A/V, supported by Valens Semiconductor, LG, Samsung and Sony called HDBaseT 1.0. It carries HD video, audio, power, data and control ("5Play") over one cable, however looking at the spec, I don't see that many advantages over HDMI, aside from using standard networking cable. The Alliance is talking about adoption in 2011, but I can't see it happening, if at all, until 2012 or 2013. I'm not sure what all this has to with Apple and Apple doesn't usually endorse standards it doesn't create or drive in the first place, but who knows? I think Apple might be attracted to the supposed simplicity, although I'm not sure the point of pushing a new wired networking standard at a time when wireless is certainly the future.
post #33 of 75
All I know is that Apple better not treat the "hobbyists" who bought the original ATV like pee-ons by deprecating them from receiving any of these purported updates.

I live down the street from Apple HQ, and it only takes 10 minutes for me to drive down there and throw my ATV out the window and into their main entrance foyer.
post #34 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

A better version of Apple TV? Maybe.
And as others have posted, I definitely don't see Apple producing their own HDTV. There's too much competition, too little margin and prices are falling dramatically. And except in the area of setup, configuration and UI, I don't see Apple bringing much unique to the table.

They didn't really re-invent anything, just a way to make things more accessible to people. The iPod didn't re-invent the music industry, just made it more accessible to people. The iPhone didn't re-invent smartphones, they just made it easier to use and more integrated into our lives. That's why i think, looking into the existing partnerships Apple has, we will see a STB with iOS4 soon, and possibly partnered with ATT and U-Verse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

The one thing Apple could bring to the party is designing a much better UI for set top boxes. But I can't see Apple being willing to sell that UI to the MSOs and the STB manufacturers probably wouldn't be too cooperative in supplying SDKs or documentation to Apple.

That is exactly what Google intends on doing with the GoogleTV OS they are introducing soon...

Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

One thing of note: there's a new networking standard that was announced earlier this week for A/V, supported by Valens Semiconductor, LG, Samsung and Sony called HDBaseT 1.0. It carries HD video, audio, power, data and control ("5Play") over one cable, however looking at the spec, I don't see that many advantages over HDMI, aside from using standard networking cable. The Alliance is talking about adoption in 2011, but I can't see it happening, if at all, until 2012 or 2013. I'm not sure what all this has to with Apple and Apple doesn't usually endorse standards it doesn't create or drive in the first place, but who knows? I think Apple might be attracted to the supposed simplicity, although I'm not sure the point of pushing a new wired networking standard at a time when wireless is certainly the future.

Are you freakin' kidding me??? I really hope this doesn't come to be. HDMI is like what, 5 years old now as the standard? That shit drives me crazy! All these companies, constantly changing the rules to sell more products quicker! Geesh!
post #35 of 75
I don't see Apple selling TV's in the near future, it's not their modus operandi.

But I do see a huge (HUGE) business for apps for an iOS/A4 based set top box. Many of the iPhone/iPad apps would be able to be ported to ATV with little effort. You would need a BT keyboard and mouse perhaps. They could even make an iMouse(c) that would act as a stylus for video games and such with accelerometers, gyros and a touchpad. Put a dual-core Apple processor with updated graphics in there and you would have a pretty good game machine!

KRR
post #36 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

All I know is that Apple better not treat the "hobbyists" who bought the original ATV like pee-ons by deprecating them from receiving any of these purported updates.

I live down the street from Apple HQ, and it only takes 10 minutes for me to drive down there and throw my ATV out the window and into their main entrance foyer.

The TV came out over 3 years ago. By the time this new TV ships it'll be at least 3.5 years and likely pushing 4 years. How long should Apple keep supporting such old HW?

I think 3 years is more than adequate. Especially considering the expense and effort to mirror the current OS running on Intel with a new OS running on ARM, where the old HW can't do much of what the new HW will be capable of. Best to just leave it to a final bug fix, maybe add some simple feature(s) to placate people that expect infinite rich updates and then move forward with the new product.

Seriously! They stopped supporting PPC Macs with Snow Leopard and there were many millions of those on the market and some were sold under 3 years prior for thousands of dollars, so it's silly to expect a $220 box that they don't make much profit on and didn't a great deal of to get some sort backwards compatibly treatment when it's clearly not feasible.
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post #37 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post

They didn't really re-invent anything, just a way to make things more accessible to people. The iPod didn't re-invent the music industry, just made it more accessible to people. The iPhone didn't re-invent smartphones, they just made it easier to use and more integrated into our lives. That's why i think, looking into the existing partnerships Apple has, we will see a STB with iOS4 soon, and possibly partnered with ATT and U-Verse.

I think you are missing the bigger picture here. Apple redefined all of the markets you cite, by taking them in new directions. No small thing. This is why I think whatever they do in the TV market won't be any more obvious than their previous efforts. If they can't redefine a market, they won't get into that market. We should know that about Apple already.
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post #38 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcsegenmd View Post

SJ said something about having a great lineup of new products

since the displays haven't been updated in nearly 2 years, I'm betting that they won't be updated, but rather morph into 3D HDTV and high-quality speakers with screen sizes starting at 30 and have the box incorporated, which goes along with SJ's loathing of extra cables

It could be interesting

You know what would be sweet is a 30 pin dock on the bottom of the display. The iPhone or the Touch or the new mini Apple TV which could control and charge etc. But the current 30 cinema has much higher resolution than any HDTV.

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post #39 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

...

People don't want a dozen different set-top boxes. Just like we didn't want both a VHS and Beta tape player. And we didn't want to have to have both HDVD and blu-ray boxes.

Unless Apple can make an AppleTV that can unify devices, I'll stick with my mini. It plays all my existing DVDs, my iTunes content, and any other internet content. The only drawback is Apple limiting the movies that are available to rent from iTunes (far more are on AppleTV than in the desktop iTunes app). But that's just Apple's lost revenue because I'll just go elsewhere for my rentals.

I fully agree. My TV can already stream media without a box, been there, done that. Since it can't even play DVDs I'll stick to my current PC setup that plays DVDs, music, etc. and TV that already streams.
post #40 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oflife View Post

is the living room going to slowly become a thing of the past?

Just as the mobile phone has relegated 'home' and 'office' to anywhere you want it to be, will networked content do the same for the living room?

Discuss in less than 500 pages.

Reminds me of a scene in Friends where Joey meets someone that says they didn't have a television growing up. Joey's response was, "well, what does all your living room furniture point at?"

Seriously, though, I think there will always be a need to have a room where you view content of some sort. Comfort of seating, the social aspect - those requirements won't go away.
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