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Report: Next Apple TV to be renamed iTV, drop 1080p

post #1 of 231
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A new report says the next update to Apple TV will adopt the name iTV, while also dropping support for 1080p video output to standardize on 720p HDTV.

Continuing upon the Engadget rumor that the next generation Apple TV will move from a scaled down Mac running Front Row software to an iOS device that works like a screen-less iPod touch, the latest wrinkle says the new model will get its former "iTV" codename.

Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs originally introduced the device (a few months before it shipped) under the iTV name while noting that the company was still looking for a permanent name. Apple TV was subsequently released as Apple announced the iPhone in early 2007.

Kicking apps

Since then, Apple has built up the iTunes App Store for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad devices but left Apple TV to sit in maintenance mode, collecting few features and never getting an official SDK of its own that would enable third parties to extend its features.

By converting Apple TV into an iOS device, the company could erect a third new wing of apps in iTunes. The popularity of iPad (which has collected a portfolio of over 20,000 apps in just a few months) suggests tremendous potential for a TV-oriented iOS product.

Apple's ability to rapidly muscle into the market for portable gaming could similarly be repeated by giving existing App Store developers the ability to quickly port and optimize many of their existing games to work on HDTV sets, providing a very cheap alternative to more serious console gaming devices.

If released alongside iPod touch 4 expected next month, Apple could decisively leverage the current excitement surrounding iPad to inhale lots of HDTV users during the holiday season at a time when the growth of the Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PS3, and Nintendo Wii are all maturing.

Taking names

Apple has also grown adept at taking names that appeared to belong to other companies. In 2007, "iPhone" was cordless telephone product owned by Cisco. Apple has since absorbed the rights to iPad (claimed by other hardware makers) and iOS (Cisco's router operating system).

That makes it more likely that Apple has the interest and capacity to begin using iTV, despite its trademarked use by UK broadcasters (the Independent Television Authority, a competitor to the BBC).

No 1080p in iTunes

The shift toward a smaller, cheaper device that uses network streaming rather than Apple TV's hard drive for local storage also likely necessitates using the same video output of iPhone 4 and iPad, which is 1024x768 (or perhaps the very similar 720p HDTV resolution).

Apple sells HD content in iTunes as 720p. Higher resolution 1080p is an alternative HD standard, but video experts note that the difference in resolution is not visible to users at a normal TV viewing distance unless the screen is larger than 55 inches.

For Apple's mass market users, a cheaper device that streams easy to buy and view HDTV content makes far more sense than the current Apple TV, which requires syncing with a local iTunes system or downloadable storage for rentals.

Such a device would seem to necessitate HDMI output, rather than the VGA output currently offered by iPhone 4 and iPad, as few HDTV sets or video projectors still support VGA-style inputs.
post #2 of 231
I hope it comes out at the September iPod event. This will let me get rid of my cable box and just get the Netflix and Hulu Plus apps. I wouldn't be surprised to see the networks go all out in trying to make content available for this device through apps.
post #3 of 231
dropping 1080p goes against Apple's philosophy of providing newer, better technologies.

plus, the people that would want an iTV are people with extra money and those people have larger screens and would appreciate the higher quality.

Apple again, driving towards the low end.
post #4 of 231
I find it interesting they're going back to the original name. I prefer "Apple TV" over "iTV." Even though the whole "i" thing is their sort of trademark, I liked that "Apple TV" was different; it has a better ring to it. Though maybe they're trying to sort of revamp the whole thing.
post #5 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Fix View Post

dropping 1080p goes against Apple's philosophy of providing newer, better technologies.

plus, the people that would want an iTV are people with extra money and those people have larger screens and would appreciate the higher quality.

Apple again, driving towards the low end.

probably hard to do full 1080p with the iDevice spec. Also if it's going full streaming bandwidth is going to be a problem.

I just hope that they won't drop support for the old Apple TV.
post #6 of 231
Too much iNames! This is getting very old. Apple TV sounds very nice.
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post #7 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac31 View Post

I find it interesting they're going back to the original name. I prefer "Apple TV" over "iTV." Even though the whole "i" thing is their sort of trademark, I liked that "Apple TV" was different; it has a better ring to it. Though maybe they're trying to sort of revamp the whole thing.

...and there is the issue of ITV being the name of a TV channel in the UK since the 1950s...
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post #8 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A new report says the next update to Apple TV will adopt the name iTV, while also dropping support for 1080p video output to standardize on 720p HDTV. ...

WebTV here we come!
post #9 of 231
Drop 1080p !!!!

What a mistake !!!!

So I'll still buy the next DVICO TVIX device.
post #10 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

Too much iNames! This is getting very old. Apple TV sounds very nice.

You better get used to it. Apple is becoming more entangled in the "i" nomenclature as the years press on, not less. Their future is built upon it.
post #11 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by MandrakeTheMagician View Post

Drop 1080p !!!!

What a mistake !!!!

So I'll still buy the next DVICO TVIX device.

No 1080p takes it off my buy list and recomend list.
post #12 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Fix View Post

dropping 1080p goes against Apple's philosophy of providing newer, better technologies.

plus, the people that would want an iTV are people with extra money and those people have larger screens and would appreciate the higher quality.

Apple again, driving towards the low end.

People with extra money are better off with a Mac Mini now that it has HDMI output. For iTV to be a consumer device Apple needs to lower the price below the current AppleTV $229 price. They need to go down as low as $149 and maybe $99, which means stripping the device to bare minimum.
post #13 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Fix View Post

dropping 1080p goes against Apple's philosophy of providing newer, better technologies.

plus, the people that would want an iTV are people with extra money and those people have larger screens and would appreciate the higher quality.

Apple again, driving towards the low end.

The iTV is said to cost $99 by Engadget. You're even contradicting yourself by saying it's for the wealthy and at the same time saying they're catering to the low end.

As for 1080p most consumers can't even tell the difference between 720p, 1080p and an upscaled DVD.

As it is now only small percentage of HDTV owners have 1080p. And even if Apple were to sell 1080p it wouldn't be true 1080p like Blu-Ray because of the massive size of the files.
post #14 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by str1f3 View Post

The iTV is said to cost $99 by Engadget. You're even contradicting yourself by saying it's for the wealthy and at the same time saying they're catering to the low end.

As for 1080p most consumers can't even tell the difference between 720p, 1080p and an upscaled DVD.

As it is now only small percentage of HDTV owners have 1080p. And even if Apple were to sell 1080p it wouldn't be true 1080p like Blu-Ray because of the massive size of the files.

Most consumers can't even tell the difference between 720p, 1080p and upscaled DVD ???????

Are you kidding ??? Just open your eyes ....

The difference between 720p and 1080p is just HUGE !!!!!!!!!!!!
post #15 of 231
Sounds great.

I hope it comes out because I sold my original 40 GB Apple TV last month.

I do not think 1080p is a huge loss. One of its main things will be streaming video and few people really have the bandwidth to stream 1080p.

Apps sound cool as well.

As long as this thing is cheap, it could do really well. The price will make or break it most likely. Apple will just not be able to command a premium on this one.
post #16 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by MandrakeTheMagician View Post

Most consumers can't even tell the difference between 720p, 1080p and upscaled DVD ???????

Are you kidding ??? Just open your eyes ....

The difference between 720p and 1080p is just HUGE !!!!!!!!!!!!


Depends on the size of the TV. 50" or bigger then there is a difference.

Upscaled DVD is not that good. You do have a vision problem if you can't tell the difference between that and 720p.
post #17 of 231
Im sorry but I disagree that recent experience suggests Apple will be able to use the name iTV. The issue is that whilst the others are names which were no longer used, ITV is one of the 5 main TV stations in the UK and as it is a product effectively forming your own TV station I highly doubt they will allow usage of the name. There would be too much confusion for everyone in the UK who knows ITV as a TV station that has been around for decades, its like if they released a product called NBC. Its just a bit ridiculous.
post #18 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by allblue View Post

...and there is the issue of ITV being the name of a TV channel in the UK since the 1950s...

Yes, it would sound very strange to us here in the UK.
post #19 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

No 1080p in iTunes

The 1080p isn't the biggest issue, it's the 5 Mbps max bit rate that sucks. It's ok for the low quality web video snippets, but I wouldn't pay for that. Not where there are better alternatives out there for a lower price.
post #20 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by allblue View Post

...and there is the issue of ITV being the name of a TV channel in the UK since the 1950s...

It wouldn't be the first time Apple copied another product's name.
post #21 of 231
Quote:
but video experts note that the difference in resolution is not visible to users at a normal TV viewing distance unless the screen is larger than 55 inches.

Total rubbish. Prior to this bit of PR nonsense (which I can't believe AppleInsider regurgitates), 40" or greater was ALWAYS considered the mark. I've never before read anything about 55" being the rez barrier. EVER.

IF this rumor is true, I think it'll be a BIG, BIG problem from a marketing standpoint, since the other download services do offer 1080p DLs. I can almost guarantee the competition (I'm talking to you Google & MS) will use this limitation in their own marketing.

Lack of blu-ray support is bad enough, but continuing to offer lower-rez options will be a road Apple will regret traveling. I'm a fanboy, and if true, this would turn me off about considering iTV.
post #22 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple sells HD content in iTunes as 720p. Higher resolution 1080p is an alternative HD standard, but video experts note that the difference in resolution is not visible to users at a normal TV viewing distance unless the screen is larger than 55 inches.

Yep. Nobody can really see 1080p except for a tiny, tiny percentage who have gigantic tv sets.

Apple is smart to get rid of the useless 1080p frmat.
post #23 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by str1f3 View Post

The iTV is said to cost $99 by Engadget. You're even contradicting yourself by saying it's for the wealthy and at the same time saying they're catering to the low end.

As for 1080p most consumers can't even tell the difference between 720p, 1080p and an upscaled DVD.

As it is now only small percentage of HDTV owners have 1080p. And even if Apple were to sell 1080p it wouldn't be true 1080p like Blu-Ray because of the massive size of the files.

Actually, just about every HDTV sold in the last 3 years has been 1080p. As the number of HDTVs begins to accelerate, nearly all of those purchases are 1080p sets.

Consumers can tell an upscaled DVD from an HDTV broadcast if presented side by side. 720p vs. 1080p is harder but as a videophile, i want the option for 1080p. And Blu-Ray 720p recordings are almost unheard of when you can just do 1080p. I am concerned about 720p only output though since my classic Mitsubishi 65" RPTV CRT HDTV doesn't do 720p input (except from broadcast TV). It would be crushing to have to buy a cheap scaler which would still cost more than the iTV.

Otherwise, it sounds like the product I've been waiting for, especially since the current AppleTV has been lying fallow for so long. A $99 price tag if delivered is almost an impluse buy. It will allow me to finish ripping my DVD library to m4v files and just present them on a menu-based system streamed from my central server (and keep my kids from handling DVD media).
post #24 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by str1f3 View Post

As for 1080p most consumers can't even tell the difference between 720p, 1080p and an upscaled DVD.

As it is now only small percentage of HDTV owners have 1080p. And even if Apple were to sell 1080p it wouldn't be true 1080p like Blu-Ray because of the massive size of the files.

Yes, and you are going to argue that most people can't tell the difference between iPhone 4's retina display (960x640) and older iPhones (480x320) either. The fact is, plenty of people can, especially those that have larger TV or sitting closer to the screen.
post #25 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihxo View Post

probably hard to do full 1080p with the iDevice spec. Also if it's going full streaming bandwidth is going to be a problem.

I just hope that they won't drop support for the old Apple TV.

Not sure what apps could work on old AppleTV, seems unlikely that they will support the old hardware. My hope is they offer some sort of exchange program, but it'd have to be pretty sweet return for me to throw out my old AppleTV for the new one.

One thing is for sure, an iOS based iTV would offer some serious competition to both game consoles and cable companies. It would also potentially blow google TV out of the water as you wouldn't need a new TV just to get the googletv feature.
post #26 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by MandrakeTheMagician View Post

Most consumers can't even tell the difference between 720p, 1080p and upscaled DVD ???????

Are you kidding ??? Just open your eyes ....

The difference between 720p and 1080p is just HUGE !!!!!!!!!!!!

I didn't say that I couldn't tell the difference. I said most consumers.

The problems with 1080p is:

-The cost of streaming 1080p is too high
-Most don't have 1080p sets
-It may cost more
-Many people in the US have lousy bandwidth. A household full of iTV all streaming 1080p content is probably not even possible
-It won't be true 1080p because they will lower the bitrate which makes it essentially pointless
post #27 of 231
Why do people keep going on about 1080p just because it's a higher number? We're talking about video streaming here, which is limited by consumer bandwidth.

The majority of people will have somewhere between 2-10Mbps and not sustained at that peak. 720p is great at 4Mbps and can be sustained without constantly maxing out the downstream.

You've also go to consider visual acuity. I know people like to believe that 1080p and 60+fps are better but in real-world scenarios, there is no perceptible difference:

http://www.audioholics.com/education...-displays.html

"Put bluntly, from 8 feet away while watching a 50 inch plasma TV, the human eye is generally incapable of reliably distinguishing any detail finer than that shown on a true 720p display!"

If you can see the difference then you're too close to the TV.

This $99 720p streaming box will be a huge hit and help combat online piracy because it's the one type of service that can rival the convenience of P2P downloads. With P2P downloads, they are free but the download out of order so you can't stream it so you have to wait - that's no good if you decide to watch something right away. With the instant box, you pick, click it and watch it and Apple use high quality encoders so it's good 720p.

If they integrate this service into iTunes too, I would use it on my computer.
post #28 of 231
Oh! You mean this iTV that I posted a screen shot 'rendering' of a while ago...

http://forums.appleinsider.com/showt...=112069&page=2



Anyway... Shame that Apple's A4 chip appears to be incapable of 1080p, hopefully they can sort it all out prior to release, since the price sure seems right.
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post #29 of 231
maybe they will pitch this as being much more internet focused with streaming and such. hence go back to iTV
post #30 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by MandrakeTheMagician View Post

Most consumers can't even tell the difference between 720p, 1080p and upscaled DVD ???????

Are you kidding ??? Just open your eyes ....

The difference between 720p and 1080p is just HUGE !!!!!!!!!!!!

Right on! It is huge. But more importantly, they're very well known numbers to consumers. Even at Costco the 720p sets are dirt cheap and set up way over there, and the 1080p sets are highlighted front and center. It's specs, specmanship and image. There's a definite value discounting to the unit because it doesn't have the horsepower and cojones to go all the way, and this will hurt sales.

I paid extra for my gigantic 60" 1080p HDTV flat panel and I'll be damned if I'm going to spend money on a device - and subsequent download rentals - that can't feed the beast the resolution it deserves.

Stupid marketing mistake. They just can't seem to get this TV thing right...
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post #31 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by filburt View Post

Yes, and you are going to argue that most people can't tell the difference between iPhone 4's retina display (960x640) and older iPhones (480x320) either. The fact is, plenty of people can, especially those that have larger TV or sitting closer to the screen.

My wife can't tell the difference, and pretty sure she isn't the only one. Those of us with excellent eye sight and attention to detail might possibly be in the minority my friend.

That being said, my personal guess is they will make it 1080p capable, and that it may even play 1080p/30fps as well. If they add in a blu-ray player they'd be set but I very much doubt they will since Jobs thinks disc media is so yesterday's technology.
post #32 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by allblue View Post

...and there is the issue of ITV being the name of a TV channel in the UK since the 1950s...

Unless they've given it an ok, there is almost no way this passes copyright muster. Even if there weren't source confusion, iTV is a "famous mark."

This report is hard to credit.
post #33 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by str1f3 View Post

The iTV is said to cost $99 by Engadget. You're even contradicting yourself by saying it's for the wealthy and at the same time saying they're catering to the low end.

As for 1080p most consumers can't even tell the difference between 720p, 1080p and an upscaled DVD.

As it is now only small percentage of HDTV owners have 1080p. And even if Apple were to sell 1080p it wouldn't be true 1080p like Blu-Ray because of the massive size of the files.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Why do people keep going on about 1080p just because it's a higher number? We're talking about video streaming here, which is limited by consumer bandwidth.

The majority of people will have somewhere between 2-10Mbps and not sustained at that peak. 720p is great at 4Mbps and can be sustained without constantly maxing out the downstream.

You've also go to consider visual acuity. I know people like to believe that 1080p and 60+fps are better but in real-world scenarios, there is no perceptible difference:

http://www.audioholics.com/education...-displays.html

"Put bluntly, from 8 feet away while watching a 50 inch plasma TV, the human eye is generally incapable of reliably distinguishing any detail finer than that shown on a true 720p display!"

If you can see the difference then you're too close to the TV.

This $99 720p streaming box will be a huge hit and help combat online piracy because it's the one type of service that can rival the convenience of P2P downloads. With P2P downloads, they are free but the download out of order so you can't stream it so you have to wait - that's no good if you decide to watch something right away. With the instant box, you pick, click it and watch it and Apple use high quality encoders so it's good 720p.

If they integrate this service into iTunes too, I would use it on my computer.



... all your considerations about 1080p are untrue.

In Europe we have NOTHING coming in 720p. Everything is in 1080p.
The only videos we could get in 720p come from the US.

If you're talking about the idea of streaming in 720p, nobody there will buy any streaming in 720p except the US HDTV series.

For real cinema, Apple won't sell anything in Europe because we know the difference between 720p and 1080p when you get at least a 40" screen..
post #34 of 231
Suddenly 1080p Bluray media doesn't sound so bad. But then again a $99 content streamer ain't bad too. I'll probably still buy Bluray discs for the stuff I watch over and over like Inception and iTV for just simple, watch only once movies.
post #35 of 231
Using the name 'ITV' is a total non starter, at least here in the UK, as it's the long established name of the second largest UK TV network.

And as for 720p vs 1080p, I have a 50" KURO and the difference is night and day. 720p from iTunes is watchable, but very soft and lacking in detail. This is of course exacerbated by the massive amounts of compression. 1080p from a BD on the other hand, looks incredible.

Anyone who can't see the difference either needs a) better glasses, or b) a better TV. Simple as that.

It also strikes me as odd that Apple would back away from 1080p streaming when Microsoft have made it so incredibly effortless with the Zune marketplace on the X360. It's still a long way from BD quality but it's miles better than iTunes 720p.
post #36 of 231
The A4 video encoder is based on the VXD 370 and Apple will not need to worry about power consumption so if they limit to 720p it is to reduce file size of the stream.

Quote:
PowerVR VXD 370 (previously known as "MSVDX") is a high definition, multi-standard video decode core. PowerVR VXD 370 is capable of decoding H.264, VC-1(WMV 9), DivX, MPEG-4, H.263, MPEG-2, MPEG-1, JPEG at resolutions including 720p, 1080i and 1080p. This multiple decoder support has been implemented in an extremely power efficient architecture. As an example, in a 90nm 133MHz implementation power consumption for the core is in the range of 30mW to <50mW for decoding high definition MPEG-2 main profile and high definition H.264 high profile.

Concludes King-Smith: "Because PowerVR VXD 370 is a highly optimised architecture, with a stream processor to analyse the incoming video bit-stream and reconfigure flexible multi-mode decode modules in the core accordingly, there are huge benefits in reducing silicon area and power consumption " particularly as a large proportion of the processing logic is common for the many video standards supported by the core."

PowerVR VXD 370 supports all HD resolutions and may be configured to support multiple stream decode allowing rich picture"in-picture options such as Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) grids of sub-videos for easy channel selection by the user.
post #37 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by MandrakeTheMagician View Post

... all your considerations about 1080p are untrue.

In Europe we have NOTHING coming in 720p. Everything is in 1080p.
The only videos we could get in 720p come from the US.

If you're talking about the idea of streaming in 720p, nobody there will buy any streaming in 720p except the US HDTV series.

For real cinema, Apple won't sell anything in Europe because we know the difference between 720p and 1080p when you get at least a 40" screen..

Agreed 110%
post #38 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

Too much iNames! This is getting very old. Apple TV sounds very nice.

The same gripes come up every time Apple uses the 'i*' convention, and every time, it becomes a non-issue.
Branding is REALLY important, whether people like it or not. And Apple has made good use of iBrands.
post #39 of 231
For the vast majority of HDTV owners, 720p is just great. (most HD on cable is 720 anyways) and since streaming is an important part of the Apple TV, 720p makes good bandwidth sense too.

1080p and Blu-ray just aren't needed on the Apple TV. All my iTunes content plays great and looks great and none of it is more than 720p. And I can store it all on hard drives, so Buh-Bye physical media.

I absolutely don't want a laptop, keyboard or mouse in my living room; just an HDTV and simple set-top box to play all my iTunes media.

And as far as the name goes, I say stick with Apple TV. (but they did launch the "iPhone" even though that name was already taken too... so who knows...)
post #40 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by AIaddict View Post

No 1080p takes it off my buy list and recomend list.

And it will make no difference to 90%+ of users, and increase usability by increasing streaming speeds.
When the pipes are up to it, 1080p will make a marginally better experience. Until then responsiveness is more important.
Apple knows that.
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