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New Apple TV runs same custom A4 processor as iPhone 4, iPad

post #1 of 156
Thread Starter 
The new, smaller Apple TV announced Wednesday will stream 720p HD video thanks to the same custom-built ARM A4 processor found inside the iPhone 4, iPad and the new iPod touch.

On the technical specifications page for the new Apple TV, the company prominently advertises that the new $99 device features the A4 processor. Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs also noted during his keynote Wednesday that the fourth-generation iPod touch has also gained the A4, but that feature is not listed on the product's tech specs page.

The previous generation Apple TV was based on an Intel processor and included a 160GB hard drive.

The A4 processor first appeared earlier this year in the iPad. The creation of it was made possible through the purchases of chipmakers Intrinsity and PA Semi.

Its inclusion in the new Apple TV makes it the first A4-powered device that does not have access to the App Store.

Prior to its announcement, there were rumors that Apple would run the its iOS operating system and make the App Store available for the new iTV. While the software behind the new Apple TV was not detailed, the company made no mention of iOS or the App Store in Wednesday's presentation.

The new Apple TV will offer compatibility with iOS devices, however, which can be used as a remote control for the set top box and will also be able to stream photos and videos to a user's HDTV over Wi-Fi.



In addition to an A4 processor, the new Apple TV also includes HDMI for 720p high definition video out with 5.1 sound. It also has separate optical audio for compatibility with receivers that do not accept 5.1 over HDMI.

The device also has an Ethernet port and 802.11B/G/N Wi-Fi for streaming. Because the cloud-centric device has no available internal storage, it is intended for renting and streaming content.



The new Apple TV also has a built-in infrared receiver that works with the aluminum remote control that ships with the product. And the device has a micro-USB port that is intended for service and support.

Apple said the device, which ships later this month, will be compatible with three highlighted video formats:

H.264 video up to 720p, 30 frames per second, Main Profile level 3.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format
It is also compatible with a variety of audio formats: HE-AAC (V1), AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV; Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound pass-through. Finally, it supports photos that are JPEG, GIF and TIFF.
post #2 of 156
Absolutely worthless.

No 1080p hardware support.

Guess I'll be waiting another four years for Apple to make a product worth buying.

Originally Posted by asdasd

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Originally Posted by asdasd

This is Appleinsider. It's all there for you but we can't do it for you.
Reply
post #3 of 156
It will be interesting to see how long it takes someone to hack it to run iOS - big trick will be interaction though. I am sure this is why Apple did not make it run iOS in the first place.
post #4 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Absolutely worthless.

No 1080p hardware support.

Guess I'll be waiting another four years for Apple to make a product worth buying.

I must disagree - I find the fact that I can stream from my iPad/iPhone worth the cost alone. But to be able to rent movies/TV programs view podcasts, listen to music, view pictures from friends/family makes it great. Not a blockbuster but a good product - especially for $99.
post #5 of 156
I know it's all about streaming, but how much local storage does this thing have?
post #6 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe hs View Post

I know it's all about streaming, but how much local storage does this thing have?

Zero is my understanding.
post #7 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

It will be interesting to see how long it takes someone to hack it to run iOS - big trick will be interaction though. I am sure this is why Apple did not make it run iOS in the first place.

Well if it has an A4, then it has to be running iOS. What other operating system could it be?
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #8 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe hs View Post

I know it's all about streaming, but how much local storage does this thing have?

Specs didn't say - rumors are about 16GB I think. That would actually be a rather large cache or buffer with the streaming but I suspect it sends everything immediately upon rental and then you view when available. If its cache fills then some sort of aging algorithm would be applied for freeing space and you would just have to get it again (will work just like VM does for our desktop/laptop machines).
post #9 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

Well if it has an A4, then it has to be running iOS. What other operating system could it be?

It probably has an iOS core.

I'm curious what Apple is doing behind the scenes on the OS front. I have a feeling that they have created (or are creating) something of an "OS construction kit" that has various modular components (e.g., kernel, touch UI framework, media framework, other UI frameworks) that they can assemble together to build various kinds of devices and yet still maintain a somewhat unified code base.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #10 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

Well if it has an A4, then it has to be running iOS. What other operating system could it be?

I guess I misspoke. It is probably a scaled back version of iOS (which is a scaled down version of Mac OS X). They just ripped out most of the UI and services that were not needed - I think that leaves you with BSD Unix on a Mach kernel with a then layer on top of it to handle the I/O and UI.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

I'm curious what Apple is doing behind the scenes on the OS front. I have a feeling that they have created (or are creating) something of an "OS construction kit" that has various modular components (e.g., kernel, touch UI framework, media framework, other UI frameworks) that they can assemble together to build various kinds of devices and yet still maintain a somewhat unified code base.

I think they already have - you just described it: BSD Unix, Darwin, Foundation and App Kits, Touch and various other frameworks...
post #11 of 156
I wonder if it has the same Power VR GPU as the iPhone and iPad. If it does, and having played with the very impressive Unreal Engine 3 tech demo on my iPhone 4, it's a terrible shame that the new ATV has no apps and therefore no games.
post #12 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry767 View Post

Zero is my understanding.

That's what I was afraid of.
post #13 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

I wonder if it has the same Power VR GPU as the iPhone and iPad. If it does, and having played with the very impressive Unreal Engine 3 tech demo on my iPhone 4, it's a terrible shame that the new ATV has no apps and therefore no games.

Will probably take some time before they build it into the SDK.
post #14 of 156
Does this or the current (previous) Apple TV allow you to play music to other speakers. In other words could I play a song from my iTunes library but rather than listening on just the TV speakers could I also send the signal to speakers hooked up to an aiport express
post #15 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

It will be interesting to see how long it takes someone to hack it to run iOS - big trick will be interaction though. I am sure this is why Apple did not make it run iOS in the first place.

Because it uses the A4 chip, it is running iOS...under the hood. Its just has the Apple TV front-end running on top. No doubt that its possible to upgrade the os in the future to support apps.

I'm actually more curious about the mini-usb port at the back. I'm sure it can do more than "Service and Support" as Apple mentioned in the specs.
post #16 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

It probably has an iOS core.

I'm curious what Apple is doing behind the scenes on the OS front. I have a feeling that they have created (or are creating) something of an "OS construction kit" that has various modular components (e.g., kernel, touch UI framework, media framework, other UI frameworks) that they can assemble together to build various kinds of devices and yet still maintain a somewhat unified code base.

I'd bet money on that. OS X was designed to be fairly modular and portable. As it is now, iOS and Mac OS share a lot of common code. The only thing that really needs to be changed is the UI.
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
Reply
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
Reply
post #17 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by salmonstk View Post

Does this or the current (previous) Apple TV allow you to play music to other speakers. In other words could I play a song from my iTunes library but rather than listening on just the TV speakers could I also send the signal to speakers hooked up to an aiport express

Yes, you can stream the music to as many AirTunes devices as you'd like. I had two Airport Expresses and an AppleTV and could stream music to all of them simultaneously.
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
Reply
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
Reply
post #18 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Absolutely worthless.

No 1080p hardware support.

Guess I'll be waiting another four years for Apple to make a product worth buying.

there is no 1080 content being streamed by anyone. At all.

Great device, great price point. Continues to be ahead of it's time, but at some point the studios will come round.
post #19 of 156
I'm going to buy an AppleTV I believe, but I have no interest in renting TV shows from them. I'm doing it because my BluRay player doesn't do Netflix streaming, and I want to stream music through my TV speakers.

Ultimately, I believe this is a precursor to a full-blown Apple TV set.
post #20 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

Well if it has an A4, then it has to be running iOS. What other operating system could it be?

Really; I don't think people understand that Apple TV, IOS devices and Mac OS/X are all the same OS underneath. They each have their own SDK and graphical interface but this not a big deal. Getting Apple TV to run on this device most likely required a simple recompile and a little debugging.

iOS is nothing more than a layer above the Quasi BSD OS that drives Apples systems.

Dave
post #21 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Absolutely worthless.

No 1080p hardware support.

Guess I'll be waiting another four years for Apple to make a product worth buying.

Nuts! I doubt that you sit close enough to see 1080 on your Tv screen. Almost no one does.

And your statement that Apple doesn't make a product worth buying marks you as being trollish. Be careful.
post #22 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Absolutely worthless.

No 1080p hardware support.

Guess I'll be waiting another four years for Apple to make a product worth buying.

What is amusing is how many people think 720P is inadequate. Fact is, 720P produces an excellent picture. If you sit only a few feet away from a 32-inch 720P monitor, the picture is terrific.

1080p is vastly overrated and, really, it's a case of people who simply are not focused on getting a quality picture being irrationally attached to a spec that has little or no practical value.

I own a 720p 32-inch Sony XBR and the picture it delivers with a quality source is spectacular viewed from a distance of about 5 feet. HD-DVDs look marvellous and while they are not 720P, considering I have a 720p monitor, it's beside the point.

The average consumer is so out of it when it comes to matters related to HDTV, many wonder what all the fuss is about when they are watching standard def TV feeds on their 1080P-capable devices. So compared to that travesty or for that matter the horrid HDTV signals delivered by cable and satellite, feeding a well-mastered 720p signal into their sets, 1080p or otherwise, would constitute a major step forward.

The only way you get any benefit from a 1080p signal is if you sit five feet away from a 55-inch screen (not being precise, mind you). Nobody in real life does that. I'm willing to bet that if you took a group of people and sat them let's say seven feet away from a 50-inch monitor, few if any could tell the difference between a 720p signal and a 1080p signal. Even if through a clear effort, one could tell the difference, it would be so minor as to be not worth bothering over.

I would also suggest that if there had been no 1080p standard, there would have been few if any complaints that the HDTV standard was set too low if the gold standard had been 720p.

I had no intention of buying an Apple TV but at $119 Cdn., now I'm thinking, why not. It also helps that the device is so small you'd hardly notice it was there at all.
post #23 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe hs View Post

That's what I was afraid of.

Think about it. If you're renting, and streaming from your computer, why would you NEED storage?
post #24 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkhm View Post

there is no 1080 content being streamed by anyone. At all.

Hmmm.
Quote:
Zune Marketplace on Xbox 360 offers 5.1 surround-sound and 1080p instant streaming on a selection of titles.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zune_Ma...ne_Marketplace

p.s. I don't have Fiber To The Home and full HD screens to have -arbitrary- limits put in upstream by an hardware manufacturer, just because Apple has chosen not to even try streaming 1080p...
The price is interesting but this limitation alone will make me stick with my current XBMC media center.
post #25 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

What is amusing is how many people think 720P is inadequate. Fact is, 720P produces an excellent picture. If you sit only a few feet away from a 32-inch 720P monitor, the picture is terrific.

1080p is vastly overrated and, really, it's a case of people who simply are not focused on getting a quality picture being irrationally attached to a spec that has little or no practical value.

I own a 720p 32-inch Sony XBR and the picture it delivers with a quality source is spectacular viewed from a distance of about 5 feet. HD-DVDs look marvellous and while they are not 720P, considering I have a 720p monitor, it's beside the point.

The average consumer is so out of it when it comes to matters related to HDTV, many wonder what all the fuss is about when they are watching standard def TV feeds on their 1080P-capable devices. So compared to that travesty or for that matter the horrid HDTV signals delivered by cable and satellite, feeding a well-mastered 720p signal into their sets, 1080p or otherwise, would constitute a major step forward.

The only way you get any benefit from a 1080p signal is if you sit five feet away from a 55-inch screen (not being precise, mind you). Nobody in real life does that. I'm willing to bet that if you took a group of people and sat them let's say seven feet away from a 50-inch monitor, few if any could tell the difference between a 720p signal and a 1080p signal. Even if through a clear effort, one could tell the difference, it would be so minor as to be not worth bothering over.

I would also suggest that if there had been no 1080p standard, there would have been few if any complaints that the HDTV standard was set too low if the gold standard had been 720p.

I had no intention of buying an Apple TV but at $119 Cdn., now I'm thinking, why not. It also helps that the device is so small you'd hardly notice it was there at all.

I keep making this point to people. It's a manly spec thing. They think that the higher the spec, the better it is. While that may be the case in theory, it rarely is in practice. I have a 61" screen that plays at 1080p. But at my seating distance of 14 feet, I can't see that. I can just barely see 720, and I'm not going to put a chair in front of my coffee table for that purpose.

Very few people sit close enough to get 1080 out of their sets.
post #26 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkhm View Post

there is no 1080 content being streamed by anyone. At all.

I rather doubt that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Nuts! I doubt that you sit close enough to see 1080 on your Tv screen. Almost no one does.

Just because you can't see the difference. The ellipses are implied.

Quote:
And your statement that Apple doesn't make a product worth buying marks you as being trollish. Be careful.

Also implied is that I don't find it worth anything. It's perfectly fine for people with no 1080 content.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

snip

I can't believe how many people can't seem to see a difference between 720 and 1080. It boggles the mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I keep making this point to people. It's a manly spec thing. They think that the higher the spec, the better it is. While that may be the case in theory, it rarely is in practice. I have a 61" screen that plays at 1080p. But at my seating distance of 14 feet, I can't see that. I can just barely see 720, and I'm not going to put a chair in front of my coffee table for that purpose.

Very few people sit close enough to get 1080 out of their sets.

Ah, the implication here is that I'm merely twirling my metaphorical digital wang, yes? Try again. I've never understood any of this nonsense about viewing distances, screen sizes, and 720 vs. 1080.

There is a visible difference. I can see it. This truth makes the difference in this product for me. Therefore the Apple TV serves me no purpose.

Originally Posted by asdasd

This is Appleinsider. It's all there for you but we can't do it for you.
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Originally Posted by asdasd

This is Appleinsider. It's all there for you but we can't do it for you.
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post #27 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkhm View Post

there is no 1080 content being streamed by anyone. At all.

There may not be any commercial 1080p streaming content, but you are ignoring the fact that you can easily stream 1080p h.264 content over 802.11n from your own file server.

If someone is looking for an all-in-one head-end device to connect to their TV for internet and local streaming content, not having an option for 1080p could lead many to other solutions.
post #28 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Absolutely worthless.

No 1080p hardware support.

Guess I'll be waiting another four years for Apple to make a product worth buying.

Your comment is worthless, troll.
post #29 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

And the device has a micro-USB port that is intended for service and support.

Service and Support.

What does that mean? What does the USB port do? What sortr of service? What sort of support? What plugs into it?
post #30 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Absolutely worthless.

No 1080p hardware support.

Guess I'll be waiting another four years for Apple to make a product worth buying.

Do you not watch ABC, Fox, ESPN, Disney, and others because they are in 720P? Or are they worthless, too?

When it comes to HDTV, signal compression is the biggest factor for picture quality. ABC (720P) I find to be a higher quality picture than NBC (1080i) on a consistent basis.

The other thing it seems many people are ignorant of is the effective resolution during motion. A plasma set will have the highest effective resolution but even a 120 Hz LCD set can only display a fraction of 1080 lines during motion (240 Hz is somewhat better). Now if you only use your TV for displaying still pictures then I guess 1080p might matter but even then I have a hard time telling them from a 768p set side-by-side at normal viewing distances (no, I don't watch TV 2 feet from the screen).
post #31 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdjlexky View Post

I want to stream music through my TV speakers.

.



Do you mean through your Home Entertainment System, or through the crummy built-in TV speakers?
post #32 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

I wonder if it has the same Power VR GPU as the iPhone and iPad. If it does, and having played with the very impressive Unreal Engine 3 tech demo on my iPhone 4, it's a terrible shame that the new ATV has no apps and therefore no games.

I think that since the iPad can stream movies to the AppleTV then why not video games? Use the iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad as the controller and stream directly--and wirelessly to the AppleTV?

It'd take a ton of wireless bandwidth but since you're already streaming movies that are HD (granted lower end HD for now) then games could theoretically be possible..

At least that's my opinion... Imagine this replacing the XBOX or PS3 eventually... The iPhone and iPad and iPod Touch supposedly are making the PSP and Nintendo DSi obsolete....

Chris Powers
chris@powersbydesign.com
www.powersbydesign.com
post #33 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sensi View Post

Hmmm.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zune_Ma...ne_Marketplace

p.s. I don't have Fiber To The Home and full HD screens to have -arbitrary- limits put in upstream by an hardware manufacturer, just because Apple has chosen not to even try streaming 1080p...
The price is interesting but this limitation alone will make me stick with my current XBMC media center.

That article reads as though it was written by MS itself.

There are few 1080p streams available, and if you go to the forums you will see that there are problems with downloading and playing them for many people. It's not ready for primetime yet.
post #34 of 156
Quote:
While the software behind the new Apple TV was not detailed, the company made no mention of iOS or the App Store in Wednesday's presentation.

It's the same piece-of-shit software and interface that is on the current (old) Apple TV. This is not an improvement. Did Apple buy a bunch of these little boxes from some liquidator in China and slap the Apple logo on it? It sure seems like it.

I was all ready to go buy one of these things. Not anymore. I'll stick with the crappy older model, which is still better than this new one.
post #35 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

What is amusing is how many people think 720P is inadequate. Fact is, 720P produces an excellent picture. If you sit only a few feet away from a 32-inch 720P monitor, the picture is terrific.

32 inches is small by today's standards. And a few feet away is OK for a tiny room, but not otherwise.

Try watching a big screen in a proper room and get back to us. I think you'll find that a 1080p picture looks better if/when the equipment and setup are adequate for a good home theatre experience.
post #36 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

Service and Support.

What does that mean? What does the USB port do? What sortr of service? What sort of support? What plugs into it?

Reinstalling the system if needed, mounting the "drive" to examine logs and reports, etc.
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
Reply
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
Reply
post #37 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

I have a hard time telling them from a 768p set side-by-side at normal viewing distances (no, I don't watch TV 2 feet from the screen).


When is that last time you had an eye exam? Do you need glasses? Are you sure?
post #38 of 156
Any chance the new software and features will run on the old ATV box. I find it hard to believe you need the new A4 processor to run this new software. I realize it's cheap enough to buy the new box but why throw away the old one if we don't need to. Guess I'll wait a few months for the hackers to get their hands on it if nothing official comes out from Apple.
post #39 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

Reinstalling the system if needed, mounting the "drive" to examine logs and reports, etc.

You can mount Apple TV as a drive? You can't even do that with an iPad.
post #40 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Just because you can't see the difference. The ellipses are implied.

I doubt very much that you can either from any normal seating position. You really have to sit CLOSE.



Quote:
Also implied is that I don't find it worth anything. It's perfectly fine for people with no 1080 content.



I can't believe how many people can't seem to see a difference between 720 and 1080. It boggles the mind.

I'm sure we can all see it, just not from where the screens are placed relative to the seating position.


Quote:
Ah, the implication here is that I'm merely twirling my metaphorical digital wang, yes? Try again. I've never understood any of this nonsense about viewing distances, screen sizes, and 720 vs. 1080.

There is a visible difference. I can see it. This truth makes the difference in this product for me. Therefore the Apple TV serves me no purpose.

If you don't understand it, then you don't know what you're seeing. It's a pretty standard formula in the industry. Carlton explains it well, and has very useful charts.

The simple fact is that whether you inderstand it or not, if you're too far away for a given rez, you won't see it. If you think you do, then you have to rethink your understanding of what you're seeing.

http://carltonbale.com/home-theater/...ter-calculator
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