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

post #1 of 198
Thread Starter 
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.
post #2 of 198
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?

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post #3 of 198
Count me in the group that thinks an Apple branded HDTV is inevitable within the next 5 years.
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post #4 of 198
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!
post #5 of 198
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?
post #6 of 198
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
post #7 of 198
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.
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post #8 of 198
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.
post #9 of 198
Go Ireland!
post #10 of 198
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.

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post #11 of 198
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.
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post #12 of 198
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?"
post #13 of 198
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...
post #14 of 198
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.
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post #15 of 198
I see a big fat 'I told you so' coming. I don't know why people bother arguing with me
post #16 of 198
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.
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post #17 of 198
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.
post #18 of 198
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.
post #19 of 198
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".

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post #20 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

go ireland!

. . .
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #21 of 198
I will buy at least one of the 22" models. Apple will have a user interface that is consistent an user friendly. Great news.
post #22 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post

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...

You need a hard drive for that.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #23 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

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.

Googles inexperience shone brightly in their Google TV fiasco. They didn't have the relationships built with the content industry. They thought they could just hijack a TV and come to the table and they failed. Apple has the contacts and content to make this happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo42 View Post

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.

Any TV is going to require an ATSC tuner but hopefully there will be a unique way of managing content that isn't encumbered by today's janky infrastructure.
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post #24 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by lanceh5 View Post

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

22" lol
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #25 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

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".

Yes, this is very surprising. Perhaps during 40+ interviews he let one slip. But as you say, I would think he would have an agreement to exclude future product references in the event Steve did let one slip.

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post #26 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

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.

Actually, as long as the proposed tv doesn't have some type of built in dvr, there is not much that content producers could do short of pulling its content from iTunes which would be absurd. In the end, it is still a television. Google got in trouble because it was trying to leverage free web based content (Hulu, network sites, etc.) without permission.
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post #27 of 198
Expect Samsung's entire line-up of HDTVs to copy the Apple TV within a year or so of its launch.

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post #28 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

Expect Samsung's entire line-up of HDTVs to copy the Apple TV within a year or so of its launch.

Expect the Samsung shills here to claim that Apple is copying THEM if (they won't) Apple releases an HDTV.

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post #29 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by FriedLobster View Post

television is ripe for disruption.

Yes, it truly is. I can see how Apple could cook up a MUCH better interface than I get with my TiVo, which is the best interface I can get at this point. My only question is whether Apple really needs to build the TV itself. Why not build the functionality into an Apple TV box, and contract with a TV maker (like, err, Samsung) to built sets that contain whatever compatible hardware that might be necessary? (Assuming something DOES have to be installed inside the set that a manufacturer would not ordinarily build in. Thunderbolt, maybe? Flash storage? An instruction-set chip made by Apple?)

Or, maybe the product would just have to be up to Apple's design standards. It seems to me that any number of companies would sign on for almost anything at this point that would allow them to ride the Apple Express.

Hey, don't dismiss Samsung as a partner. It's pretty evident that they have a severe case of Apple-envy. I bet they'd sign on in a second.

It seems to me that this way, you'd have two companies sharing the risk and working together (more or less) to get this product out there.
post #30 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeuroSurg View Post

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.

Introducing yet another device that is, again, a remote? That doesn't sound right for two reasons: (1) that's clunky, and (2) Steve mentioned the simplest interface imaginable. Well, the answer to number two is more likely voice control, rather than more touch interfaces or devices.

Thompson
post #31 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post

Yes, it truly is. I can see how Apple could cook up a MUCH better interface than I get with my TiVo, which is the best interface I can get at this point. My only question is whether Apple really needs to build the TV itself. Why not build the functionality into an Apple TV box, and contract with a TV maker (like, err, Samsung) to built sets that contain whatever compatible hardware that might be necessary? (Assuming something DOES have to be installed inside the set that a manufacturer would not ordinarily build in. Thunderbolt, maybe? Flash storage? An instruction-set chip made by Apple?)

Or, maybe the product would just have to be up to Apple's design standards. It seems to me that any number of companies would sign on for almost anything at this point that would allow them to ride the Apple Express.

It seems to me that this way, you'd have two companies sharing the risk and working together (more or less) to get this product out there.

Apple is a "whole widget" company so that is a no go. Last time it did something like that was with Motorola and the ROKR phone which didn't set the world on fire (although it probably gave Apple an idea on how NOT to make a phone).
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post #32 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

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".

Don't forget the book originally wasn't supposed to come out till sometime in early 2012.
Which leads me to believe that he thought the TV would be launched by then.
post #33 of 198
I guess the only thing that stops Apple from releasing these new TVs are the movies in the cloud deals that we are hearing about. Once these deals are closed the new Apple TV will be revealed.

Just my 2 cents.
post #34 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

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.

Don't forget that the book originally wasn't scheduled to come out till sometime in early 2012.
This leads me to believe that Steve thought the TV would be out by then.
post #35 of 198
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.

hear, hear.
post #36 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

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.

Even he said Apple was a ship that leaks from the top.
post #37 of 198
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.

or 5 months?
post #38 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Don't forget the book originally wasn't supposed to come out till sometime in early 2012.
Which leads me to believe that he thought the TV would be launched by then.

True. That quote from Steve might be several years old.

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post #39 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by jay-t View Post

I guess the only thing that stops Apple from releasing these new TVs are the movies in the cloud deals that we are hearing about. Once these deals are closed the new Apple TV will be revealed.

Just my 2 cents.

makes sense, cents.
post #40 of 198
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?

Microsoft are integrating voice commands into the X360 very soon. The demos look impressive and it all plugs in to the usual online video streaming services.
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