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New smaller form factor Apple TV supposedly outed by the FCC

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 
In a regulatory test document filing on Tuesday, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission revealed an unannounced Apple TV "A1469" model that boasts upgraded internals and a smaller form factor than Apple's current set-top streaming device.

Apple TV width=
Source: FCC


The published FCC filing (via Engadget) suggests that the unit's design will be similar to the two most recent Apple TV iterations, but trims down the overall measurements to 93.78 millimeters square compared to the current model that comes in at 98 millimeters square.

Along with Apple's usual request for confidentiality, the FCC posting offers detailed notes that show the testing ofa low-power 40nm Broadcom wireless chip identified as BCM4334. This specific component is currently being used in the latest iOS devices like the iPhone 5. Also revealed was the inclusion of Apple's A5X processor most recently seen in the third-generation iPad. According to the documentation, testing of the device began as early as October 2012.

It is unclear when Apple intends to issue the tweaked hardware, but analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities reported earlier this month that the multimedia streamer would be the recipient of a refresh sometime this quarter. The last Apple TV refresh came in March 2012, bringing 1080p output and a faster A5 SoC to the device.

Tuesday's news comes on the heels of an Apple TV software version update on Monday that revealed an unknown hardware model designated "AppleTV3,2." The new 5.2 software version added support for bluetooth keyboards and enhanced integration with iTunes in the Cloud.
post #2 of 68
We'll probably hear an announcement about this in 2 days 1biggrin.gif
post #3 of 68
Not sure what's so supposedly. The FCC filing is legit and it says it's an Apple TV device (digital media receiver) with WiFi and Bluetooth radios, model number A1469.

What's interesting is the need for the change. I'm going to weigh in by saying the biggest features will have a better ASIC on the smaller node and 802.11ac, which then means it gets announced on or after the day the new AirPort routers get announced, which I assume will come with the new Mac Pro (or whatever it's called) and a new Apple Thunderbolt Display can announced.


edit: AnandTech lists the WIFi as BCM4334 which means no 802.11ac. That makes me think this ousting was because it was suppose to drop today along with the new iPad.


Edited by SolipsismX - 1/29/13 at 4:10pm

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post #4 of 68
Now it will have even less weight to keep it from being outweighed by the cables attached to it and falling off!
post #5 of 68

"Steve would have… " Wait, Steve actually WOULD have been furious at them…

 

So. It's a box. And it's smaller. Not a TV, huh. Okay.

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post #6 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by rossistboss View Post

Now it will have even less weight to keep it from being outweighed by the cables attached to it and falling off!

Lol. Agreed. I have a problem just getting my current one to sit straight with the front of it facing my remote!
post #7 of 68
So, the FCC outed the new Apple TV. I would never have guessed it was gay! Don't worry, Apple TV, it just gets better.
post #8 of 68

Ha! I velcro'd mine!

post #9 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

"Steve would have… " Wait, Steve actually WOULD have been furious at them…

So. It's a box. And it's smaller. Not a TV, huh. Okay.

Exactly. It's 5 mm smaller. Nothing about the internals or any additional apps etc.

So file it under BFD.

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post #10 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjacobi View Post

Ha! I velcro'd mine!

Great idea. Will do that tonight.
post #11 of 68

I hope the 'A5X' is a 28nm part from TSMC and this time both Cortex-A9 cores are active.

 

AnandTech found a S5L8947 mentioned which is most likely a die shrunk 32nm "A5XR2" made by Samsung.


Edited by smalM - 1/29/13 at 5:10pm
post #12 of 68
H.265 perhaps

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post #13 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by smalM View Post

I hope the 'A5X' is a 28nm part from TSMC and this time both Cortex-A9 cores are active.

I'd say definitely on the first part and no on the second. It doesn't really need a better CPU as much as it needs a better GPU.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

H.265 perhaps

I don't think there are any chips for that yet. Has it even been finalized?


edit: It's 32nm.
Edited by SolipsismX - 1/29/13 at 7:12pm

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #14 of 68

I was just about to say that!   Velcro is perhaps the greatest thing since the microprocessor.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by kjacobi View Post

Ha! I velcro'd mine!

post #15 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Not sure what's so supposedly. The FCC filing is legit and it says it's an Apple TV device (digital media receiver) with WiFi and Bluetooth radios, model number A1469.

What's interesting is the need for the change. I'm going to weigh in by saying the biggest features will have a better ASIC on the smaller node and 802.11ac, which then means it gets announced on or after the day the new AirPort routers get announced, which I assume will come with the new Mac Pro (or whatever it's called) and a new Apple Thunderbolt Display can announced.


edit: AnandTech lists the WIFi as BCM4334 which means no 802.11ac. That makes me think this ousting was because it was suppose to drop today along with the new iPad.

Very surprised by the lack of 802.11ac-I thought this would be a big year for Apple to roll that out across its Wifi-enabled product lines. Hmmm, wonder what that means for Airport, new Macs and their living room strategy?

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post #16 of 68

The real question is has anyone jail broken this device?    I haven't been following the jailbreak scene but this is possibly the only iOS device I would bother jail breaking. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I'd say definitely on the first part and no on the second. It doesn't really need a better CPU as much as it needs a better GPU.
I don't think there are any chips for that yet. Has it even been finalized?

It has been finalized, I'm thinking in the last couple of days.    Need to double check that but I seem to remember something to that effect.  

 

I'm actually hoping for more flash and the possibility of Apple TV apps.  This really seems like a no brainer so I wonder what Apple is afraid of.   Obviously the apps would be different than your run of the mill iOS app and they would need I/O support but that ought to be doable in an Apple TV.  

post #17 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

H.265 perhaps

I don't think there are any chips for that yet. Has it even been finalized?

Yes it is official and since Apple can design their own chips perhaps it is included but I am no expert on hardware video encoding so perhaps someone more knowledgeable in the new codec can weigh in.

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post #18 of 68
With the A5X, it might be able to do 3D 1080p. Not a big deal since all newer Blu-Ray players already do this, but a necessary function that Apple TV needs to catch up on. Of course, you would need a 3D TV in order to view and a catalog of 3D movies available.

I would like to see them also catch up and offer the latest HDMI functionality with uncompressed 7.1 audio, Dolby HD, DTS MA-HD, DTS Neo-X, etc.
post #19 of 68

It is probably the industry maturing a bit.   They as a group made a lot of mistakes with the role out of "n" and pre "n" devices.   So maybe they are wising up and waiting for the right hardware and suitably stable software.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carthusia View Post

Very surprised by the lack of 802.11ac-I thought this would be a big year for Apple to roll that out across its Wifi-enabled product lines. Hmmm, wonder what that means for Airport, new Macs and their living room strategy?

It might not mean anything this year.    To put it simply they need the right hardware to put in their mobile devices.   The additional complexity of "AC" means that a process shrink might be required.  It could be a year or two more before "AC" devices achieve power parity with today's WiFi chips.  

post #20 of 68
Sticky Tack...

Better than velcro..

I hope this comes out soon.. I'm thinking about getting an Apple TV in the next couple of months..
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post #21 of 68

There are companies that sell IP for hardware decoders.    This is one path Apple could follow or they could develop their own IP in house.   I'm not sure if anybody has the IP ready though.  There are other approaches also, software decoders being one example.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post


Yes it is official and since Apple can design their own chips perhaps it is included but I am no expert on hardware video encoding so perhaps someone more knowledgeable in the new codec can weigh in.
post #22 of 68

Nobody in their right mind wants 3D on their television.   It is bad enough in the theaters, I can't see a small screen helping it much.   

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterAlt View Post

With the A5X, it might be able to do 3D 1080p. Not a big deal since all newer Blu-Ray players already do this, but a necessary function that Apple TV needs to catch up on. Of course, you would need a 3D TV in order to view and a catalog of 3D movies available.

I would like to see them also catch up and offer the latest HDMI functionality with uncompressed 7.1 audio, Dolby HD, DTS MA-HD, DTS Neo-X, etc.

Now this I can agree with.   7.1 audio would be huge.  

post #23 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carthusia View Post

Very surprised by the lack of 802.11ac-I thought this would be a big year for Apple to roll that out across its Wifi-enabled product lines. Hmmm, wonder what that means for Airport, new Macs and their living room strategy?

I wouldn't have expected any Apple device to have 802.11ac until their routers were updated. Perhaps it's a different chip for 802.11ac and it's still being kept secret by the FCC. I doubt it but trying to give something to hope for. 1wink.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The real question is has anyone jail broken this device?    I haven't been following the jailbreak scene but this is possibly the only iOS device I would bother jail breaking.

I know the 2nd gen Apple TV and 3rd gen iPad are jailbroken as well as iOS 6.x on the iPhone 5 so I think it's highly likely. I haven't needed to jailbreak for a couple years now but as you say the Apple TV would be that exception.
Quote:
I'm actually hoping for more flash and the possibility of Apple TV apps.  This really seems like a no brainer so I wonder what Apple is afraid of.   Obviously the apps would be different than your run of the mill iOS app and they would need I/O support but that ought to be doable in an Apple TV.  

I hope so, too. Getting Apps on the Apple TV would be a great start to lock down the rest of the living room. I would rather have Apple partner with cable providers in creating a digibox but I will hedge my bets until something more solid starts cropping up on the rumour sites.

Actually, wouldn't this "leak" of a new Apple TV be a simple misdirect against an Apple made digibox, HDTV, or more elaborate AppleTV device.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Yes it is official and since Apple can design their own chips perhaps it is included but I am no expert on hardware video encoding so perhaps someone more knowledgeable in the new codec can weigh in.

That would be great if they made the decoder but I haven't heard of anyone else adopting it. Apple's usually not the first to adopt, just the first to adopt across the board. With USB 3.0 they waited for Intel to include it which was expected but with their own ASIC it would make sense if they made their own but would they add the HW before they have any content that can utilize it? How large would these chips be? How much power is needed for H.265 to handle that processing. Not a big deal in a plugged in device but for handhelds it will be.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #24 of 68
3D comes in many flavors. There's 3D without glasses too, including a technology I'm involved in developing.
post #25 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Nobody in their right mind wants 3D on their television.   It is bad enough in the theaters, I can't see a small screen helping it much.

How prevalent are 3D HDTV's? I've read what a failure they are but I also read everyday what a failure Apple is, too.

Blu-ray adoption is clearly higher than 3D HDTV's but 3D might be an easier add for Apple as it is just having good enough HW, not special HW, and the right SW. Is that correct?

If you add to the equation the movie studios pushing Apple to add the feature to their iTunes Store then I can see that as being an option that we shouldn't discount. The 32nm A5X should be able to handle that, right?
Edited by SolipsismX - 1/29/13 at 7:12pm

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #26 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I would rather have Apple partner with cable providers in creating a digibox but I will hedge my bets until something more solid starts cropping up on the rumour sites.

They're falling behind fast. The Xbox 360 and the Roku can be used as a STB for VZ FiOS and TWC respectively.
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post #27 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I'd say definitely on the first part and no on the second. It doesn't really need a better CPU as much as it needs a better GPU.
 

 

/shrug 

 

While the aTV is bit rate limited for higher quality the probability is that most households are limited by internet streaming speeds than anything else on their aTVs.  The only reason that I can think of to use A5Xs is either Apple is sitting on a huge pile of A5X rejects or they intend to add GPU intensive apps to the aTV.

 

I could see game apps developed to do some computation on the ipad/iphone and send the results to render on the aTV to get the lag down.

post #28 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

They're falling behind fast. The Xbox 360 and the Roku can be used as a STB for VZ FiOS and TWC respectively.

Those are bolted on features and for the XBOX 360 makes for a complex experience. Roku seems like a much closer concept to what I'd expect Apple to release. Could this new Apple TV also be a set top box? Wouldn't it need HW to handle MPEG-2 streams?

The Roku devices don't have a coax port so this would all be handled via the cable modem. I haven't seen any performance reviews but I wonder if there is any lag with changing channels or the limits for streaming in HD with multiple devices connected to your router. I'd personally like to see Apple create a larger, more full featured box that is an evolutionary step of the current digiboxes, not an evolution of the current media streaming boxes. Well, that's how I've pictured it but I'm open to going over the cable modem as a better overall option.

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post #29 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

...which then means it gets announced on or after the day the new AirPort routers get announced, which I assume will come with the new Mac Pro (or whatever it's called)...

Supposedly the WiFi on Mac Pro's don't get used much. But that might be because it gets used more in 'professional environments' as opposed to home use. Also, wouldn't the new iPad have .ac? Well, perhaps it has, no one knows (yet). This is going to be a great thread with a lot of resources!
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post #30 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Nobody in their right mind wants 3D on their television.   It is bad enough in the theaters, ....

Massive ticket receipts would disagree with you. There are times when it's really quite the sine qua non -- e.g., 'The Avengers.'
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Now this I can agree with.   7.1 audio would be huge.

I feel the same way about 7.1 as you do about 3D.
post #31 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Supposedly the WiFi on Mac Pro's don't get used much. But that might be because it gets used more in 'professional environments' as opposed to home use. Also, wouldn't the new iPad have .ac? Well, perhaps it has, no one knows (yet). This is going to be a great thread with a lot of resources!

Based on the HW teardown nothing as of yet has 802.11ac components.
Edited by SolipsismX - 1/29/13 at 6:19pm

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post #32 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

H.265 perhaps

If that's the only update, I protest.

post #33 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Those are bolted on features and for the XBOX 360 makes for a complex experience. Roku seems like a much closer concept to what I'd expect Apple to release. Could this new Apple TV also be a set top box? Wouldn't it need HW to handle MPEG-2 streams.

That's a good question. It will most likely need a stronger processor, I know that the Xbox 360 has a tri core processor (gaming consoles are usually years ahead in processing power) but I have never heard what powers a Roku.
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post #34 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

That's a good question. It will most likely need a stronger processor, I know that the Xbox 360 has a tri core processor (gaming consoles are usually years ahead in processing power) but I have never heard what powers a Roku.

You can decode on the processor but a dedicated chip for decoding is always best.

Here are the main components for the Roku 2 XS:

  • 256MB Hynix HY27UF082G2B NAND Flash chip
  • 256MB Samsung K4P2G324EC-AGC1 LPDDR2 RAM chip
  • NXP Semiconductors TDA9981A HDMI transmitter
  • NXP PNX8935 multi-format decoder
  • Broadcom BCM4336

The last two are said to be system's primary processing units:


Even if the Roku does a below average job of handling TWC live TV a new Apple TV with an A5X and other appropriate HW should be able to handle it.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #35 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterAlt View Post

3D comes in many flavors. There's 3D without glasses too, including a technology I'm involved in developing.

 

oh, THAT. You mean the lenticular stuff? Can you please make it work better than 'awful'?

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post #36 of 68
I hope this ushers in an App Store that is at least compatible with the previous generation - why else would they bump up the graphics processing power?
post #37 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunks View Post

I hope this ushers in an App Store that is at least compatible with the previous generation - why else would they bump up the graphics processing power?

One reason is that they have a lot of single-core operation A5XR2 chips laying around compared to A5R2 chips. Another would be the need for higher graphics to support better profiles in H.264. Another might be support for 3D TV.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #38 of 68
Got an Apple TV last weekend and it is fantastic!
post #39 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I was just about to say that!   Velcro is perhaps the greatest thing since the microprocessor.  

 

I believe you meant, the microprocessor is perhaps the greatest thing since velcro.

post #40 of 68
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post
Exactly. It's 5 mm smaller. Nothing about the internals or any additional apps etc.

So file it under BFD.

 

Hey, it's new internals. I'll bet it's an A6. But… the A5 already handles 1080p just fine. So why an A6? 

 

… 

 

I think this could be more interesting than anyone is letting on.


Originally Posted by mstone View Post
H.265 perhaps

 

It's not done. And why are people calling it that? The official name is HEVC, last I checked.


Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
I don't think there are any chips for that yet. Has it even been finalized?

 

The draft is finalized. One company has committed to making a hardware encoder, but nothing will be able to play those files back.


Originally Posted by PeterAlt View Post

3D comes in many flavors. There's 3D without glasses too, including a technology I'm involved in developing.

 

Yeah, but… autostereoscopic 3D can't be done in software alone.


Originally Posted by Buzzz View Post
Got an Apple TV last weekend and it is fantastic!

 

Just your luck, huh? lol.gif

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
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