Originally Posted by iw16w8sH0v
The more I think about it the more I believe they were waiting on the 64 bit ARM before releasing a complete AppleTV solution.
I think you're right. Living room devices aren't updated very often. They're just appliances like any other. So if and when Apple rolls out a more full-featured Apple TV set-top, it would be 64-bit from day 1. Apple could target just the 64-bit devices with updates and new features going forward, and the legacy 32-bit devices would still run but wouldn't ever get the new features.
But I have no idea what Apple would do with all that 64-bit bandwidth and processing power. 4K video? Maybe, but there's just so little actual 4K content available. And few actual 4K monitors. I suppose Apple could future-proof the Apple TV 4K video capability, but there's no need for it yet.
Gaming? Maybe, but does Apple really want to go to all the trouble to make the Apple TV a better gaming machine? It's not just a matter of adding wireless controllers. It might even be necessary to create a separate Apple TV App Store, because it's possible that the interaction model would be totally different than for iPhone & iPad apps. Playing games by mashing buttons on a hardware controller would require a totally different UI programming framework than multi-touching directly on a screen. Also, if Apple made it possible to create 3-way Universal Apple TV / iPhone / iPad apps, it might be a huge pain for developers. The screen geometries of the three devices will all be different (1136x640 iPhone, 2048x1536 iPad Retina, 1920x1080 HDTV.) And they'd probably require totally different storyboards in Xcode because of the radically different interaction models.
On the other hand, let's think freely about screen sizes, geometries, etc. There are already rumors of a "big screen" iPhone next year. And it might have 1920x1080 resolution just like HDTV. After all, the screen aspect ratio of the iPhone already matches the 16:9 aspect ratio of HDTV, just at a lower pixel count. It's possible that there will only be two iOS screen geometries to deal with in the future: 1920x1080 (16:9) and 2048x1536 (4:3). I'd say it's possible that Apple could be heading in that direction.
But does it make sense to allow just any developer to write apps that run universally on iPhone and Apple TV? Rovio could make millions more by milking Angry Birds for another few years. But does it make sense to run the Yahoo Weather app and iPhoto and Yelp app on Apple TV? It would end up like Google TV: combining the worst of both the TV and personal computing worlds. Awkward long-range on-screen input and navigation while you're hogging the communal living room TV to check your tweets or surf the web. This is a scenario that nobody likes. Apple (and Google) already know that.
No, I think Apple will expand what they're doing now. Invite a select group of high-profile incumbents to write apps for Apple TV, or develop the apps for them. And the apps would be customized and beautiful and show off ABC's and NBC Sports Network's and The Disney Channel's catalog of contents and live streams. And they'd all work with the iTunes Store, so you could either 1. buy TV shows or movies ad hoc like now, or 2. pay monthly for the exact channel lineup you want, not the craptacular bundle the cable and satellite TV providers think they can get away with. Monthly payment for subscriptions is already a done deal in Newsstand. A similar technique could be applied to renewing TV subscriptions.
Anyway, all of this new stuff probably won't get rolled out until there's a 64-bit Apple TV. That would eliminate one more development variable. All 64-bit all the time in iOS land-of-the-future.