New Apple TV not expected to debut at iPhone event, software updates coming instead

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Contrary to recent rumors and speculation, Apple will not be introducing a new Apple TV set top box at its media event next week, says one report, but will instead continue to upgrade the current model's software with additional channels, content and functionality.

Apple TV


People familiar with Apple's plans said the company is not planning to debut a new version of the Apple TV at next week's special media event, reports AllThingsD. Speculation of a new product was sparked earlier this week when it was discovered that Apple had received shipments of "Set Top Boxes" from partner manufacturer BYD in China.

Instead of a hardware refresh, sources say Apple is focusing on broadening the existing device's capabilities through software. One such feature being worked on will allow customers to playback owned content to other users' Apple TVs without forcing them to log out. The process would require an iOS device, like an iPhone, to authenticate the purchase via AirPlay before streaming.

Apple has been aggressively pushing out new software for its set-top streamer, including dedicated channels for Vevo, Disney, Weather and Smithsonian. There are also rumors of negotiations with Time Warner and other cable providers for content rights, though recent rumors suggest Apple is looking to bypass the companies by engaging directly with content owners.

In addition to content, future Apple TV software may have so-called second screen capabilities baked in, based on tech Apple acquired from the purchase of content aggregation service and app Matcha.tv.

Sources have little information regarding the upcoming software updates, but said some of the new features are slated to roll out in the coming weeks.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Instead of a hardware refresh, sources say Apple is focusing on broadening the existing device's capabilities through software. One such feature being worked on will allow customers to playback owned content to other users' Apple TVs without forcing them to log out. The process would require an iOS device, like an iPhone, to authenticate the purchase via AirPlay before streaming. .

    That doesn't sound terribly useful. How often do you have someone else's Apple TV on the same network as yours and want to share content?

    I could see having two Apple TVs in a home, for example, but they would typically be set up with the same user.
  • Reply 2 of 42
    jragosta wrote: »
    That doesn't sound terribly useful. How often do you have someone else's Apple TV on the same network as yours and want to share content?

    I could see having two Apple TVs in a home, for example, but they would typically be set up with the same user.

    Not every family shares an account; also, it's pretty common now for multiple families to share a dwelling.
  • Reply 3 of 42
    jragosta: "That doesn't sound terribly useful. How often do you have someone else's Apple TV on the same network as yours and want to share content?"

    First thing that popped into my head%u2026%u2026

    Movie nights at a friends house.
  • Reply 4 of 42
    jakebjakeb Posts: 557member
    The article is written in a funny way. It's not sharing between AppleTvs necessarily, it's sharing between itunes accounts.

    It's super useful at my apartment. 3 roommates with 3 itunes accounts, 1 appletv
    Heck, I imagine in most families, each person might have their own itunes account.

    An aside, I hope they disallow content providers from using the word "watch" on their icons. It adds a super cheesy tone to the whole thing. Check out the new Disney icons (and ESPN, though to a lesser extent) http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/08/27/apple-tv-update-adds-channels-for-vevo-disney-weather-smithsonian
  • Reply 5 of 42
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,811member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post





    Not every family shares an account; also, it's pretty common now for multiple families to share a dwelling.

     

    True but why the need for an iOS device? And why would AirPlay need to be involved at all?

     

    Currently the AppleTV looks over the network for libraries authorized to play content by whatever account you enter under the iTunes Store setting... Which would still be the main account for renting and purchasing from that AppleTV. However, adding a feature that would allow playback from multiple libraries would be fairly trivial...

     

    In the Computers setting, include an option to add other iTunes accounts; for each, enter the account and password. The AppleTV will then scan the network for all iTunes libraries with Home Sharing turned on using that account.

     

    That library will appear in the main "Computers" app on the home screen, just as multiple libraries always have.

     

     

    The method mentioned in the article seems convoluted and unnecessary. I'm guessing the author has never actually used an AppleTV before?

  • Reply 6 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post





    Not every family shares an account; also, it's pretty common now for multiple families to share a dwelling.

     

    Common if you think 2% [I'm intentionally throwing out a low ball because the only family sharing is a grandparent moving in with an unemployed colleged graduate] of the population is common.

  • Reply 7 of 42
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    pendergast wrote: »
    Not every family shares an account; also, it's pretty common now for multiple families to share a dwelling.

    But then you have licensing issues. And I would never be transferring my movies to the person in the apartment next door, anyway.
    bcgersh wrote: »
    jragosta: "That doesn't sound terribly useful. How often do you have someone else's Apple TV on the same network as yours and want to share content?"

    First thing that popped into my head%u2026%u2026

    Movie nights at a friends house.

    Which means that you have to bring your Apple TV over to the friend's house and then hook it up to a different TV so you can operate it. Why not just hook it up to the TV you want to watch?
  • Reply 8 of 42
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    mjtomlin wrote: »
    True but why the need for an iOS device? And why would AirPlay need to be involved at all?

    Currently the AppleTV looks over the network for libraries authorized to play content by whatever account you enter under the iTunes Store setting... Which would still be the main account for renting and purchasing from that AppleTV. However, adding a feature that would allow playback from multiple libraries would be fairly trivial...

    In the Computers setting, include an option to add other iTunes accounts; for each, enter the account and password. The AppleTV will then scan the network for all iTunes libraries with Home Sharing turned on using that account.
    You go over to Grandma's and use their Apple TV to watch your iTunes purchases. You library is not on Grandma's network.
    AirPlay is needed to authorize Grandma's AppleTV from your iPhone to stream your purchases from the cloud, not from you library on your computer.

    Right now, Grandma could log out of of iTunes on her AppleTV then you log in with your AppleID and view your iTunes purchases but this makes it simpler.
  • Reply 9 of 42
    Is it me or is it simply stating that you can use your iPhone to AirPlay a movie on a friends AppleTV at their house, on their wifi?
  • Reply 10 of 42
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    petieg wrote: »
    Is it me or is it simply stating that you can use your iPhone to AirPlay a movie on a friends AppleTV at their house, on their wifi?
    It is you.
  • Reply 11 of 42
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,973member
    petieg wrote: »
    Is it me or is it simply stating that you can use your iPhone to AirPlay a movie on a friends AppleTV at their house, on their wifi?

    You purchase the content with your iPhone yet the content will play through their Apple TV without them having to log out and you logging in. I'm guessing it'll detect the nearest Apple TV and play the content regardless of who's signed in. Good idea for hotels.
  • Reply 12 of 42
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,811member
    Quote:



    Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post





    You go over to Grandma's and use their Apple TV to watch your iTunes purchases. You library is not on Grandma's network.

    AirPlay is needed to authorize Grandma's AppleTV from your iPhone to stream your purchases from the cloud, not from you library on your computer.



    Right now, Grandma could log out of of iTunes on her AppleTV then you log in with your AppleID and view your iTunes purchases but this makes it simpler.

     

    Hmmm... That's weird. I've AirPlay'ed purchased (protected) content from my iPhone to a friend's AppleTV before without needing to log into it. Is there something I'm missing or not understanding that the feature mentioned in the article does that I cannot currently do?

     

    From what I've always understood, content is authorized for playback at the source not on the AppleTV itself. According to this article, a DRM key is sent to the AppleTV from the AirPlay source. That key is used to decrypt the stream.

     

    -------------

    And I just tested this on my own AppleTV... completely logged out and stopped all sharing and rebooted.

     

    Protected movie plays fine over Airplay, no need to log in or authorize anything on the AppleTV side.

  • Reply 13 of 42
    Now Apple has standard game controllers for iOS devices, it begs for games and other apps to be playable on the AppleTV. I am hoping this comes sooner rather than later.
  • Reply 14 of 42
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,973member
    mjtomlin wrote: »
    Hmmm... That's weird. I've AirPlay'ed purchased (protected) content from my iPhone to a friend's AppleTV before without needing to log into it. Is there something I'm missing or not understanding that the feature mentioned in the article does that I cannot currently do?

    I'm guessing Airplay isn't involved.
  • Reply 15 of 42
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,811member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    I'm guessing Airplay isn't involved.

     

    No need to make guesses; the article specifically mentions AirPlay.

  • Reply 16 of 42
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,973member
    mjtomlin wrote: »
    No need to make guesses; the article specifically mentions AirPlay.

    Just to authenticate the purchase from there the Apple TV takes over.
  • Reply 17 of 42
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    I'd say I'm bummed there won't be a refresh, but what would an upgraded processor or more memory do under ATVs current iteration? Until they modify the software and capabilities substantially- we will be fine with the current setup.

    So here's hoping for some big changes sooner than later (if not now- march-ish would be a great time).
  • Reply 18 of 42
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    … Apple will ... continue to upgrade the current model's software with additional channels, content and functionality. ...

     

     … in the USA. 

  • Reply 19 of 42
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

     

     

    Hmmm... That's weird. I've AirPlay'ed purchased (protected) content from my iPhone to a friend's AppleTV before without needing to log into it. ...


     

    I think the implication is that the content is not actually on the phone but still owned by the person who owns the phone.  You are assuming it's a standard Airplay situation instead.  

  • Reply 20 of 42
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Andysol View Post



    I'd say I'm bummed there won't be a refresh, but what would an upgraded processor or more memory do under ATVs current iteration? ...

     

    If they did refresh it would be the fastest ever since they just refreshed about 7-8 months ago.  The only reason to do a hardware refresh now would be if they have a substantially different device to sell.  

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