Apple TV with camera and built-in HomePod speaker reportedly in the works

2

Comments

  • Reply 21 of 53
    doggonedoggone Posts: 386member
    A soundbar with a camera could work for FaceTime but if you think about this, we already have many Apple devices with FT capability.  Any soundbar would need to be able to integrate with a woofer and side speakers to get surround sound.

    As for a screen, good for input but isn't it better just to have your phone or Mac do it for you?  For example adding the home app to the Mac is quite useful.

    AppleTV needs updating and there needs to be a cheaper dongle version that you can just plug in to the TV.
    watto_cobracornchip
  • Reply 22 of 53
    Personally I would prefer Apple to keep the HomePod's as-is but upgrade the classic HomePod with mini tech.

    Having an iPad-like HomeKit console makes sense as today iPads tend to be used as consoles which seems like overkill for such a use case. It could be either a wall mount of a combo with HomePod.

    Potentially the combo could pay homage to the old iMac G4 with the base being the HomePod and the screen being the touch screen HomeKit console. 

    Perhaps one thing to consider would be to eliminate the distinct Apple TV device and include it everywhere in the silicon for HomePod, HomeKit console etc to stream video to TVs. 

    I am hoping they will in parallel take the Apple TV device to become Apple Arcade as a dedicated console for big TV gaming.

    It feels like the Apple One subscription sets the stage for a long haul commitment to Apple Music (HomePods universe), Apple TV content (Apple TV and friends) and Apple Arcade (Apple Arcade console) with high end discrete device options and lower end combined capabilities. 

    Apple also has yet to really drive and commit to HomeKit in a big way which is a real shame.
    BeatsStrangeDayswatto_cobracornchip
  • Reply 23 of 53
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,534member
    I would like to see an Apple TV with (optical) audio out. As it stands, it’s kind of awkward to use an Apple TV in conjunction with a stereo system and projector. I finally arrived at a decent solution, but it involves a 9-year-old DAC with HDMI pass-through (NAD M51) that I bought on eBay. It sounds great when I AirPlay music to my stereo, but doesn’t fully support current HDMI standards, so no HDR or 4K. There are other ways to solve this problem, but it becomes even more awkward, with more boxes and cables and plugs, or inferior sound (which I learned the hard way). With optical output on the Apple TV, I’d still use the DAC, because my other components are older and don’t otherwise have digital inputs at all, but at least I could run the video signal directly to my projector and wouldn’t lose anything in between. And anybody with a newer system that supports optical input could just plug it directly into their preamp/integrated amp/receiver, etc.  Some people would probably just buy one to use as an AirPlay streaming device with their stereo, and not connect to a TV at all—it’s great for that. 

    I'm doing this with the current Apple TV. I actually have 5 Apple TVs and each one is configured differently.

    1. ATV 4K connected to TV using the TV's built-in audio with cable box.
    2. ATV 4K connected to TV using optical audio from TV to soundbar w/wireless subwoofer with cable box.
    3. ATV 4K connected to AV Receiver using HDMI with wired 5.1 speakers (with Mac mini, RPi3+, BlueRay, cable box) + turntable on RCA, + iPod on USB. (+ WebCam)
    4. ATV 4K connected to TV with HDMI-ARC soundbar with wireless subwoofer (with Intel NUC, RPi4, and over the air antenna) using Spectrum app for cable. (+WebCam)
    5. ATV HD connected to TV, with ATV optical audio feeding cheap FiiO DAC with optical audio input, with RCA outputs to vintage 1970s analog receiver with 4 speakers, Spectrum app for cable.

    Configuration 5 has the limitation of no remote volume control when using the DAC audio feed. Have to use the big knob on the analog receiver. But there is an Apple HomePod on the same set of shelves and if I'm not concerned about maximizing audio quality, I select the HomePod as the audio output. But when listening to music or if I want big sound, I fire up the analog receiver and use it as the sound output. It sounds great even though it's going from optical to analog.

    Most soundbars support optical audio and HDMI-ARC so I'd expect the next gen Apple TV would follow this defacto standard.
    edited April 2021 GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 53
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    dewme said:
    This would be a great step forward into the future -- home automation.

    It incorporates all the pieces into one.  But, hopefully, this could also be used as a feed to a home theater system (even if its merely a sound bar).   Much of Apple TV needs sound to be fully effective.  But without a way to connect to anything but TV speakers or low-end HomePods, it can neither present movies or music effectively.

    If it supports HDMI-ARC and and HDMI-CEC and if you can add wireless satellite speakers (HomePod Mini) and a wireless subwoofer it will serve quite nicely as a nice home theater system for a very large number of users. It won't be up there with a dedicated AV receiver based setup, but it will bring a lot of people into the home theater space who would otherwise be too intimidated to mess around with the higher end gear. The main limitation then becomes getting a TV with a sufficient number of HDMI ports, one of which is ARC supported. Having the Apple TV functionality build-in frees up an HDMI port on the TV, so depending on your needs you could even get by with as few as 3 HDMI ports:

    - Apple TV Max (with HomePod, HomeKit, HomeCam) + Cable TV App
    - Gaming Console
    - BlueRay Player

    If you have additional HDMI port you could add a Mac Mini, Intel NUC, or Raspberry Pi for couch computing. Been there, still doing that (right now in fact - doing this from a RPi4 running Firefox on a 55" 4K TV using a Logitech K600 kb/trackpad). If you need a dedicated cable/sat set top box you'll need another HDMI port. But any way you cut it, this would be an easy to configure entry-level home theater setup that would more than satisfy a boatload of users, and especially those who are intimidated by an AV receiver based solution.

    If Apple wanted to really surprise & delight us they would provide a controller with more features. But as long as it supports Bluetooth there are other options, like the K600 which works with Apple TV, Mac, Windows, and Raspberry Pi as well as some smart TVs.

    I hope somebody at Apple read that.   It just makes sense.   It doesn't remove any functionality but adds a huge amount.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 53
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,534member
    doggone said:
    A soundbar with a camera could work for FaceTime but if you think about this, we already have many Apple devices with FT capability.  Any soundbar would need to be able to integrate with a woofer and side speakers to get surround sound.

    As for a screen, good for input but isn't it better just to have your phone or Mac do it for you?  For example adding the home app to the Mac is quite useful.

    AppleTV needs updating and there needs to be a cheaper dongle version that you can just plug in to the TV.

    I've been using Zoom with both a Mac mini and an Intel NUC, each of which is in a home theater type setup with big screen TV. I find it a pleasant change to be relaxed on a couch instead of in front of a computer, especially for long meetings or having more than one person sitting together. Cameras that support zooming can mask the fact that you're sitting on a sofa, or zoom out to be more like a conferencing camera setup. To get this capability today you need a computer connected to your TV. Being able to use an Apple TV to host the camera and app would seemingly be cheaper and simpler for most folks and free up a port on your TV.

    Getting surround sound with wireless satellite speakers and a wireless sub is commonplace today.

    I totally understand the point about Apple doing a low cost dongle version of Apple TV. In fact, the current Apple TV does not have a heck of a lot more functionality than some of the better streaming dongles out there - but it sells at a premium price anyway. I would personally prefer that Apple incorporate a lot more functionality into Apple TV to justify the higher price. One could argue that putting the Apple TV app into newer TVs largely fills the niche that a cheap dongle based solution would fit into.

    I don't use the current Apple TV is ways that stress its performance in any way. It seems very snappy. But if Apple decides to go after the serious gaming consoles, I suppose they will have to bring far more CPU and GPU capabilities to the table. With Apple Silicon this should not be a problem. I just don't see Apple jumping into that highly cutthroat market when they can make the same amount of money in other areas of their business.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 26 of 53
    robabarobaba Posts: 228member
    Hmm.  Built in camera?  Don’t most Apple TV boxes sit below the screen like tuners/amps equipment have for decades?  This would make for a really bad FaceTime camera angle.  

    Otoh, integrated ATV + HomePod sound is a no-brain-er.  Especially if it incorporated the bass missing from the new mini versions.  Effectively a center channel/sub-woofer combo.
    Beatstenthousandthingswatto_cobran2itivguy
  • Reply 27 of 53
    geekmeegeekmee Posts: 633member
    AI_lias said:
    That’s a whole lotta R&D billions for something that’s already been on the market from Amazon and others. The devil will be in the details. Where will the camera be placed? Where could you place this things around your TV for sound. And for camera, etc. since there’s no new technology at play here, Apple’s just late to the game. 
    Apple was ‘late to the game’ in smartphones.
    BeatsStrangeDaysmartinp13watto_cobran2itivguy
  • Reply 28 of 53
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,295member
    kayess said:
    Is it possible Apple might be considering competing in the software space?  Zoom could be much improved on. FaceTime has a foot in the door. 
    FaceTime will never work until it can be on any and all devices no matter the OS. 
  • Reply 29 of 53
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    I don’t care if it’s attached to a toaster just give me a new Apple TV already!
    watto_cobraramanpfaff
  • Reply 30 of 53
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,955member
    k2kw said:
    AI_lias said:
    That’s a whole lotta R&D billions for something that’s already been on the market from Amazon and others. The devil will be in the details. Where will the camera be placed? Where could you place this things around your TV for sound. And for camera, etc. since there’s no new technology at play here, Apple’s just late to the game. 
    This product is already a failure.  The failed with appleTV and failed with the HomePod.   Putting them together isn’t going to work.
    First of all, you dudes are responding to a 2-minute photoshop, lol. Second, they didn’t fail with ATV or HP. You may be worshipping at the church of market share again, but that isn’t Apple’s game. ATV is head & shoulders better than the other streamers I’ve used - especially the crap bundled into smart TVs, which are simply painful to use. ATV is undeniably much better. And it’s a vehicle for iTunes, Music, and other subscriptions (we currently have have 2 pay channels, plus ATV+ which we’ll do the bundle for). Not a weekend goes by that we aren’t renting stuff in addition to our subscriptions. Dual HPs is awesome, I’m sad to see it go. But since they just launched the HP mini, and we have two of those as well, I’m sure they’re happy with where it’s going, even if it’s more causal listening than what I want them for. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 31 of 53
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    dewme said:
    I would like to see an Apple TV with (optical) audio out. As it stands, it’s kind of awkward to use an Apple TV in conjunction with a stereo system and projector. I finally arrived at a decent solution, but it involves a 9-year-old DAC with HDMI pass-through (NAD M51) that I bought on eBay. It sounds great when I AirPlay music to my stereo, but doesn’t fully support current HDMI standards, so no HDR or 4K. There are other ways to solve this problem, but it becomes even more awkward, with more boxes and cables and plugs, or inferior sound (which I learned the hard way). With optical output on the Apple TV, I’d still use the DAC, because my other components are older and don’t otherwise have digital inputs at all, but at least I could run the video signal directly to my projector and wouldn’t lose anything in between. And anybody with a newer system that supports optical input could just plug it directly into their preamp/integrated amp/receiver, etc.  Some people would probably just buy one to use as an AirPlay streaming device with their stereo, and not connect to a TV at all—it’s great for that. 

    I'm doing this with the current Apple TV. I actually have 5 Apple TVs and each one is configured differently.

    1. ATV 4K connected to TV using the TV's built-in audio with cable box.
    2. ATV 4K connected to TV using optical audio from TV to soundbar w/wireless subwoofer with cable box.
    3. ATV 4K connected to AV Receiver using HDMI with wired 5.1 speakers (with Mac mini, RPi3+, BlueRay, cable box) + turntable on RCA, + iPod on USB. (+ WebCam)
    4. ATV 4K connected to TV with HDMI-ARC soundbar with wireless subwoofer (with Intel NUC, RPi4, and over the air antenna) using Spectrum app for cable. (+WebCam)
    5. ATV HD connected to TV, with ATV optical audio feeding cheap FiiO DAC with optical audio input, with RCA outputs to vintage 1970s analog receiver with 4 speakers, Spectrum app for cable.

    Configuration 5 has the limitation of no remote volume control when using the DAC audio feed. Have to use the big knob on the analog receiver. But there is an Apple HomePod on the same set of shelves and if I'm not concerned about maximizing audio quality, I select the HomePod as the audio output. But when listening to music or if I want big sound, I fire up the analog receiver and use it as the sound output. It sounds great even though it's going from optical to analog.

    Most soundbars support optical audio and HDMI-ARC so I'd expect the next gen Apple TV would follow this defacto standard.

    Apple TV doesn’t support ARC? Also that standard is confusing like WiFi. Today what you’d want is Apple TV to support eARC which is true lossless audio.

    This would make a killer game console or movie box. 
  • Reply 32 of 53
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,955member

    crowley said:
    mobird said:
    The beauty of the Homepod was the versatility of its placement within the home, with this proposed device you are going to be tethered to the TV therefore limiting placement.
    It wasn't all that versatile because you still needed to cable it to an outlet.  With that restriction most people are still going to put it next to a wall anyway, so the 360˚ aspect was largely useless.
    Center of room placement isn’t what he meant, I’m guessing. Surely he meant compared to wired shelf speakers. 

    Of course it needs to be plugged in, and of course it’s going to be near a wall — that’s how Apple showed it in the promo material. But it can deliver sound sideways & back in addition to forward, it bounces that sound off the walls and tracks its delay to adjust the bounce. This is different than forward-firing drivers only. 
    edited April 2021 watto_cobraradarthekat
  • Reply 33 of 53
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,077member
    kkqd1337 said:
    interesting but amazon and others have attempted similar and it's never worked well

    a sound bar similar to sonos beam could be good.
    Patrick Spence for Apple CEO after Cook Retires.  SONOS is firing on all cylinders while Cooks Apple just phones it in.
  • Reply 34 of 53
    A 65" iPad would be great if they'd just get the Homekit and AppleTV software competitive.
  • Reply 35 of 53
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,077member
    k2kw said:
    AI_lias said:
    That’s a whole lotta R&D billions for something that’s already been on the market from Amazon and others. The devil will be in the details. Where will the camera be placed? Where could you place this things around your TV for sound. And for camera, etc. since there’s no new technology at play here, Apple’s just late to the game. 
    This product is already a failure.  The failed with appleTV and failed with the HomePod.   Putting them together isn’t going to work.
    First of all, you dudes are responding to a 2-minute photoshop, lol. Second, they didn’t fail with ATV or HP. You may be worshipping at the church of market share again, but that isn’t Apple’s game. ATV is head & shoulders better than the other streamers I’ve used - especially the crap bundled into smart TVs, which are simply painful to use. ATV is undeniably much better. And it’s a vehicle for iTunes, Music, and other subscriptions (we currently have have 2 pay channels, plus ATV+ which we’ll do the bundle for). Not a weekend goes by that we aren’t renting stuff in addition to our subscriptions. Dual HPs is awesome, I’m sad to see it go. But since they just launched the HP mini, and we have two of those as well, I’m sure they’re happy with where it’s going, even if it’s more causal listening than what I want them for. 
    Death clock for HomePodMini has already started.
  • Reply 36 of 53
    I’m a bit clueless as to the purpose of this mishmash. Where would it go, your desk, bedside, kitchen, living room? In each case there is something that feels very wrong. Hopefully this is one of those rumored products that never gets released. 

    Although...if it was a gigantic iPad and had speakers and a camera it could be the Apple TV Set that was never released. With the motion sensing camera it would then be great for video games and FaceTime, you'd be able to watch AppleTV on it, and jam your music. The camera could also do home security when you aren't in the house (sensed of course by your Watch). Ok. Enough. :smile: 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 37 of 53
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,729member
    I love this idea. I often use my HomePod for better tv audio. An Apple TV soundbar w camera makes sense to me. As for the Robotic arm, not so much. The day Apple includes a robotic arm on any of their products we'll know something has gone awry. Unless Apple decides to make a toaster, of course :) 
    mobirdwatto_cobra
  • Reply 38 of 53
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,132member
    This rumor would be sketchy coming from anyone, but given that the source is Bloomberg, it's clearly complete bullshit.  
    watto_cobraramanpfaffbestkeptsecret
  • Reply 39 of 53
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,132member
    mobird said:
    The beauty of the Homepod was the versatility of its placement within the home, with this proposed device you are going to be tethered to the TV therefore limiting placement.
    Perhaps you haven't heard of some incredible new technologies in the field of wireless, such as wi-fi and bluetooth, which allow devices to communicate with each other without physical connections. They've only been around for 20 years so it's understandable that you may have missed the news. 


  • Reply 40 of 53
    AppleishAppleish Posts: 700member
    No soft-serve ice cream maker?
    watto_cobra
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