Apple building prototype televisions for potential 2012 launch - report

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  • Reply 121 of 193
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    There are some major differences.



    First of all, people on this type of forum we're mostly wanting to enter the smartphone market because they thought it could be a lot better and that Apple's experience and success with CE would be ideal. There were dozens upon dozens of mockups of how people envisioned the iPhone, which was named for at least a year by Apple users before the January 2007 announcement.



    Second, those that didn't think Apple could succeed in the smartphone business overwhelming stated it was because the market was saturated. The argument with the TV market is that Apple can't really bring anything new to the table with a basic TV, as well as very real logistical issue with storing large TVs usually found in warehouse stores, not in a the back rooms of boutique shops.



    Consider how many iPads and iPhone can fit into the space or a single 50" HDTV box. Now consider the revenue and profit of all those devices compared to a single HDTV. Apple doesn't sell many Mac Pros yet a single Mac Pro takes up less space and makes a lot more profit than a 50" TV.



    There are clearly some areas in which Apple's strengths could benefit users TV viewing, but there are so many issues at hand with cable and sat, and hard to see how Apple could bypass them or make a one-size-fits-all solution without CableCards. Look what happened with GoogleTV. Look how long it took for Apple to create an iPhone that connected to more than the highly standardized GSM/UMTS network.



    I'm not completely sold on whether or not Apple will make an HDTv (even though its executives did warn that a future product would be coming up that would lower its profit margins slightly). The only thing is that much of your concerns have viable solutions.

    1) you mention that some people thought that the mobile space was saturated (which was not the case) but television is definitely saturated. If you look solely at the general tv market, I'd agree, but if you look at web-enabled televisions, that is not the case. No manufacturer has created one that has fully captured the market for average consumers so there is room for growth there.

    2) logistics of selling them in the store. I mentioned in the other thread about the SJ bio that Apple can have off site warehouses and have the TV's delivered once purchased in the store. A bit more expense, but the television isn't selling for a couple hundred dollars. Also, nobody looks forward to lugging a huge tv home in a sedan

    3) bypassing cable/satellite. Who says that Apple needs to do that? It will still be a tv just with extra stuff. You can still pay the cable companies if you want but have the choice to use Netflix, iTunes, YouTube, whatever else is added. If Apple goes beyond a set top box, it can't straight up eliminate other content providers. Apple makes its mint from hardware not content.
  • Reply 122 of 193
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post


    I honestly didn't think this was likely but who knows.



    I like the look of the Samsung Smart TV, but I would much rather have an Apple version.



    Wow this might actually happen!



    For that to work I'd think Apple would have to sell their TVs to any distributors just like Samsung. While I'm sure the Apple SmartTV would be more responsive and user friendly than a Samsung SmartTV it still leaves the constant problem of grabbing the right remote since it's still not a replacement for cable or sat.



    Something is definitely missing from this puzzle. Without that piece I don't think anything in the article could be the "cracked" solution of Jobs eureka moment.
  • Reply 123 of 193
    I love all things Apple and have many Apple devices in my home, but I also love movies and have a nice collection of Blu-ray titles. If the Apple TV wouldn't support Blu-ray, either an internal drive (ideal) or thru HDMI, I wouldn't buy it, no matter how badly I would want it. \
  • Reply 124 of 193
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kermit262 View Post


    I love all things Apple and have many Apple devices in my home, but I also love movies and have a nice collection of Blu-ray titles. If the Apple TV wouldn't support Blu-ray, either an internal drive (ideal) or thru HDMI, I wouldn't buy it, no matter how badly I would want it. \



    I'm sure a TV by Apple would support Blu-ray through HDMI.
  • Reply 125 of 193
    kbrkbr Posts: 8member
    A built in Face Time camera is the only benefit I can see from an Apple Produced Television.

    Every thing else can be put into the AppleTV



    That is why I don't think we will ever see an Television from Apple.



    If Apple could sell a 4K TV for the price of a regular HDTV and use the A6 processor to upscale the HDTV signal to to 4K resolution, then that would be a product that would dominate. Sadly I don't think it is possible both economically and computationally.
  • Reply 126 of 193
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KBR View Post


    A built in Face Time camera is the only benefit I can see from an Apple Produced Television.

    Every thing else can be put into the AppleTV



    That is why I don't think we will ever see an Television from Apple.



    If Apple could sell a 4K TV for the price of a regular HDTV and use the A6 processor to upscale the HDTV signal to to 4K resolution, then that would be a product that would dominate. Sadly I don't think it is possible both economically and computationally.



    Good point about FaceTime, but Apple could still license their "AppleTV Inside", "iCloud Inside" TV to other vendors that are required to have a camera in the top center of the bezel.



    PS: One thing about a FaceTime camera is that it's on devices that you typically place on your face, with a mic that's also not too far from your face. With a large HDTV you end up getting a wide view of a room and a mic that's far away unless it's in the remote control or some other device close to your person. I suppose they could put in a zoom with a servos so it can manually or automatically zoom in to your face/body, but that seems overly complex, not an Apple solution.
  • Reply 127 of 193
    shaun, ukshaun, uk Posts: 1,050member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    For that to work I'd think Apple would have to sell their TVs to any distributors just like Samsung. While I'm sure the Apple SmartTV would be more responsive and user friendly than a Samsung SmartTV it still leaves the constant problem of grabbing the right remote since it's still not a replacement for cable or sat.



    Something is definitely missing from this puzzle. Without that piece I don't think anything in the article could be the "cracked" solution of Jobs eureka moment.



    I don't know about the US but in the UK most of the high street electrical retailers sell Apple computers now so I don't think that would be a problem.



    Not everyone has or wants cable or sat. Maybe Apple could offer subscriptions to cable channels streaming over the net? Switch on your TV and you get a menu of channels available - tick the ones you want and hey presto. It works with MLB TV - I can watch all the baseball I like now without having to pay for ESPN through cable/sat.



    A lot of TV channels are available online now anyway. Maybe they would be happy to provide content to an Apple TV to break up the cable/sat strangle hold.
  • Reply 128 of 193
    People already mentioned the audio receiver, but they are cheating on the DVR part. I guess they are implying TIVO, but if you have Comcast service, most would get the DVR from them. That would save that $299 and the +$12 a month for tivo subscription by just getting the $12 a month DVR. If you get a cablecard instead from Comcast, it is no charge (at least when I had Comcast; now on Fios). Removing this alone from the ad put the equipment under AppleTV.
  • Reply 129 of 193
    shaun, ukshaun, uk Posts: 1,050member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kermit262 View Post


    I love all things Apple and have many Apple devices in my home, but I also love movies and have a nice collection of Blu-ray titles. If the Apple TV wouldn't support Blu-ray, either an internal drive (ideal) or thru HDMI, I wouldn't buy it, no matter how badly I would want it. \



    You would buy/rent HD movies from iTunes Store rather than watch a Blu-Ray. That's the whole point - it's a one box solution. One TV with no ugly cable/sat/dvd/bluray/xbox/etc boxes underneath. It's a minimalists dream.
  • Reply 130 of 193
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    ... Mics around the room is an interesting thought. Putting them in the speakers around the room would likely do the trick. I wonder what kind of processing that would require.



    The one thing I am absolutely certain of is that it makes no sense for Apple to get into the TV business if they are going to be selling the same complicated crud as already exists in the market place. For this reason I would think the possibility of said Apple branded television having separate speakers placed around the room is essentially zero.



    Software wise there is no reason to do a TV at all because the current Apple TV does everything, or could potentially handle everything that is necessary. That means the new Apple branded TV would have to be a hardware coup, more than a software one.



    Simplifying the hardware means removing all the extra boxes and wires. It means no external speakers, and likely no cable TV at all. Everything built-in, no buttons, one power cord.



    Anything less would just be another TV. Even putting the inputs on the back turns it into another TV just like any other because people will hook up a dozen cruddy boxes to it. It won't even have inputs beyond what the current Apple TV hardware has, so HDMI and one USB (maybe).
  • Reply 131 of 193
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    There are some major differences.



    First of all, people on this type of forum we're mostly wanting to enter the smartphone market because they thought it could be a lot better and that Apple's experience and success with CE would be ideal. There were dozens upon dozens of mockups of how people envisioned the iPhone, which was named for at least a year by Apple users before the January 2007 announcement.



    Second, those that didn't think Apple could succeed in the smartphone business overwhelming stated it was because the market was saturated. The argument with the TV market is that Apple can't really bring anything new to the table with a basic TV, as well as very real logistical issue with storing large TVs usually found in warehouse stores, not in a the back rooms of boutique shops.



    Consider how many iPads and iPhone can fit into the space or a single 50" HDTV box. Now consider the revenue and profit of all those devices compared to a single HDTV. Apple doesn't sell many Mac Pros yet a single Mac Pro takes up less space and makes a lot more profit than a 50" TV.



    There are clearly some areas in which Apple's strengths could benefit users TV viewing, but there are so many issues at hand with cable and sat, and hard to see how Apple could bypass them or make a one-size-fits-all solution without CableCards. Look what happened with GoogleTV. Look how long it took for Apple to create an iPhone that connected to more than the highly standardized GSM/UMTS network.



    I really think you are failing to think outside of the box on this one. Every argument you make against the TV has multiple possible solutions.



    Here you seem to be primarily arguing that the shipping and storage cost of large TV's is going to be so crippling that they won't even enter the market as a result? what? That sounds really off to me. It's old-fashioned thinking at best.



    An Apple branded TV would be shipped world-wide. Why on earth do you insist on assuming that it would have to deal with American cable TV problems? I don't see any reason why such a product would include cable at all nor why it should it have to, to be successful.
  • Reply 132 of 193
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,672member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    The one thing I am absolutely certain of is that it makes no sense for Apple to get into the TV business if they are going to be selling the same complicated crud as already exists in the market place. For this reason I would think the possibility of said Apple branded television having separate speakers placed around the room is essentially zero.



    Software wise there is no reason to do a TV at all because the current Apple TV does everything, or could potentially handle everything that is necessary. That means the new Apple branded TV would have to be a hardware coup, more than a software one.



    Simplifying the hardware means removing all the extra boxes and wires. It means no external speakers, and likely no cable TV at all. Everything built-in, no buttons, one power cord.



    Anything less would just be another TV. Even putting the inputs on the back turns it into another TV just like any other because people will hook up a dozen cruddy boxes to it. It won't even have inputs beyond what the current Apple TV hardware has, so HDMI and one USB (maybe).



    I agree - and therein lies the temptation. This is something Apple could do... theoretically, and I am certain they would love to do it. Its a tough nut to crack and it would be a tough sell, but hardest of all would be the content part. The content providers are not about lie down and die. Unless Apple could convince them to change their business models and to let Apple package their content... I can't see it.
  • Reply 133 of 193
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,597member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ranReloaded View Post


    Why would I want YET ANOTHER REMOTE? Besides, I have my iPhone with me all the time



    You can't turn the set on with an iPhone because the iPhone is working over the network. The TV (at least TVs and other electronics released so far) can't recognize the incoming command from the network when they're turned off. So the iPhone (or iPad) has to trigger another device which in turn, triggers the TV via control functionality.



    Maybe Apple will find a way around this, similar to the way you can (supposedly) send a command over the network to wake up the Mac.



    I'm not optimistic about the functionality of an Apple TV. In an effort to streamline the UI, my bet is that you'll be able to connect a cable box and an Apple box (if it's not built in) and not much else. I'd be surprised if it has HDMI provisions for Blu-ray or an A/V multichannel receiver. I'm also not optimistic about it having ISF calibration controls or being up to the picture quality of the new Sharp Elites, the now defunct Pioneer Kuros (plasma), the top-of-the-line Sony HX929 or the Panasonic VT30 (plasma). I also bet the parameters you can adjust will be extremely limited.



    One approach Apple could take (although I doubt that they will) is to provide a device to perform an automatic in-home calibration of the set the same way as audio receivers come with Audysey or another calibration program. No one else is doing that for a TV today. Some sets provide a THX mode, which many calibrators will tell you "isn't bad" out of the box on some models.



    While I agree that the UI on current offerings, especially when combined with external components, is a nightmare, since there's no rumors of Apple working with such vendors, I suspect an Apple television would solve the problem by over-simplifying the UI to the point of eliminating functionality. Some people will think this is great and others will think it's terrible. If I'm correct, expect such a device to get slammed on the forums dedicated to A/V and the like.



    But the prospect of using Siri to control the device, if effective and error-free, does sound very interesting, although it may sound like this:



    Hubby: Siri, turn on the TV.

    Hubby: Siri, what Sports are on?

    (SiriTV responds)

    Hubby: Turn to the NFL game.

    SiriTV: Sorry, I don't understand you.

    Hubby: Turn to the EN...EF....ELLLL game.

    Wifey (from next room): What?

    Hubby: Nothing.

    SiriTV: Sorry, I don't understand you.

    Wifey: What'd you say?

    Hubby: I didn't say anything

    SiriTV: Sorry, I don't understand you.

    Wifey: Don't tell me you didn't say anything, I heard you.

    Hubby: I was....on my phone.

    Wifey: On the phone, talking to who?

    Hubby: To Siri.

    SiriTV: Yes?

    Wifey: If you're on the sex line again, I'm going to kill you.

    Hubby: I'm not on the sex line.

    SiriTV: Sex line. Would you like PornCall, HotChicks or Almost18?

    Wifey: What was that?

    Hubby: Gezus...where's my regular remote control?
  • Reply 134 of 193
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post


    Really?!? An Apple tv? ... and people think this will work?!



    Televisions are a cut throat business. Combine that with the fact that most people can't even operate cable boxes properly.



    This thing better be smooth as glass in operation, 46" or larger and still undercut the competition... that's my view of it.



    This sounds like a Steve thing that will be very difficult for the rest of the crew to launch properly. jmho



    The music player market was a cut throat business. How well did Apple do there?



    The PC market is a cut throat business. Last I checked Apple is growing like gang busters



    The cell phone market is an even bigger cut throat business. Care to take a shot as to how well Apple did there?



    Don't forget to add the tablet market or shall I say the iPad market. And this 10 years after MS tried fiddling with the idea of tablets and failed at it



    Shall I go on?



    It's amazing how everytime Apple enters a new market people are quick to cut them down without giving them a chance.
  • Reply 135 of 193
    djsherlydjsherly Posts: 1,031member
    I don't understand why apple would do this. Quite aside from the technical arguments, why would they want to offer something that a consumer is going to buy once. The TV in my lounge is 5 years old and works fine. It will be probably work fine for another 5.



    Their foray into CE has been based around things that are easily replaced on a cycle. I would find it unlikely that people would re hang a television every two years, not to mention the terrible environmental stewardship that would entail.
  • Reply 136 of 193
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    I really think you are failing to think outside of the box on this one. Every argument you make against the TV has multiple possible solutions.



    Here you seem to be primarily arguing that the shipping and storage cost of large TV's is going to be so crippling that they won't even enter the market as a result? what? That sounds really off to me. It's old-fashioned thinking at best.



    An Apple branded TV would be shipped world-wide. Why on earth do you insist on assuming that it would have to deal with American cable TV problems? I don't see any reason why such a product would include cable at all nor why it should it have to, to be successful.



    1) Apple has a long history of focusing on the US market first, and then growing their brand. The US is still their largest single country for sales. I don't see Apple ignoring the US market for a product.



    2) I've thought of a lot of ways this could work, all trying to think of how this nut could be cracked. Doing what all others are doing isn't cracking anything, it's just following in the footsteps of your competitors. I can't see Jobs saying that he figured out he needs to step in the footsteps of Samsung with a TV.



    3) Logistics and physics are important. You can't put a $1000 50" HDTV in the space of a $2000 15" MBP. The items don't scale or work the same way. You also need to consider the revenue and profit. Look at how the iPod has been deprecated with this last special event as it becomes a smaller and smaller percentage of Apple's business. Are HDTVs likely to rival their iPad and iPhone business. Is sacrificing sales of them to store TVs in stores going to make sense?



    4) Cable is an issue! These are a standard utility in the US. Furthermore, they are intertwined with the stations and networks very tightly. You can't simply say you'll stream all content over the internet when the cable internet service you're using is already paying huge lump sums for the access. These are important payments for the networks. Why do you think GoogleTV felt like such a threat? Of all the nuts this is the toughest to crack. Ignoring it will not solve it. I'm sure one day this union will falter and it won't be pretty but as of yet no one has come with a solution to break it apart. Well, maybe Jobs, but has yet to be seen, but slapping an Apple logo on a few TVs isn't going to cut it.



    5) Putting a box inside another box isn't thinking outside the box. I'm not against Apple entering this market. I'm all for it, I just haven't heard much "out of the box thinking" that would revolutionize the market, outside of Siri integration.
  • Reply 137 of 193
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tru_canuk View Post


    The music player market was a cut throat business. How well did Apple do there?



    The PC market is a cut throat business. Last I checked Apple is growing like gang busters



    The cell phone market is an even bigger cut throat business. Care to take a shot as to how well Apple did there?



    Don't forget to add the tablet market or shall I say the iPad market. And this 10 years after MS tried fiddling with the idea of tablets and failed at it



    Shall I go on?



    It's amazing how everytime Apple enters a new market people are quick to cut them down without giving them a chance.



    Apple just entered a new market?



    Which one? When?
  • Reply 138 of 193
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by djsherly View Post


    I don't understand why apple would do this. Quite aside from the technical arguments, why would they want to offer something that a consumer is going to buy once. The TV in my lounge is 5 years old and works fine. It will be probably work fine for another 5.



    Their foray into CE has been based around things that are easily replaced on a cycle. I would find it unlikely that people would re hang a television every two years, not to mention the terrible environmental stewardship that would entail.



    I'd much rather see the AppleTV evolve with yearly or bi-yearly updates. The TV monitor won't change YoY, but getting a faster, better AppleTV HW so you can run AppleTV App Store apps would be great.



    If they created the Apple TV to be more powerful you could plug your choice of vendor and size of HDTV into the back of the AppleTV so it turns on with the AppleTV.



    You can then have an AppleTV that is considerably less expensive to update instead of waiting a half-decade or more. You also get the option to have an AppleTV in every room in your home where you want a TV, not just rooms that can support huge TVs.
  • Reply 139 of 193
    macrulezmacrulez Posts: 2,455member
    deleted
  • Reply 140 of 193
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kent909 View Post


    You say to Siri:

    "What is on TV right now"

    Siri displays a list of programs on.

    "That's way too much, just show me sports programs"

    Siri displays only sports programs.

    "Let's watch Monday Night Football"

    Siri switches your TV to MNF, while akf2000 is asking where your 250 button remote is?



    Now we get to hear all the reasons this won't work.



    Or I could press a single button that brings up a Guide for me. It's even quicker.



    It'll be interesting to see what Aple does in such a low margin, mature business like TVs, but I'm not replacing my 50" TV unless it breaks. I have invested in several peripherals (PS3 as a Netflix & general media player) and I really cant see myself changing anytime soon.



    I'll swap out my phone, I'll change PC/Macs and I may even change content provider for TV (sat vs internet vs cable). Still, let's see what is compelling about Apple's offer. If it's just a means to deliver their content to me now, well I have a way to do that already and it's nothing new.
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