What Would a Real Apple TV Look Like?
Disclaimer: We didn’t stumble upon an Apple prototype at our local Beer Garden and we don't have any inside information about whether or not an actual Apple-branded TV is under development but here’s why we think a real honest-to-goodness 50-inch Apple HDTV would make sense and what it could look like.
Why Would Apple Make a TV?
Of the "three screen" the industry talks about; laptop (or desktop), handheld (or smartphone), and the TV screen, you have to admit Apple has a good grasp of the first two (computer and smartphone screen). You could argue that the iPad is a fourth screen, but it's hard to argue that the current Apple TV doesn’t fall short for a lot of consumers. We hear rumors of a new improved Apple TV set top box but we ask why shouldn't Apple go for the gold and offer a big screen, connected HDTV? After all, we're just talking about a super large-screen monitor with some added processing power and a few new connectivity options, or think of it as a supersized iPad or iPhone with a different user interface.
What Could Apple Do for the 10 Foot Interface?
They call it the 10 foot interface because you interact with the screen sitting 10 feet away from it. Would a new kind of 3D remote make sense, or how about using your iPhone of iPad to control the big screen? Or better yet, maybe a gesture-based remote like Microsoft’s new Kinect interface? We would love to see what the Apple UI experts might come up with for controlling what's on your TV.
Will it be a Game Machine?
We know Apple has hired away some key people from chip and console companies like AMD, Intel, Samsung, Qualcomm and even Microsoft, many with expertise in graphics processing and console gaming. We also know that application developers for the iPhone and iPad have been told to develop applications that can work in different resolutions and screen sizes so wouldn't a big screen game machine or at the least a big screen app-player make sense? And, imagine if all the sensors on your iPhone or iPad could turn them into game controllers. The actual game (app) could run on the TV but your iPhone would send controller data to the TV to drive the car or fire the sling shot.
There's a Battle Looming for Control of the Living Room
Everyone loves apps! There have been more than 5 billion Apple apps served. Not only can apps run on smartphones, tablets and laptops but we predict the next platform for apps will be connected TVs. We imagine a living room where TV viewers click on a weather app or sports app instead of watching the local news or play a board game with the family using the Monopoly app, or stay in touch with their friends with a Facebook app, all from the comfort of their living room couch.
And Another Battle for the TV OS
A TV OS would provide a platform to run apps on all the screens in your home including your phone, your computer and especially the big TV screen in your living room. Will the "Living Room" OS come from Google/Android, Apple, Microsoft, Sony, or someone else? Competition over who will provide a TV OS is heating up with Google TV getting set to do battle with all comers for control of the living room. Apple could launch a formidable assault with an Apple TV and Apple TV OS.
Our TV Feature Wish List
If anyone from the Apple TV product team happens to be reading this, here are some things we hope you'll consider:

• A wireless speaker system for surround sound without
having to run wires
• Great audio with a state-of-the-art sound bar
• ALS and Presence sensing for the environment
• A built-in PVR with multiple tuners and a big hard drive to store lots of TV shows unless, of
course, they all live in the cloud and are available on demand.
• Cable card slot just in case you want to watch HBO

So Many Questions…
Could we be on to something? As Apple moves further away from computers into the realm of the living room and home entertainment are we going to see a new, Apple-branded 50-inch state-of-the-art LCD TV? Will it play games or 3D movies from Pixar and other studios? Will there be an "iVideo" store for streaming TV shows and downloading high definition movies? Will there be a whole new set of apps for it?
So What Do You Think?
Let us know if you think Apple should make a TV or what that TV might look like and what's on your TV wish list. In the meantime don't forget to check out Retrevo for reviews and manuals on the latest gear including digital cameras, laptops, HDTV and more.

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Apple TV: the next big multiplayer gaming system?

I'm not sure how much sense it makes for Apple to create their own TV, unless they really make some significant upgrades such as integrated sensing cameras & mics, etc. Could be very cool, but I'd guess it won't show up for another 2 generations.

HOWEVER, It is all but guaranteed that an SDK/App Store is coming to Apple TV soon.

An article I wrote in March of 2009 on the topic:


Apple TV

You've got some good ideas, I add Gigabite Ethernet jack, & 2USB jacks for added storage, ect..
I hope they'ed go all out, and not with a half baked plan.

How about 5 D in the near future

Lets ask for a scent/wind module that will change the smell in the room rapidly disapate and then change again. And motion active furniture thru wireless USB ports to emulate the motion in the scenes.

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Unless Apple made an extreme

Unless Apple made an extreme user interface, I don't see it catching on. After all, Apple doesn't even make their own displays they are all outsourced to either Samsung or LG. Why would you pay even more money than an already expensive Samsung or LG to get an Apple logo? This isn't the computer market, people are not going to pay a thousand dollars more than the Samsung for the same exact specs.




No money

Apple would be crazy to enter the ultra low margin TV space unless they can make a breakthrough of somekind and change the game. Apple's industrial design edge means far less in the TV space, which leaves their user-interface advantage. Unless you think the TV will replace other devices as the main home compute engine, then the UI will be all about simplicity and minimal presence to access what the TV is really about - which is access to visual media. Apple could dominate with the iTune's for TV/Video - but the TV hardware is as important here as the iPod was to create that breakthrough.

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The money is in the content and ads, not so much the hardware.

Apple would want to do what it did with the iPhone -- create a compelling user experience that drives sales of the product, but then lock the users into Apple's advertising and content distribution network. The battle is going to be between Apple and Google for advertising revenue and subscription/pay-per-view content. TV is still a powerful and pervasive medium, but it will be a new game when our TVs are exclusively Internet devices. I dropped my cable subscription and just use my cable for high-speed Internet now. I don't miss the 500 channels of garbage I left behind.

As for TV operating systems, I'm playing with ElementOS (www.elementmypc.com), a work-in-progress fledgling entry into the field, but one with some good ideas about the 10-foot GUI user-interface. Boxee is very pleasant to use (www.boxee.tv). Cooliris (www.cooliris.com) is very slick. I'm sure that Google and Apple will have some great user interfaces in their TV operating systems.

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50" apple tv

That should look nice in your living room with a rubber bumper or duct tape wrapped around it to pick up the signal :-)

50" iPhone?

But you'd look really silly holding it up to your ear!

Apple TV

Interesting but the real progress will be made in "cloud" communications standards.
My bet is that in five years your living space will be pretty much like the bridge of the Enterprise on "Star Trek." In 1972 I had the equivilent of a cell phone as a Radio Amature... now everyone has one. Pretty soon all of your electronics will recongize the other.

THEN they will start to recognize you. THEN the government will tap into that data history and you won't move without being recorded.