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Next Apple TV to be capped at 720p, run apps?

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Wednesday, August 11, 2010
News Categories: Apple TV

The next-generation Apple TV will be capped at 720p for video output and will be capable of running apps, according to a new report. Without citing sources, Engadget reports that the new device won’t be enabled to handle 1080i or 1080p video, supposedly because the A4 chip can’t handle higher-resolution content — although the report states there is much internal debate going on at Apple concerning this issue. In addition, Engadget claims that the device will be capable of running apps, but it is unclear in what form they would arrive given that the Apple TV lacks a touchscreen interface and other hardware necessary to run certain iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad applications. Finally, the report claims that the next Apple TV will be renamed “iTV,” which was the product’s name when it was first shown in September 2006; it is believed that the name was scrapped in part due to Elgato’s EyeTV products for Mac.

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Comments

1

They might have a job on there hands using the iTV moniker in the UK, it’s one of the two main television networks.

Posted by Greg Edwards on August 11, 2010 at 2:37 PM (PDT)

2

Also, the UK’s ITV group of companies also have a history in Digital TV Set Top Boxes / Services too (albeit a short lived, disastrous one that ended in liquidation and scandal as they demanded then pleaded for subscribers to post their hardware back to the failed company to pay off their debts grin

So Apple may want to rethink their naming policy in the UK at least…

Posted by Scott on August 11, 2010 at 4:51 PM (PDT)

3

The next gen apple TV will put the final nail in the coffin if it doesn’t support 1080p video. Here’s a product that’s been flip flopped over by many, and loved by few. I’m as big a fan of apple products as the next guy buy apple TV has the potential to be amazing but the lack of software/hardware supported features coupled with the price make the device hard to justify buying. I love the idea of being able to rent movies from the iTunes store for less than my local video store (or cable provider) charges, but they often delay the rental release by a week or two on new movies. Thus video store is the place to go for new releases that I can’t wait to see, but don’t yet want to buy. Also, 720p looks pretty good, but only up to a certain size TV. With 50+ inch TVs more common than ever 1080p really makes a difference. And isn’t apple all about top quality, at least thats how they market themselves. Furthermore, I shouldn’t have to hack a device with an internet connection to install a browser on it. That’s a feature that comes standard on a Wii and for a lower price too. (now if only nintendo would make a wii that plays movies). I don’t see how running apps is going to revolutionise the apple TV. Apps are great on iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad because of the portability of these devices. Maybe I’m not using my imagination enough, but I don’t see how any of my iPhone apps are going to be all that useful on an ATV, except maybe a news reader or a weather app. Apple needs to make an apple TV that does one thing VERY well. Provide top quality content consumption, with an intuitive UI. Internet, email, movies, TV shows (maybe a subscription service would be nice) and music. Add youTube and podcasts and that’s all the device needs to do. If want to run programs on my big screen, I’ll get a new mac mini. With its new HDMI o/p, I could edit photos and movies, compose documents, and anything else I need a computer for. ATV needs to nail media consumption first, not mask over its short comings with apps. C’mon apple, 1080p is simply a must on the feature list. You, might even want to consider support for 3D video content, now that would really make ATV a marketable product.

Posted by drichards85 on August 11, 2010 at 7:38 PM (PDT)

4

This makes me even more glad I bought a new Mac Mini instead, as a *proper* home theater computing device.

As I said in the other story: The aTV, was, is, and (apparently, now) will be pointless. 720p was already going out of style when the first aTV hit the shelves; its exclusion in the new model is both sad and laughable. Apple also needs to get with the times and offer an Apple-like front-end for Internet TV. (They should take a look at the open-source Plex Media Center for OS X.) And why would I want to run piddly iApps in my home theater?

Posted by Farnsworth on August 11, 2010 at 9:11 PM (PDT)

5

I would love to be able to access my MLB.TV, Hulu + and Netflix subscriptions on my HDTV.  Oh wait, I can already do that with my PS3.
On a more serious note, apps may be just what the Apple TV needs to grab a foothold in the marketplace.  Why buy a fancy new TV with “widgets”  when you can add on a $99 box?

Posted by Galley in Greenville, SC on August 11, 2010 at 9:21 PM (PDT)

6

It would pretty awesome if they somehow incorporate the iPad, iTouch, iPhone as way to control the apps.

Posted by miles po on August 12, 2010 at 12:24 AM (PDT)

7

I think a few people are missing the point of a Compact, Portable Media Player.
Home-body’s will prefer a HTPC which can be set up as a PVR, and that is who the Mac Mini is for. They can playback 1080P video and record live TV with PVR software and a compatible Capture card. You can play single or multi-player games an the huge screen in private.

More sociable individuals can have a Portable Media Player that can be quickly connected to any TV via Composite or Component and deliver 720P video content anywhere. Want to share the new TV show you discovered? Take your iTV around and connect it up. Want turn based console gaming with friends (like the Wii)? Connect your iTV and use iPod Touch’s as controllers. More visitors can use their iPhones and iPads as extra controllers. It’s casual TV and gaming for casual TV-watchers and gamers - a market that has hardly been tapped by Nintendo yet.

The Wii (still #1 selling console) only supports 720P via Component and older TV’s using Composite or S-Video. PS3’s and XBox’s are reserved for hard-core gamers and require at least 720P to fully appreciate the experience. Hard-core portable gaming devices like the PSP are still a niche product, while Casual gaming devices like Nintendo DS’s, Smartphones and the iPod Touch are exploding in popularity.

Posted by Dan Woods on August 12, 2010 at 1:50 AM (PDT)

8

The Wii maxes out at 480p.

Posted by Galley in Greenville, SC on August 12, 2010 at 6:20 AM (PDT)

9

#7, when did iPhones and iPods cease to be “compact, portable media players?”

Posted by Farnsworth on August 12, 2010 at 7:34 AM (PDT)

10

GoogleTV just looks so much better…

Posted by akatsuki on August 12, 2010 at 9:11 AM (PDT)

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