back to article Apple preps TV enabled iMac ahead of own-brand telly

All the rage - well, among PC makers, if not consumers - in the early 1990s, the PC TV is set to make a comeback, courtesy of Apple. Enter Brian Blair of US financial services company Wedge Partners, who told investors this week that Apple's next iMac will be a "slimmer all-in-one PC with TV capabilities", BGR reports. Blair …

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My PC has and HDMI slot too

and is in fact connected to a 32 inch tv which is like cinema when you sit 2 feet away.

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Facepalm

My PC has and HDMI slot too

and you *really* think that this is the same as a user-friendly, well desigined, intelligent TV - no matter who manufactures it?

Steve

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Advert

I still remember the annoying Performa PCTV advert.

A chimp and an American woman, who would alternate between PC and TV, while saying 'PC', 'TV'.

I had a 'PCTV' as a student. A 2nd hand Sony Vaeiou with a Hauppage WinTV USB card and a cheap booster aerial hanging out the window. Handy for post-students-union 'Wickers Way'.

Will the Mac support Freesat? Freeview HD? PVR Recording?

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"Will the Mac support Freesat? Freeview HD? PVR Recording?"

At a price, probably.

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Analysts

When was the last time a baseless piece of analyst speculation was correct? I really can't see this happening.

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WTF?

Agreed

Let's face it... what's the point? These are the days we're ditching our TVs in favor of computers and downloaded media. With the right apps, you can even watch regular TV over the Internet. Most people I know who aren't dinosaurs or idiots but still have excessive quantities of testosterone built up and watch sports pay to watch them on the Internet.

The idea of hedging bets of something as stupid as TV when TV is so 1953 is lame. In fact, I'm not even sure why I keep my slingbox plugged in anymore. I haven't needed it in ages. I just go online and if I can't buy TV show I want to see for a fair price then I pirate it. (And I bought two seasons this week even though I could pirate it)... actually I did this on my Apple TV and watched on my projector in my movie room.

I just can't see Apple doing something so lame as to waste money on something as stupid as a TV enabled PC. If you need TV so bad... buy a dongle.

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Silver badge

You missed one...

Apple worked on, and then canned, a DVB-S set-top-box in the mid 1990s. It got to the point of having production casework before the plug was pulled.

From what I saw of it, it was a Performa-class computer with a custom video card that did the satellite receiver and video overlay part of the deal.

Exactly what the end-goal would have been is still unclear to me, but this was the Apple of Newton, Pippin and QuickDraw GX, so it fit right in.

I don't really see how Apple are going to maintain their margins if they go into the TV game. The likes of Loewe or Bang & Olufsen are the only players with Apple's kind of margins, and Apple are no B&O, however much they might like to think they are.

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Anonymous Coward

@Kristian Walsh

"Apple are no B&O, however much they might like to think they are"

Erm... if you speak to most readers of this site they are *exactly* the same.

Overpriced pretty shiny tat. I certainly think B&O are exactly that.

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I would argue

That Apple have all the cache of B&O and frankly more but appeal to a much wider audience.

The only buyers of B&O are lottery winners and Rich poseurs.

Whereas apple also appeal to averagely wealthy poseurs and also people who want something to just work.

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B&O are a company that develops some very good technology, puts it into some cutting-edge (if occasionally oddball) industrial design, builds it really well, and charges a lot of money for it.

Apple are a company that buys in good technology, puts it into some good (if shockingly unimaginative) industrial design, has it built really well for them, and charges a lot of money for it.

I don't have B&O equipment - they are too rich for my blood, and I'm willing to get the equivalent audio performance by sacrificing some simplicity and looks at a much lower price, but it doesn't make it tat: and anyone who can design a small Class-D amplifier that actually sounds as good as the ICEPower modules has enough engineering clout to justify their high prices.

If you want the inevitable car analogy, the Danes are BMW where Apple are Audi.

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Unhappy

"... the Danes are BMW where Apple are Audi."

So just where does that leave moi?

I own an Audi with a B&O sound system...a B&O turntable on my home entertainment system...and YES...I still play records...and can't stand Apple.

I am SO confused now.

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WTF?

...and if THAT isn't enough of a conundrum...

...where do the three SAABs I also own fit into this analogy?

Anybody? Please? I need a little help here folks.

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Not sure I buy the idea that they'd include a TV Tuner internally within the iMac - apple would want to limit the number of SKU's shipped worldwide so which type of tuner would they go for to get max coverage worldwide? Cable, Satellite, Terrestrial? It also feels like a technological step backwards. The logical move if they did want to go tuner-based would be to partner with someone like Elgato which has years of experience with add-on tuner cards for the Mac.

Personally though, I'd assume that the easiest thing would be IP based streaming TV but then you've got quality issues (iPlayer may be convenient, but the quality just isn't there for big-screens).

You've also got to consider that you sit a lot closer to an iMac than a TV so you've got a different set of things to think about - why would you bother using Siri to control it when you've got a keyboard / mouse / trackpad right in front of you?

I don't get the whole "Apple making a TV" thing - and I consider myself a bit of an apple fan. Why not just license-out Airplay video for TV manufacturers to implement? More and more AV receivers and hi-fi kit have Airplay audio which is the same principle?!?! Also, for the iMac, just enable iTunes to be an Airplay target as well as a source so you could stream to it as well as from it; although I'm struggling for use-cases there.

Just don't get it .................

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No particular reason to limit the SKUs worldwide, most of the planet has either deployed or is in the process of deploying one of four or five digital standards which can be decoded with some pretty inexpensive kit.

In fact, if you can do DVB-T, DVB-T2 and ATSC you cover pretty much everywhere but South America, China and Japan.

It's the analogue standards that were all over the shop.

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Bronze badge

"I don't get the whole "Apple making a TV" thing - and I consider myself a bit of an apple fan. Why not just license-out Airplay video for TV manufacturers to implement?"

First, Apple doesn't license things out. That is the point of a walled garden.

Second, the TV industry is already standardizing around Android.

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AirPlay is already licensed out...

Airplay is on just about all of Denon's new AV receivers, and other manufacturers are using the technology too. It's not much different to DLNA, really, so it's an easy checkbox feature. That no TVs come with it is more down to TV makers than Apple.

I don't see where you get the idea that the TV manufacturers are standardising on Android. An embedded OS that costs them $10 a unit in patent licenses, plus the RAM and storage requirements to run it, is not such a hot proposition given the razor-thin margins in TVs.

And why do TVs need to run apps designed for touchscreen phones anyway?

Actually, come to think of it, why do TVs need to run any app that doesn't involve watching something? It's not a big monitor, it's a television. The technology might be similar, but the use-case is very different. TV is not interactive and personal - it's passive, and shared. That's its biggest attraction.

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Anonymous Coward

Wait 3 years

then scratch it up as another invention for Apple...

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This was essentially what I came to post. Will Apple once again take something that has already been done, repeatedly, and use their dumb-consumer mind control ray to make it a "must have" device? Will they claim to have invented the medium? Will it be called magic? Revolutionary?

They're just falling back into their "copy whatever Google does" methodology I guess.

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Anonymous Coward

I can see the ads now

"If you have a Mac, then you have iView* and you can watch live broadcasts"

Implying that there is no other way to do this, unless you have a Mac, like they do with their recent adverts for video chatting, video streaming, etc.

* or whatever goofy iName they come up with. Maybe iTV, but then they'd have to sue a lot of other companies using that name around the world.

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"Copy whatever Google does" and do it right, I would say. Google TV is a nightmare and TV sets altogether are a nightmare. If Apple can pull off something that is a really straight and simple and shiny TV, they will make a load of money with it, and rightly so.

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I agree with the points about what an iMac with a TV built in amounts to - but what about a TV with an iMac built in?

Let's say it has PVR functionality - that's a huge 'if' given Apples' history with the ATV - and let's assume as reported that Siri technology will drive the front end.

The implications could turn the TV industry on it's head.

Me - "Is there anything worth watching tonight?"

TV - "Frozen Planet is on BBC1 at 9pm, also Grand Designs is on at 9pm on Channel 4, and Aliens is on Film4 at 9pm." (Based on collated viewing habits)

Me - "Ok, record the movie and Frozen Planet, and send me a reminder for Grand Designs"

TV - "Ok, I'm set to record Aliens on Film4, Frozen Planet on BBC1 and a reminder has been set for Grand Designs. Would you like me to switch on the TV for Grand Designs?"

Me - "Yes. Cancel the reminder."

TV - "The TV will switch on to Channel 4 1 minute before Grand Designs is due to start. The reminder has been cancelled."

Apple have the technology to do this - they just have to apply it in a way that fits most people's case use for TV and PVRs (ie not streaming IP content).

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Anonymous Coward

Imagine the fun that could be had by broadcasting a show with lines randomly inserted:

"Set a reminder to watch Beastiality TV tomorrow at dinnertime"

"Schedule to switch on at 3:30am and increase volume to max"

etc.

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"Imagine the fun that could be had by broadcasting a show with lines randomly inserted:" -- Not not much fun to be had here, I'd say. This audio output goes through the thing anyway and it will (have to) filter this out, it's just background noise.

No, natural language recognition is a perfect fit for the living room, even better than for a smartphone. Just speaking to the room is so much better than fumbling around with a handful of silly remote controls that only geeks can overlook this simple truth.

Note, I do not say that Apple is still able to put something like that onto its feet. But if they do it, great.

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Video IN

Does the current iMac have any kind of video input to use it in a normal TV like way? Doesn't look like it. I just picked up a Dell Inspiron 2320 (poor man's iMac) and it has VGA and HDMI input which is useful. I assumed an iMac would have the same.

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Boffin

*Cough* Thunderbolt *Cough*

Video capture through various devices... and ports...

Oh yes :-)

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They had TV tuners in 1997 powermacs

The last Mac with a TV tuner was the PowerMac 5500 in 1997, the last 'all in one' machine Apple made before the launch of the iMac and to be honest it is still a fine machine. Works as a TV for our playstation quite nicely and keeps the kids amused.

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Boffin

Apple TV in 1998

"Introduced in Febrary 1997, the PowerMac 6500 ..... was the first computer, Mac or PC to break the 300 MHz barrier."

I had one, with an Apple-made TV tuner that slotted into a video capture slot.

I now have an iMac with a USB TV tuner, which is my living room TV and looks very nice. It's digital, so it requires a credit-card size smart card in order to work. I cannot imagine Apple building such a reader into an iMac, when USB devices are so readily available.

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Rob

Xbox

I see microsoft rolled out it's dashboard update yesterday along with creating space for the ondemand and TV streaming services it has signed up with. I did notice that the Sky 'app' on Xbox now allows you to stream live TV, it also gives you the Sky Guide for selecting which channel you want in essence turning your Xbox into a more portable Sky box. Although I didn't check to see if they have gone that extra step by making it a Sky+ type system to record programs onto your xbox harddisk.

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Anonymous Coward

exactly!

and kinect already has prior art for controlling tv/media with voice - with the added benefit of everything else kinect can do as well.

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Anonymous Coward

Maybe they should make a wifi enabled tuner box that put can plug into your antenna which can then give you TV on your iMac.

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Anonymous Coward

Stating the obvious

They offer a service where consumers are made aware of what a device is capable of for an extortionate fee.

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Oh no

And I just bought my 65" plasma, I should have waited for the iMac 65" :)

Nice perhaps in some dodgy student diggs, but who wants to watch TV on such a small screen. Well unless you are the first poster who thinks 32" is like the cinema...

Upgrading the ATV range to include SIRI and a PVR done ok make much more sense to me. Can't wait to get rid of my Humax and Toppy doesn't seem to bring out quality HD gear suitable for the UK anymore.

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Paris Hilton

65"? Meh.

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