One of Steve Jobs' final ambitions was to revolutionise television. And if supply-chain moles are telling the truth, we'll get to see what exactly the great man had in mind in a few months, when Apple's new iTVs start rolling off the production line. The new Apple TVs - reportedly full sets rather than just set-top boxes - will …
"but Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson that *he* had "cracked" TVs"
He? Surely that's a typo for we - ah no, I forgot, St Steve did it all.
bit like someone else we know, ahem new
"but Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson that *he* had "cracked"
There fixed the real typo in the article
This TV is just gonna have a single RF IN socket, isn't it. Not to worry, cos iTV2 will have colour composite input as well. Expect HDMI on the iTV4s.
"This TV is just gonna have a single RF IN socket, isn't it. Not to worry, cos iTV2 will have colour composite input as well. Expect HDMI on the iTV4s."
Blimey, what world do you live in? This will have a single Apple(TM) Media Socket(TM), adapters are available for SCART, HDMI, VGA and S-Video. Prices are £50 each and are not included in the iTV product.
On a side note, I wonder if Apple will have any trademark issues with the ITV channel in the UK.
The Apple TV
was originally called the iTV, but ITV threatened to sue them and they changed the name at the last minute to Apple TV.
Because they were so hard to use even my grandma struggled to use them. Nice one Steve. You've created the single button tv too?
Will they put a metal coin box on the TV?
A more modern slant on the TV rentals of the 60's where you had to feed a metal box with coins?
Has Apple patented the wheel yet?
Nobody believes me now when I tell them about coin-operated black and white TVs, so thanks for confirming it! I was born in 1966 so they presumably lasted into the early 70s too.
Well, I believe you! I installed a few of the things when I worked for Rediffusion back in the 1970s.
My gran had one.
I can remember being given coins to put in it when the TV went off, that was a Rediffusion if my memory serves me correctly.
I had to "return a few to the workshop for reapir" when the picture became faulty - sometime shortly after the money collector noticed the box had been fiddled with.
Never found out what was wrong with the sets - all perfectly alright in the workshop.
Maybe had something to do with the pin that was sometimes spotted disecting the antenna cable - but who would do such a thing?
Coin operated TV
A friend of mine has a coin operated TV as I type - it's just another way to pay for the set, like HP but on a pay as you go basis.
iTV? Er, maybe you haven't heard...
I'm not sure that name will pass unnoticed in the UK, given that ITV has been producing TV programming for over half a century. It's not like the name is used in an entirely different industry is it?
Perhaps Apple imagine that using a lower case 'i' gives them special powers... in which case if that's all it takes, who's up for releasing IPOds, IPAds and IPhOnEs?
Doubt they'll call it iTV anyway
@Nick Gisburne; "I'm not sure [the "iTV" name] will pass unnoticed in the UK"
I doubt Apple themselves were planning on using that name anyway.
"iTV" was the original planned name for "Apple TV" a few years back, and it was changed before launch for that very reason.
Suspect that Digitimes was using it in the same way that some people continued to refer to the original PlayStation as "PSX" after its pre-launch name.
The product is called Apple TV. I can't imagine ITV getting upset about that at all. Who called the product iTV? Not apple - rumour mongers
The product isn't official yet
so Apple TV is just as much a rumor as iTV and considering the proliferation of apple i-products it would be a logical name if not for the Uk broadcasting group.
I have very serious doubts of any Apple TV making any sort of splash at all.
Easy: iDiot Box
Steve Jobs himself
Er, no. Apple did. It was a very rare example of an Apple product announced a significant time before it was actually released. Steve Jobs got up on stage (at the annual iPod announcement, I think) talked about it, and said that it was called iTV for now, but that might change. When the product was released six or so months later, it had been changed to Apple TV, probably because ITV was such a well established trademark in the UK.
TV sets are low margin these days aren't they? I don't see how that's a market that Apple can conquer.
(Then again, would have said the same thing about mobile phones back in the day, so....)
However, the rumours are still very vague. Will they be set top boxes? Is it just AppleTV3 and you use your own tv. Or will it be built in to iMacs? For a product that's only half a year away, seems like there's still a lot of guesswork going on.
Low margin? Apple are not bothered by other makers working to low margins - they have discovered that many people are prepared to pay a hefty premium for a gizmo if it is hyped enough and is shouldered by Fanbois.
I won't buy an Apple TV, nor might you, but plenty will.
Apple may not concern itself with other people selling at low margins, but you only have to look at Panasonic's recent profit warning to know that selling volume at high margins is very difficult in TV these days.All of the primary Japanese manufacturers have recently spun off their small screen divisions into a likely unprofitable company to avoid booking the losses. Philips have just sold their TV division to the Chinese for pennies and Panasonic lost hundreds of millions chasing the business. No one is making profit on TV panels these days, believe me I speak with some authority on this subject.
Apple might revolutionise the interface, but 90% of the population don't want a revolution in TV because they are passive consumers and remember that the majority of the population doesn't want, or can't afford, an iPhone it just seems like it in our field of view. Apple TV 1&2 didn't revolutionise anything that wasn't already being done, the only advantage it has is iTunes content.
In addition TV is, unlike phones and computers, different everywhere in the world. The transmission standards vary from country to country, the customers ability to pay varies, the dominance of Pay TV varies and even the regulatory/legal requirements. Sony has been doing revolutionary things for years and yet has numerous different platforms worldwide. In particular if you understand the US market then you definitely don't understand the rest of the world because the US is a microcosm in respect of the business of TV.
Who needs volume?
Apple doesn't need to sell TVs in the same volume as Panasonic, Philips, LG or Samsung to be successful. They only need to sell enough to convince the mainstream media that all the "smart" people have an Apple TV. Look at the iPhone - it was a "huge success" with only 1% of the cell phone market. That was enough to convince people that they had to have what would have been a niche product if any other company had produced it.
There is no point to Google or Apple TVs, except for Apple and Google.
WOAH WOAH WOAH! iTV??? REALLY! I think ITV will have something to say about that. I agree with the other posters though, this is MORE likely to be called Apple TV
"simplest user interface you could imagine"
Implementing a better user interface than existing TVs isn't exactly difficult. I bought a Sony TV a few years ago (I know, I know), and I have to say the UI is fucking awful. From the ridiculous button layout on the remote to the god awful on screen menus. And this from a company that's been making TVs for decades. I was amazed at how shit the UI still was. (It had been some time since I'd bought or owned a TV before this one.)
I predict the Apple TV will consist of a single flat touch panel that you swipe left/right/up/down to change channel/volume, and tap to access the on screen menus and again swipe and tap to navigate. Also, there will be an iphone/ipad app to access the menus and other functionality more directly.
Best Telly interface...
When I was a kid we had a TV with a volume knob, a half dozen channel buttons and a power button.
Now THAT is a simple interface.
re: single flat touch panel
Much better to use gesture than touch control, I'd have thought, and never again needing to search for the remote.
Missing the point entirely...
Who uses the UI on a TV?
The interface is the set top box like a Tivo or a cable tuner.
On the other hand, Apple's current stuff in terms of both remotes and onscreen menus are nothing to brag about. Both are "simplified" to the point of being crippled. Real remotes might be ugly because they actually allow you do something and expose features that Apple just tries to ignore.
Then there's a whole world of universal remote hurt that your post doesn't even address. That's a whole industry spanning mess that Apple has no ability to influence.
In fairness, the old TVs were not easy to adjust
All those controls for audio, color, brightness, alignment, etc. were behind tiny little holes in the back panel. So I wouldn't call those 'simple'.
Also, in the US at least, there were two knobs for VHF (channels 2-12, of which every other one could be used) and UHF (13-80 or something). The UHF one only worked when the VHF knob was set to the non-channel that designated UHF. And you had to ACTUALLY GET UP OFF THE COUCH to change the channel!! Oh the humanity!
"All those controls for audio, color, brightness, alignment, etc. were behind tiny little holes in the back panel. So I wouldn't call those 'simple'."
I haven't seen any TVs that had these controls on the backpanel, but maybe European TV sets were different. The only control that was found on the back was VSYNC on older sets that required manual fiddling with it.
"Also, in the US at least, there were two knobs for VHF (channels 2-12, of which every other one could be used) and UHF (13-80 or something). The UHF one only worked when the VHF knob was set to the non-channel that designated UHF."
In Europe, such controls were common on smaller black & white portables and on very early living room TV sets, but the latter got adjustable channel selectors quickly.
"And you had to ACTUALLY GET UP OFF THE COUCH to change the channel!! Oh the humanity!"
Reminds me on my 1969 Philips Goya 110SL color TV set which not only had standby (to keep the tubes preheated so that the startup was quick) but also a remote control (a box with 4 channel selectors and volume, connected to the TV set via a 10m finger-thick cable).
Good old times;-)
"simplest user interface you could imagine"
I call it... THE TELEVISION REMOTE. Apple has once again created a new piece of magical technology that NO ONE ELSE HAS EVER BEFORE.
Or perhaps they will copy Logitech again with the Harmony app. Use your iPad to change the channels. Must spend on the most expensive version of the iPad then pay $1.99 for the app.
There were indeed loads of back panel trimmers, the most famous being horizontal & vertical hold.
Inside there were loads of really cool ones, like linearity & keystoning. Electrical & magnetic focus.
Pah! Overly-complex rubbish! Ours had a rotary OFF-ON-Volume knob and a tuning knob. That were when tellies were proper tellies and 405 lines were enough for anyone.
...will ever need more than 405 lines.
Except those of us stateside with our "We're so superior" 525 lines.
Now that the Gates icon is gone I could actually have used it.
Cue Yorkshiremen ...
Well, we had it tough. Our tv was a 'graphic arts graduate' who had to draw pictures damn quick before me ol' dad knotted him with a ball peen hammer.
The Logitech Harmony universal remote is a dream. Controls my TV, Satellite box, DVD, DVR, VCR and AV. Uses configured 'actions' so when I want to watch a DVD it turns off the satellite box, DVR, VCR, then turns on the DVD, TV, switches the input on the TV from satellite to DVD, turns on the stereo and switches it's input to the TV's optical out channel and begins playing the movie.
Hang on PAL!
Except those of us in the uk with our "We're so superior" 625 lines.
625 lines is HD in all but name, really, isn't it?
I mean if 720 is HD, right?
525 sucks. As did/does NTSC.
... but it's interlaced so it's 312i? So not quite HD, but is as near as dammit VGA with infinite shades of grey on a b/w set. It all seemed alright at the time with a properly set up set it was well watchable.
Mines is the one with the dual standard valve TV in the pocket.
PAL: because of lack of bandwidth the colours can't fully saturate. Hence Pink-Amber-Lilac
(Yellow was a subtractive term)
NTSC: the hue signal was transmitted so far from the carrier that it was Never Twice Same Colour
The French and Russians used SECAM: System Entirely Contrary (to the) American Method
Almost every programme on TV except for the news is a repeat (and some of the news is too). Will this super duper new Apple thingy change that?
Yes. Everything that Apple does is new, magical and revolutionary, despite the fact that every product they have ever released was a duplication of a prior product.
Digital Terrestrial has
3 common flavours of DVB-T, though if your set does MHEG5, MHP, DVB-T2, AAC, MPEG4, VHF and UHF, it will work in most DVB areas.
There are then 4 incompatible non-DVB DTT standards.
Will it have Component for USA, SCART for Europe, Analogue RF (several kinds of SECAM, PAL, NTSC etc) for countries not using DTT yet, or with Analogue Cable?
People used to buying "grey" imports will import the North American version and find it works almost nowhere else in the world on Digital.
Even HD is country specific resolutions and frame rates, even on HDMI. Or will Apple pretend 25i and 50p don't exist. Will it support 24p and 48p for better North American disc playback of stuff transferred from Cinema?
Or will it be like the original iPhone, almost only a GUI and packaging exercise with standard electronics?
If they do release a "real" TV, any one buying it is wasting money, as it will be more expensive and more restrictive than a similar quality non-Apple TV.
I love how this site pretends that there are places outside the USA! I guess it's a running gag or something.
"I love how this site pretends that there are places outside the USA! I guess it's a running gag or something."
You think that's something, over at tivocommunity they pretend there's some place called a "youkay" where they had different S1s and got the next model after the Premiere before we did.
Digital cable in Europe, satellite, Nordig DTT etc..
It seems to be particularly rampant on these .co.uk sites.