Prototypes of the hotly anticipated Apple TV are sitting in the offices of telcos in Canada, reports newspaper The Globe and Mail. The report adds that the new TVs will feature voice-control through Siri, gesture control and video chat. Apple has sent out the prototypes of its "iTV" device to help it cut deals with local …
Are they going to be allowed to call it iTV in the UK?
Wouldnt ITV have something to say about that?
Apple Corps never had any trouble...
i think, when El Reg includes the name in "speechmarks" that's because it's not an officially designated name, and just what the press are calling it. you have to remember, despite these rumours, Apple have made NO announcement about this product, or if it even exists. So no one actually knows what it's going to be called, if it does exist.
I've noticed from all of the media reports over here (US & Canada) that they seem to think that "iTV" is what the thing will be called, because it's an Apple product and all Apple products (except Macbooks) are named like that.
One would hope that Apple is smart enough not to take on the original ITV over this, but who knows.
"Wouldnt ITV have something to say about that?"
Based on the state of ITV's accounts these day Apple could probably buy them for the price of a grand skinny frapumochacino, use the name and dump the rest in a skip.
Why an "iTV"?
All the rumours don't make any sense - it sounds almost exactly like the existing AppleTV plugged into practically any ordinary TV set. If the device exists at all (and I'm still doubting it), there must be a lot more to it than is rumoured.
Whereas I'm with you in that I can't see the point of Apple making an actual TV, the article does refer to voice control and video chatting, neither of which you can currently do with the AppleTV box thanks to it not having a camera or microphone.
I'll tell you why...
Have you used a TV lately? Have you seen the hideous and convoluted set of menus to configure the darn thing? Almost all default settings are crap, but adjusting them requires a degree in Crap Interface Design and the serenity and patience of a Tibetan monk. Their remote controls are just as well designed by the same people.
Configuring any external input is also a hassle. And this is not even counting the "added value" features like Internet access and photo albums. Most people don't use any of that crap because it's such a pain to figure out.
Now, imagine if you bought your Apple-branded TV set and it looks great the moment you turn it on, with proper colour-corrected schemes and maybe even automatic brightness and contrast adjustment. Imagine being able to hook up your DVD player by just plugging in the cable and clicking a button.
But most importantly, imagine navigating the entire set of options, channels, and other features with a simple little remote with a handful of buttons.
"Imagine being able to hook up your DVD player by just plugging in the cable and clicking a button."
Almost like plugging in a scart lead and pressing AV on your remote.
Except it doesn't work like that in most modern TV sets. There is no "AV" on the remote; there is probably an "Input" button that takes you to some menu where you select from a list of arcane options like "Video 1" or "HDMI 3."
Moreover, finding that button requires hunting it down in remote that may have over 50 buttons, each with tiny labels.
To a "techie" this may not seem like a big deal, but my Mother has absolutely no idea what an HDMI is, and which one of them is the one hooked up to the DVD vs the grandkids game machine. Someone could certainly change the label, but that requires an entire new set of merit badges in Crappy-Remote-Button-Smashing and Hideous-Interface-From-Hell-Technician.
@craigj : scart
has there _ever_, in the history of electronics, been a connector that's more difficult to "just plug in", then trying to put a scart lead into the back of your telly, when you're reaching around from the front, trying to slot it in blind?
Even if you can get to the back of your telly without risking tipping it over onto your foot, it's still not an easy connector to fit.
So no, it won't be at all like "Almost like plugging in a scart lead and pressing AV on your remote", because for one, it won't involve the swearing, sore thumbs, mentally-scarred children, or tv-flattened cats, that your old fashioned method does
Except for the part .....
...... where you have to connect it to a computer with a malware suite called iTunes in order to register the device.
As for revolutionising TV they are a bit late to the party, I can already do all of what was mentioned on the kinect. Telling my xbox to play brasseye brought a tear to my eye :D
I agree with DZ-Jay here. I have a sony tv and can navigate the remote to eventually find what I need - but what a pain in the arse it is. Things were so much easier in the days when you had an on/off button, the channels to select from (not sure what the fourth channel button was for?) and a volume control. Sure there was a brightness and contrast knob aswell but you rarely needed those, and if you did you didn't need 5 levels of menu to get to them.
Although I don't own any apple products because of the cost - I do find that the user interface on them is much better to use than on most other products. Apple do spend a lot of effort on the user interface, and I think this is what will separate this product from the rest. I will still not buy one because I am able to use my sony tv, which is no doubt a third of the price of the coming apple tv.
But - it probably will be good and if thats what you want to spend your cash on - so be it.
My Phillips telly has 9 possible 'sources' to choose from, listed as:-
And even though I only have to choose between HDMI 1 (Generic Satellite Plus box), Ext 3 (generic eggsbox gaming & media machine) and VGA (computer), I never understood why it offered me the other options even though nothing was connected. You also can't rename the sources (although it should pick it up from the source) or quickly flick between the sources you want to use. So I for one welcome the fruit producers if it means that TV mfrs work on their UI's. I won't be buying an Apple TV err TV however, because I've not made any investment into their ecosystem and refuse to buy a product that is at least 25% more expensive because of the name stamped on the front, but if they influence the industries to make improvements to compete, good on them.
Except if it's up to Apple, you won't be able to hook up a DVD player at all. There won't be any input ports on the TV, as they will explain to you, DVDs, BDs are considered sub-standard quality and would mess up your user experience.
The only thing you'll be connecting to this TV is your credit card.
get a HC setup.
i get home, press 'MY TV' on my onkyo 709, it switches tv on, amp on and sets the correct source on the amp.
i can also press watch movie and it turns BDP on and sets the correct source for blu-ray
when im ready for bed i hit 'all off' and it switches everything off. works 10x quicker than my old harmony 1000 too
i only have 2 remotes to hand, the amp and the tivo box
life is good when you understand the tech
> Have you used a TV lately? Have you seen the hideous and convoluted set of menus to configure the darn thing?
...which you do exactly how often? Those menus are there for initial setup and represent things that would simply be missing on an Apple interface. The usual TV controls are very basic things that are well recognized and also missing from Apple interfaces (like volume control).
The fanboys are simply trying to wag the dog here.
> Configuring any external input is also a hassle
As compared to what? Simply not bothering? A popup menu and some arrow keys is really not as horrible as all that.
> features like Internet access and photo albums. Most people don't use any of that crap because it's such a pain to figure out.
...and Apple is going to save us all by giving us an interface that takes whatever organization you have imposed on your photos and removing it? Hardly. That kind of nonsense is why people already jailbreak their ATVs.
> Imagine being able to hook up your DVD player by just plugging in the cable and clicking a button.
You mean like now?
> But most importantly, imagine navigating the entire set of options, channels, and other features with a simple little remote with a handful of buttons.
No. The "handfull" is simply going to castrate the user experience. Anything that's deemed "too geeky" will simply be removed from the experience. Orwellian rhetoric will follow.
I think it's you that hasn't used a TV lately.
The Newspeak definition of geek.
> Except it doesn't work like that in most modern TV sets. There is no "AV" on the remote; there is probably an "Input" button that takes you to some menu where you select from a list of arcane options like "Video 1" or "HDMI 3."
And how are you going to get rid of that exactly? If you have 4 or more inputs, what magical thing are you going to call them so that the willfully ignorant don't need to burn out brain cells?
You are simply trying to pretend that no arcane details exist in the world. They do and sometimes you have to manage them head on rather than trying to pretend they don't exist.
Although you could simply move through the options until you find the right one. This is the kind of discoverability that GUIs are supposed to enable. This is something that Apple fanboys believed in once. They believed in the user once too. Not any more though.
For the Apple fanboy, everyone is too stupid and helpless to simply go through a list until they find that they need.
TV GUI time for a change
"Although you could simply move through the options until you find the right one. This is the kind of discoverability that GUIs are supposed to enable. ."
My Samsmug early LED TV helpfully MOVES UP & OFF SCREEN the HDMI INPUT 1 just as I'm about to click-it, it's so brain dead that I have to leave a full page of closely written instructions for visitors on how to get a stream from source AppleTV or Freesat or French SAT or Russian SAT or PS3 onto the bloddy TV. At least my HT Amp - a heavy Sony 1200ES does allow source relabeling and that's an amplifier! When my parents do house-sitting they usually just watch BBC1 for 2 weeks!
I buy the best-working- cheapest technology, and sometimes that happens to be fruit!
Many people don't like external boxes hanging around, they look naff and it means two remotes instead of one.
Also as the Internet is now firmly integrated into daily life why not make it more casual to use and more powerful by sticking it on a big screen where you can sit back on your lazyboy with a beer and surf away.
"Imagine being able to hook up your DVD player by just plugging in the cable and clicking a button."
What kind of DVD player do you have that you can't do this?
You seem to have picked the wrong 'P'. My Panasonic Shows the inputs up as what I named them, and does not show the ones that I told it to skip. So, no problem there. When I pop a disk into the BD player, the TV switches on, and will be on the right channel. If I (something I rarely do, admittedly) switch on the cable TV box, it switches to that. It offers facebook, Twitter, skype (ok, onl;y if I buy an extra camera for another 20 pouns) and it has beaten me at chess (not on an external console, no, in the set!) once.
My kids need to select the input for their wii manually, though. Not a great hardship.
Its 50 inches plasma,1080p and cost me 649 quid at dixons online.
I don't think that Apple will be offering much more at that price.
Have you seen the back of an apple device lately?
Lets see...instead of a label that reads "HDMI 1" that might mean, oh I don't know, the first HDMI port perhaps, lets put a PICTURE there instead! And then...umm...for the second HDMI port? Lets put a picture on that one too!! Hooray!
So we drop the english (or other localised) language, and go for pictures instead, that could mean anything!
First question I get asked by non-techs plugging things into their apple devices: "Which port does this HDMI cable go into?" Well, I could answer them with "The HDMI socket", but no, I have to first find out what stupid pictogram some gimp at apple thought might actually mean HDMI.
Wonderful! Lets all go back to drawing animals on a rock wall with mud!
And as for the plug in a DVD player and have it work. Wow. Just wow. I believe the last time I plugged in a DVD player, I plugged the power lead into the wall, the HDMI cable from the player to the tellie, and hit play. If thats too hard to figure out, then an apple tellie isnt even going to help you, and I suggest boxing up all technology and sending it back to the manufacturers pronto.
Only lets you chose from the inputs that has things input into them (others are grayed out) lets you change on screen labels to helpful things like Game, DVD, etc...
AppleTV is already getting ready to test their simulcasting
theres a web link here that wazzes you into iTunes then synchronizes to watch a free Spiggy Topes concert. http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewFeature?id=500573267&s=143441
(caution - lots of Macca albums costing money should you click the wrong thing, and you'll need iTunes) and there's nothing to see for a couple of days but the real news is that...
..however on AppleTV (the small black box) it can be watched live on February 10th at the UK friendly time of 03:00Zulu, by referring to the 'Internet Menu', very new!
this looks quite like a test transmission to see if the data centre can push enough bytes
"I'm a hot-rodded swinging perv, I'm a hot-rodded swinging perv, yeah yeah yea"
Hop he's in his gold-lame knickers.
hahaha I can see microsoft lawyers rubbing their hands with excitement!
"Will be controlled by Siri, waving, unicorns"
...shame there won't really be any unicorns!
I read it as "Siri waving unicorns"
Got a picture of some CGI looking lady waving unicorns at the TV
And the fanbois/grrls will snap it up, no doubt, without even half a clue as to *why*, exactly, that they "need" one.
Ralph Loren, cry your heart out.
you say that like it's a bad thing?
I am on Bell IPTV using a Motorola Box. Bell will soon offer a choice of Apple TV, Apple Box or Motorola Android box. Major upgrade from the windows CE those box are rcurrently running.
PUNCH anyone who purchases an iTV!
Apple telly has been available for YEARS and no one wants it.
Put an "i" in front and all the spazz's flock to it! See, I told you!
Out loud? At "spazz's"?
What are you? 12?
And telcos will need to pump some serious data to maintain a high-def image.
Rogers uses cable TV WAN technology and Bell is the major wholesaler, The more people that use Rogers concurrently, the faster the signal degrades.
Bell is better for speed stability, but as for high speed, forget it, only in the larger communities. What about the more rural areas, what are they going to see?
When I gesture and give voice commands to my television
It generally means either a reality show or political broadcast is on.
"The television will not be revolutionised" - Gil Scott Heron
Rogers is useless
Rogers is the most useless company on Earth. Giving it any preferential treatment is a mistake. Together, Rogers, Bell and Telus have oligopoly control over mobile communications, and Rogers and Bell over landlines. Canada will never be a leader in either sector so long as these companies are not in actual competition.
The article does not make it clear that Rogers is also Canada's largest cable TV company and that Bell has a Fibre/Satellite delivered TV service as well, both coupled with their broadband services - of course they would be testing it.
Bravo sir! I doff my tifter to you.
"iTV" Let them try using that name in the UK.
A rather obvious target for this iTV in the USA is AT&T with their U-Verse TV service. I would be absolutely shocked if Apple managed to get the biggest fish of them all, Comcast/Xfinity to play ball. I don't see it happening, but you never know.
Apple hates leakers. As el reg can attest, Apple have a funny way of treating companies they hate.
For those not from the colonies, the Globe and Mail is part of the "Bell Family" of companies. Since the G+M leaked this story, will Apple take it out on Bell?
is going to add a whole new level of fun to those arguments over what to watch.....
Bell and Rogers both have set-top-box offerings, I'm not sure why they would have much interest in letting Apple step in and try to take 30% of the subscription fees.
Is the new device going to be anything more than having the Apple TV puck inside the TV's shell?
AV amp the best solution
As to the switching issues. Get and AV amp.
a) Much better sound (if you are allowed the extra speakers)
b) Is a much better switching system (with rename options for the inputs)
c) Only one cable going to the TV (well it's actually just a monitor now), which is a must if wall mounted.
As to the Apple TV. I have a Gen2. It is lacking massivly in content (certainly here in the UK), but the integration with other i devices is great, i.e. the ability to use an iphone/ipad whilst sitting on my sofa to choose music or a movie is great and so simple to setup.
I hated my old Netgear device the iTV replaced
Just waiting for a commercial to pop up saying.. you should see what's happening on channel "so and so" and Siro obeys by turning to that station! lol
TV Dialog (in film):
Jim: I wish you could just 'turn it off'.
Susan: You should stop 'surfing for porn' so much
iTV: < a highly inappropriate Debbie Does Dallas 24 comes up, to the enjoyment of the whole family>
Marie-Sue: You know, if you hate Seinfeld so much, you could just 'switch to the next channel'
iTV: <jumps from channel 56 to 57>
Interesting and may finaly get Videoconferencing into mainstream consumer use
Interesting and may finaly get Videoconferencing into mainstream consumer use. I know there is skype, but it's not early learning centre level of usability. Can also see this potentualy being used for buisness VC stuff if they get it right and there is no reason why not.
As for SIRI, I'm not sure I'd feel comfotable watching porn on the tv ever again with that interface.
Whats the betting after this is launched (assuming it's a final comercial product and indicators are there that it is) then I'd say give it a couple of years and it will be near on impossible to buy a monitor without a built in camera.
Still, those who want it will buy it and those that want it without a apple logo will find some aspect to complain about. Either way it will be interesting to see what the sheep effect has on the compertition's products and as i mentioned earlier - monitors with camera's will, I feel become alot more common after this.
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