Out of little rumours came the iPod, iPhone and iPad..........
No doubt it will have a user friendly interface, the best screen money can buy.....
But, there's a lot more competition in the world of the television?
The Apple ‘iTV’ rumour mill has gone into overdrive after the latest reports from China suggesting that Foxconn’s Shenzhen plant has received orders from Cupertino to build the much-hyped sets on a trial run. China’s First Financial Daily (via Sina) got the news from the obligatory un-named inside sources, although there was …
Out of little rumours came the iPod, iPhone and iPad..........
No doubt it will have a user friendly interface, the best screen money can buy.....
But, there's a lot more competition in the world of the television?
but that does not matter if <insert manufacturer name here> comes out with a device that breaks the rules as regards usability.
At the moment, the TV UI is a morass of writhing slimy eels. Some look like that they have been designed by a masochist or the main design criteria was to have as many unused controls on the handset as possible.
The nay-sayers and anti apple fanbois will be out in force until we actualy get to see what they are doing.
It might be a 'Meh!' moment or it might just shakeup the TV market for good. Whatever happens, it is going to be interesting.
Unlikely. All the best panel manufacturers already sell their own branded high-end sets.
Upvote for the "slimy eels" analogy alone :-)
The only thing that Apple can offer is an Apple-only product.
Anything else suffers from the fact that you aren't limited to one device made by one vendor. That leads to a lot of integration problems as you are basically herding cats. The fact that Apple could get around all of this by ignoring the rest of the industry really isn't terribly interesting.
You could get the same effect by buying any other Smart TV out there.
Ignore sound quality and you don't have to worry about a separate AV remote. Ignore 3rd party devices, and you don't have to worry about those remotes. Ignore cable and you don't have to worry about those remotes either.
Apple just brings more hype and mindless fanboys to the part than Sony or Samsung does.
All well and good but I don't expect it to be a mega hit even if it does come to fruition.
TV sets, user friendly or not, are still fine several years after you purchase them. They're not like phones or other gadgets which suffer from "got-to-have-it" - My 50" Pioneer plasma is still just fine, ticking along just the way it always has since the day I bought it. Why would I throw it out to replace it with one that has an Apple logo and a pretty UI?
Sure, some will.. but I can't imagine it being anywhere _near_ the level that will happily toss out an iPhone 4S the day the iPhone 5 comes out.
> even if it does come to fruition
Thread over. You win.
I think their market model will need to be totally different for a TV. When you think that a 27" Thunderbolt monitor is £900. Setting the price for a 50" tv would probably double that in a market where samsung are chucking out light weight plastic 55 inch sets for under a grand. I have a 50 inch Samsung Plasma that has been great for the last 7 years but I know its going to take three people to lift it off my wall when it comes down for building work this summer.
If I think apple are going to do as good a job as they have with the Thunderbolt monitors I won't be re-hanging it...
The Apple monitor has a resolution of 2560 x 1440. A TV would only need a resolution of 1920 x 1080, so that could make it cheaper.
They would just make it better
Haven't Sky, Microsoft, Sony, D-Link, Asus + the rest and Apple themselves been busy decoupling the screen from the UI using set-top boxes and game consoles?
I'm in no hurry to replace my lovely Panasonic plasma, but I'm much more flexible in replacing the box underneath it.
Then again, respect to Apple if they manage to start a yearly upgrade cycle for televisions.
TV hardware moves very slowly. Look how long HD took. Look how long the digital switchover took. No-one is going to broadcast anything more than HD for a good while. Apple are not going to get the hardware into a yearly upgrade cycle. But if they get the hardware right then I can see them getting the UI into a yearly upgrade. Its just software after all. Samsung and others have promised this for years and completely failed to deliver. Apple may succeed, and I bet a fair few fanboys will pay £100 every year for a few more rounded square icons (TM). Expect the release model to come with not a lot except promises.
I think the real money will be made through the content sold to you via the TV
Nobody likes voice commands after 2 or 3 days of novelty, whether it be Siri, Mercedes Command, Audi MMI or whatever.
I wouldn't say "nobody", as I still enjoy and regularly use SIRI, even in its crippled UK form, once business addresses and the likes get implemented a-la USA, then I'll enjoy it all the more.
> had “cracked” TVs by creating a machine with the “simplest interface you can imagine”.
So, simpler than on/off, volume +/- and a channel switcher?
It could be the ultimate walled garden; It would just show you what Apple wanted you to see, at full volume, all the time. I don't want it.
Oooh, what's that, it can haz shiny white, with an aluminium bezel, and fancy glass. SIGN ME UP!!!!
'simple' doesn't mean 'least functionality'. It means the simplest way to access a wide range of functionality. A channel up/down is the simplest functionality but a big pain when you're on #1 and want to watch #400. Modern TVs have a massive amount of functionality but crappy UIs which makes accessing that difficult.
ok, a power button, up down volume, and a 10-key.
or maybe a pair of rotating selector nobs. I rather liked them. Then again, we didn't have 400 channels then. Frankly the number of shows worth watching hasn't gone up any, so maybe we just need to get rid of 300-350 or so channels and be done with it.
How is the industry's most limited remote control going to help that?
Most modern TVs have a simple menu system that Apple is unlikely to improve upon with the possible exception of making it look prettier.
So the input menu will have a sense of Apple aesthetics but not much else changed.
What the hell? You think modern TVs have a simple menu system? Seriously??? Is that why I have to press an input button, then up/down buttons and then a selection button for something as simple as changing from one HDMI input to another? If you've ever used a Harmony remote, you'll know that the current TV interface is horrible and could be massively improved upon.
Whether you believe that Apple changed people's perceptions about what a cell phone could and should be, or whether you think that it was inevitable and Apple's contribution to that is vastly overrated is irrelevant. The fact remains that what people think of as an easy to use and functional phone has totally changed in the past five years. People might have thought their Blackberries and RAZRs were easy to use back then, but most people were unable to set up their Blackberry for email without help, and WAP browsing was so unfriendly that few ever used it after the first few initial attempts.
Doing the same crappy menu system but making it look prettier is not something Apple would bother doing. I have no idea what Apple will be doing, but I think its a safe bet it'll involve a touchscreen remote (so the haters will claim they stole from Harmony, even if what they do goes well beyond what it does) While everyone seems to assume it'll be all about Siri I'm skeptical, but any usage of Siri will involve the remote NOT the TV. Its hard enough having something right in front of your face properly recognize your voice, you'll never do it reliably across the room in a noisy house, nor would you want to if you've ever had a "fight for the remote" in your family - "TV, change to SpongeBob", "TV, change to the Lakers game", "TV change to SpongeBob", "TV change to the Lakers game dammit!"
I am intrigued if SJ really has come up with something different - iPod and iPhone genuinely did do this (it's about the only things they really invented IMO). But I really don't think it's voice control, that would be a huge disappointment.
What I currently have:
A remote and UI for my TV, a remote/UI for my STB and a remote/UI of my BD player. Each UI behaves differently and are all a bit rubbish. I have a 8 or so cables (VCR!, consoles, BD, STB, power, etc) hanging off my TV which is pain if ever one comes loose (the TV is wall mounted - large, free standing flat panels and children do not mix).
What I want:
A TV with just one AV input and one power input (I don't like seeing the cables so they're all encased in trunking, which, at the moment is quite wide). An STB with multiple AV inputs and is the one input to the TV. One remote which controls the STB and the devices connected to it with a touch screen on it with a useful UI*.
We've sent men to the moon, why is it so hard to have a coherent TV experience? Actually, I know the answer to that one, they're designed by marketing departments.
* It just occurred to me as an example of stupid UI that the TV displays a big bar graphic when I press the up/down volume buttons to show me the volume setting (positioned perfectly to obscure any subtitles on the screen) - like I couldn't work it out from the noise that's coming out of the speakers!
"It just occurred to me as an example of stupid UI that the TV displays a big bar graphic when I press the up/down volume buttons to show me the volume setting"
I'd like proper controls on the TV like there used to be. If I want to change the brightness or contrast I don't want to have to navigate down 3 levels of unintiutive menus - I just want to be able to take 1 second turning a knob on the TV (yes, I can use my legs and get off the sofa). Same goes for the volume control in fact.
You have a VCR? :-D
Seriously though, I know what you mean, for me, as a work around I use a HDMI switch box. It's smart enough to auto switch between devices and for the one remote I use a Logitech Harmony (a cheaper one in the range but I understand if you have money to burn you can get one with a touch screen and extra features).
As for media, well I have a Media PC running XBMC on Linux, I just wish I could somehow integrate it with the Virgin Media Tivo, that would be awesome having everything via one UI. Failing that I wish Virgin would allow 3rd party tuner cards on their network.
"What I want:
A TV with just one AV input and one power input (I don't like seeing the cables so they're all encased in trunking, which, at the moment is quite wide). An STB with multiple AV inputs and is the one input to the TV. One remote which controls the STB and the devices connected to it with a touch screen on it with a useful UI*."
Funnily enough, that's exactly what I've got.
TV: Power cable and HDMI cable from amp.
Amp: Power cable and HDMI cables from devices; this is the one input to the TV.
Remote: Harmony One - controls amp and the other devices, has a touch screen with a useful UI (the "useful UI" bit is the fact it has physical buttons as well as a touch screen - man cannot remote by touchscreen alone, as the saying goes).
Works wonderfully, and the flexibility of the Harmony means I have it set up exactly how I want it - no more having to do "Guide - up - left - down" to get to my recorded progs on the Sky+ box, I just press the "Recorded Programs" icon on the remote's screen. You do have to spend an hour os getting it configured in the first place, but a properly set up Harmony beats any other "universal" remote into a cocked hat. The only extra "remotes" I need are the 360 and PS3 controllers.
So the only deviation from your want list is that the STB isn't the single input to the TV; the STB (and Xbox, PS3, ATV etc) is an input into the amp (a soundbar in my case). Give it a try.
Dumb folk will only think it's one of your five a day.
*the one with gardeners world in the pocket, ta
A power lead (and probably a couple of thunderbolt sockets but you won't need to use them). The TV screen itself will be dedicated to showing a picture and thus won't need upgrading often (i.e. it's a very large but relatively low resolution monitor with viewing angles expected of a television). The little STB that sits in the cupboard and connects wirelessly will be doing all the connections, hard shifting and GUI. That will be on the 1-year release replacement cycle!
Just a guess, but they practically have all that already.
Not sure if it will have a Kinect stand on top.
Not interested in iTV - a 32in iMac maybe, in the meantime, I'd really like to upgrade my current 27in iMac and not even interested in Retina.
If it's going to finally bring an online content provider which supplies actual HDTV streaming content with DD 5.1 then I'll be throwing my wallet at a suitable space on the wall in the hope that one actually appears.
Not sure about the regular Apple utilitarian looks though, how they intend to provide a single design which looks as good in any living room I don't know.
Ahh you mean like Netflix on the PS3 and XBOX 360?
Why would I pay for yet another box to do exactly the same thing except probably worse?
Sorry, I just don't get it. It must be one for the apple fanboys.
...and the rest of the world will obviously be WRONG for displaying 16:9
Oh yes. Please. I see that half the android tablets are now 4:3 and the new LG 5" phone is also 4:3. Signs of progress after the blind alley of 16:9!
16:9 is great for watching TV but I'd prefer 2.35:1 for movies, as offered by one of those Phillips TVs. I look forward to the day that I can buy a 3840x1600 monitor with a 2.4:1 aspect ratio - it would be ideal for work and watching movies!
However I think your dig at Apple's choice of a 4:3 aspect is misguided. For portrait viewing 3:4 is a good compromise compared to A4 paper which is 3:4.24.
And exactly which movies do you think actually have that resolution?
Digital post production of movies lowers the pixel count from the native film stock.
I checked out the Philips wide screen - it looks totally bizarre on the wall and, IMHO, isn't really the answer.
Talk about a niche market! Unless you also hope Apple starts selling lots of 2.35:1 content via iTunes and you never watch any broadcast/cable/satellite TV or classic movies it seems like a pretty dumb idea.
Anyone aside from a videophile snob who thinks that having a 2.35:1 set means you deign to watch only the very limited amount of 2.35:1 content available would be relegating most of their viewing to having black bars wasting some of your screen. Just like a 4:3 set, except that the black bars will be larger, and on the sides instead of top/bottom.
There will be a big round button centered under the screen. To do anything, you'll have to get up, wander over to the TV and press it. Then you'll smudge-up the screen using the GUI.
OK.. the major selling point for this will be the UI.
So that means that all those UK viewers with Virgin or Sky will not even see it. Turn TV on, tune to Sky/Virgin, use the UI on the set top box.
That leaves those who love Apple so much, they must use the UI. So, that means watching what's available from Apple? Just been to the Apple TV page to see what's available. Underwhelmed is an understatement. Top programmes? Peppa Pig? Really? Major League Baseball? Is there a massive underground movement in the UK that I'm unaware of? Do Apple really believe that potential customers want that?
Agreed - I don't see how they're going to do anything more than every other Smart TV out there at the moment - unless they can replace your Sky+/Virgin TiVo/Freeview HD PVR box, it's going to be just another monitor for your existing STB. It'll look nice, but again, so does every other STB.
I'm hoping we'll be surprised by their approach, but at the moment I doubt they can pull this one off.
Well I for one, am not interested in paying Sky/Virgin to provide me with a large number of channels that I can already get for free via FreeView/FreeSat. Where those packages have value is in the sports channels and the TV series which are exclusive to Sky1, etc.. However, I still think that the base package of £15/month for those exclusive TV series is a lot to pay over a year, especially as I don't actually watch that many and am in no particular hurry to watch them, if they'll eventually be showing on Free To Air channels.
However, this is not always the case. HBO and AMC show a number of series that I like which aren't free to air, but sill don't warrant me spending £180/year to watch. As such, I'm quite keen to watch them on a pay-per-view option. Currently however I find the iTunes pricing a bit expensive, but maybe I'm just being a bit tight. I also think the BBC series pricing is way too high, for someone who already pays for a TV licence (and if I wasn't so lazy, could just record the programmes I want anyway).
In any case, I think pay-per-view for the latest TV series on a simple integrated TV could have potential if priced keenly. Current SmartTVs sit on the periphery, relying on third party content providers. Apple can at least use some of its weight/cash to bring content to consumers at a better price than the Sky/Virgin duopoly does in the UK.
Will this be the introduction of 4K displays at an 'affordable' consumer price level? It would be great if they were able to pickup the proper Kuro patents and able to move it on and implement it. But then again if that is true it would be at enthousiast prices :)
Whilst Panasonic, and Samsung produce decent enough sets...Since Pioneer has left that market there is something excellent missing...
A rectangular device with a flat screen to display moving pitchers ? I'm sure many IP lawsuits will ensue !
Whilst I like Apple stuff, I personally can't imagine how they can shake up the TV UI/viewing experience. Having said that, there are several improvemnts to be made (currently using a Panasonic 42" LCD) - named inputs, remote connection box with wireless streaming etc.
Canon and Nikon scoffed at Sony's announcement to muscle inon their D-SLR business (at which they've been quite successfull and Sony camera's have gathered serious acclaim) and Sega and Nintendo fans laughed when Sony annouched a games console ("Games console? what do sony know about games consoles?") and lots of phone manufacturers dismissed the iPhone as a serious competitor. They also redesigned & rejuvenated the tablet market.
But I though the new iPad was a bit 'Meh' as did I to the original iPod " Wow - the revolutionary device is a large capacity MP3 player."
So - could be interesting. Will it be a Thunderbolt display with an Apple TV added or something else? What did SJ think of (or thought he'd thunked of) that all the other UI designers missed?
As with all things Apple, I doubt the focus will primarily be about the hardware specifications. It will be about what it can do, how it goes about doing it and most importantly what it can offer over and above what we have today. So the physical design will be pleasing and the user interface will be simple and easy to use (possibly too simple).
As others have pointed out, the physical screen is not something people will be re-purchasing on a regular basis. Potentially, one could have an upgradeable logic box (signal provider to the screen) but let's be honest, video codecs for broadcast and disc media change infrequently so that piece of hardware doesn't need changing often either.
So let's assume they provide a built-in DVB-T/DVB-S tuner module and PVR capability, perhaps with hard drive upgradeability (don't count on it). That's still not offering anything more than what one could buy off the shelf either fully integrated or as components.
So where's the added value? For me, it'll have to be incorporating iTunes TV/Movie rentals at an aggressive price. One that beats paying a subscription for Sky/Virgin.
I don't know how they will do it, but I am pretty sure they can. When you have to use several different remote controls to operate all the stuff connected to your TV, each with their own different and confusing UI, I would say it is definitely an opportunity for Apple to show everyone how it should be done.
“Most recently, Foxconn boss Terry Gou apparently said his firm was preparing its production lines for such a product, although he was forced to clarify that no orders had actually been received by the long-time Apple manufacturing partner.”
One journalist in attendance claimed Gou said that, none of the others did. So two scenarios:
a) There were a number of hacks who missed, or couldn’t be bothered to report, Gou saying something that will attract a lot of interest.
b) One hack filed an inaccurate article.
Where does the claim that Gou “forced to clarify” come from? Foxconn was approached about the comments that Gou was supposed to have made and the company responded that he didn’t say anything of the kind.
Gou doesn’t have a reputation for confirming secret, unannounced products by clients and it’s doubtful that such clients would be happy if he did. So why on earth would he have made these comments?
The shape of this TV will just be like whoa! cool man! And when you change channel the screen will go like whoosh! And the EPG will cascade in like da-da-da-da-da with all these gorgeous drop-shadowed icons. And when you want to record something, it will be like Boom! and it's done. And the remote will be so neat with a multi-touch UI that's like Wow! And you'll be stuck in traffic and missing Master Chef and so you'll be like "Hey Siri! Tape Master Chef for me" and Siri will be like "Do you mean record Master Chef?" And you'll be like "Yeah, whatever."
And when you see it you'll just be like "I just gotta get one of those babies". And the price will be like "WTF?"
And then Microsoft will follow suit with a Metro interface one and you'll be swooning over it: "Ooh, look at the Swiss graphic design. Typography rocks! Shame we had to use that poor substitiute Arial font for all these years, because Microsoft couldn't stomach the Helvetica licence".
Where is the 'buy now' button for pre-orders?