Apple TV 3 rumored to launch alongside iPad 3, "mystery accessory"

The long rumored Apple TV 3 may finally be unveiled by Apple on March 7 as part of the just confirmed iPad 3 event. According to 9to5Mac's Mark Gurman, the device is code named J33, will have "near immediate" availability, and a "mystery accessory" will be available along with it:

We’re not sure what it is, but it’s called “B82″ internally. The product is likely some accessory, probably ranging from either a cable, cover, or new audio remote. The new Apple TV will include Bluetooth 4.0 capability, so perhaps Apple will ship an improved remote to that takes advantage of that next-generation Bluetooth protocol.

Rumored features of Apple TV 3 include 1080p video playback with potential 1080p iTunes content to go along with it, as well as Bluetooth 4.0 and an upgraded processor, either the suspected dual-core Apple A5X or quad-core Apple A6.

Combined with AirPlay on iOS, and the upcoming AirPlay on OS X Mountain Lion, it could finally take Apple TV from "hobby" to necessity. I for one will never be transcoding a video or storing anything in an iTunes library again.

Source: 9to5Mac

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Apple TV 3 rumored to launch alongside iPad 3, "mystery accessory"


With AirPlay he could use any program he wanted to play the movie on his Mac; and then mirror the screen to AppleTV. But I don't want my Mac tied up like that, unless they allow some background AirPlay in the future its still the iTunes for me.

True. I was just thinking of non torrent content and options are few in Canada so iTunes is a good option.

I will be encoding all my blurays again to 1080p and keeping them in iTunes. Just because we will have AirPlay in the summer doesn't mean I want my MacBook Pro tied up AirPlaying while I could be using it AND watching a movie thru iTunes.

I don't know why you wouldn't be able to use the mac while airplaying. With Air Video app I can definitely do both on my iPad.

It was my understanding that Mountain Lion AirPlay was only AirPlay mirroring. Not video only kind of thing thru an app, at least for now.

Here's hoping for iOS 5.1 and Apple TV2 OS update to support AirPlay from Mountain Lion.

Siri can't hear me half the time now, I can't imagine the kind of mic system that a noisy living room would need for that to work well.

I guess you've never used an Xbox Kinect then. It works just fine with ambient noise in the background. If Apple can't find a way to even match that, then they don't deserve to introduce this technology. Also, you can't expect Siri to hear you while out in noisy public places. That's when you're supposed to put the phone to your ear to do the instructions for better recognition.

Kinect is awesome. Apple better watch out cause Microsoft is going to do a lot w Kinect besides Xbox. I also love that it's not in "beta." Yay for coming to market w finished products.

One thing that drives me crazy is that I have an ATV2 in my bedroom, but use my Mac Mini as my primary media center connected to hard drives and the TV in the living room. I don't understand for the life of me why Apple is equipping the ATV with more AirPlay capabilities than the Mac Mini. Or really I don't understand why they're not keeping up with the Mac Mini's specs.

The Mac Mini costs $599, the Apple TV costs $99. I presume that's why the specs are much lower on ATV. I'd imagine AirPlay will come to Mac Mini, but ATV is probably the priority b/c it has the ability to sell to a wider audience at that lower price point.

Apple TV will fail with me as long as it won't play all my video formats while plenty of other players can. Most of video is now xvid, mp4, and mkv. My wdtv has been able to play them all for 4 years. Not to mention the few isos, ts, and a few other format's i just haven't had time to convert to mp4 yet. Apple tv is a neat device but its not complete enough. I mean my Dad's new Sharp Aquas is a better video player out of the box, it can play almost any format from any drive plugged into it's usb port, it can stream from a dnla server (not that my dad knows what one is), plus it's got netflix and pandora and a bunch of other apps. So to even be in the running an Apple TV needs to step up in a major sense to play newer and more codecs. I got a big video library and if it can't play on a device there's no point for me in getting the device.

I understand the frustration, but I am curious. I rip my blurays into mkv, but mkv is like 30Gb per movie, then I encode to m4v, which is 3Gb. What exactly am I losing during the encode? The movie seems to have great quality when I play thru Atv...?

Trust me your 3Gb bluray rip isn't the same quality as the 30gb Mkv rip. think about it , if you could have the amazing picture quality that's on a 50gb , in 3gb , bluray would've died by now.
Specially now with 3D bluray , you really can tell when you rip &convert from Bluray to Apple Tv stream.

I just wish they'd support MPEG-2 with iTunes and ATV. I'm tired of transcoding recorded DTV programs to MPEG-4 so I can play them back on my ATV2.
There's no prospect of DVB-T2 (or even DVB-T/MPEG-4) DTV broadcasts in Australia, we're stuck with plain old DVB-T/MPEG-2 for at least another decade. By then the national fibre-to-home rollout will be complete and broadcast TV will be dead.

The one thing really stopping the ATV from supporting apps from the app store is a really good user input device (perhaps bluetooth, motion sensitive with support for multiple players).
I'm hoping the accessory will be something of this kind.

I'm hoping it has some kind of 'network hub' which would allow a dedicated wifi network between another device and itself (ex: an iPad and ATV). That way, if you couldn't easily join a wifi network with both devices, or there were no wifi network, you could still easily connect an iPad (or iPhone, OSX laptop, etc) to the ATV for Airplay. This would be especially helpful for people giving presentations.
Hmm, maybe the accessory could be some sort of really small wifi-hub which plugs into a USB port on it or something like that (as that it wouldn't be something everyone would want or need on their ATV)...

Bluetooth facility? That sounds like a way of controlling Siri/Apple TV 3 to me via a wireless microphone. If I was Apple, I would perhaps build the mic into the remote control to give both options.

Mystery bluetooth accessory? Sounds like it could be a games controller. Put an app store on the apple tv and you have a games console.

To be honest I'm still hoping for a FaceTime camera/mic combo which would open this option up for use in the main living room. Might re-purpose the ATV for business users too, new market for Apple?

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I live in BC and have been in Picton twice. Once in 1967 at the army base training for the Canadian Military's Tattoo 1967 which toured the country during the Centennial Year and again in 2005 to visit the area and to remember back to when we were all young (I'm now 70). In 1967 I arrived in February and once our training was over, we all left for our tour in April. The weather on my visit in 2005 was much better than that of 1967 but I still have fond memories of those winter months spent in your area. My website has some pictures of Picton primarily of the base as it was back in 1967.

How do I convert videos directly to email rather than u-tube posting?  It seems they go right to AOL, which is the account I don't want to use.  Where do I control this? (Changing or controlling what account they go to)  I'm using Sony PMB program.  thanks