Apple TV will be renamed iTV, have apps, but not support 1080p

Engadget has received info from a trusted source that the next Apple TV will be renamed iTV, have apps, and unfortunately, not support 1080p playback.

Apparently the box won't be capable of handling (or enabled to handle) 1080i or 1080p video. Instead it will only push out 720p clips. The word -- and cause for much internal debate, we're told -- is that this has something to do with the A4's inability to crank on higher resolution content, but we don't see how that's possible considering the iPhone 3GS could play back full HD video. Furthermore, the device will be getting apps and presumably an App Store entry, though it's unclear if there will be cross-pollination between iPad and iPhone / iPod touch offerings and new Apple TV applications.

Interestingly, the switch to the name iTV is actually what Apple had originally called the Apple TV and it makes sense to go back, especially since it looks like it will be similar to iOS with apps.

So what do you think about the lack of 1080p support? I find this extremely disappointing and can't imagine Apple releasing such a subpar product. However, at only a $99 price point, I may be able to forgive Apple for this one. How about you?

[Engadget]

Leanna Lofte

Former app and photography editor at iMore, Leanna has since moved on to other endeavors. Mother, wife, mathamagician, even though she no longer writes for iMore you can still follow her on Twitter @llofte.

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Apple TV will be renamed iTV, have apps, but not support 1080p

44 Comments

Lol, spend the extra $70 and get a PS3 or Xbox 360 and you can do all the same stuff and about 1,204 additional things.

Leanna. You almost make the rename/redesign of Apple TV a side story to lack of 1080p support in the upcoming product. The story is the freakin' iOS iTV! Why no real commentary there?

Correct me if I'm wrong here but you can't buy anything above 720p from iTunes anyway and if you serious about a media player you wouldn't want a tied down Apple TV anyway, Popcorn Hour plays all the different formats out the box sure it's more expensive but the benefits are huge.

LL, how will this interact on my wireless network with my iPad? Can I stream from this box to my iPad if I want to watch on it instead?

Most people can't tell the difference between 1080p and 720p anyway. I know people who are convinced that all their HD TV channels are broadcast in 1080p.

Glad someone pointed out apple doesn't sell 1080p content. The average consumer doesn't care about 1080p just like the average consumer didn't really care about the iPad not running Mac OS X. This is apples core market in my opinion, I welcome this apple tv but don't have 1080p TV anyway but really you can't download 1080p easily on most broadband connections ! Serious media people will use bluray

"Apple TV will be renamed iTV"
Never happen. Apple tried and failed as the name is trademarked by an international media corporation active in every major TV market that Apple sells into (including US, UK, Canada, Australia). They might have managed to work around Apple Corps as they could claim (at the time) a differentiation between music production and computers but there is no such line between a media player and a media producer.

I will gladly get one. I am so tired of Netflix. Would much rather pay Apple for new movies on demand.

I would say the idea of Apple calling the product iTV is highly suspect. I doubt even Apple wants that pissing match.
As for the 1080, for most TV viewing who cares? As has been pointed out mist HD content, including Apple's is only in 720. If Apple can get this into homes for $99 they will score a home run especially if there are useful apps.

As a teenager who has played too much Xbox, I can easily spot the differences between 1080p and 1080i. Having to watch shows and movies that are not even better than DVD quality on something made by Apple is simply not acceptable. If I can rent a Blu-Ray for the same price as renting it from iTunes, why would I settle for such subpar quality? Let's just hope Apple fixes this.

Apple TV with iOS? Are Apple gonna try to compete with the console market? I see iPhones/iPod touch as games controllers...

The only content that is regularly distributed in 1080p is movies and that requires 6Mbps + stream for the video alone at a high compression rate. Most TV shows are distributed in 720p.
That being said I think I'll stick with plex and a Mac mini for my TV.
@Jake DVD quality is 480i. 720p is a much higher resolution.

Now we just need a iTunes subscription service that can compete with Netflix and we MIGHT have something here...

I have news for you. It's going to be 720p because that's what apple streams from iTunes and also because current Broadband bandwidth limits can handle. 1080p goes through way too much data. Also the box will be free as long as you subscribe to the iTunes service for the television. Watch the d8 interview jobs clearly sates they are aware no one will pay for a set top box. Apple will charge a subscription fee, stream 720p so they can use current bandwidth limits and give you the hardware for free

I don't get the big deal here. Streaming content isn't going to be above 720p anyway. If it does 1080 it'll only be upscaling content.
720p is still HD and damn good.

Streaming content is going to be available in 1080p from several sources in the not-so-distant future and limiting the device to 1080p is an absolute deal breaker for me. HD TVs are ubiquitous, broadband connections get faster all the time (not a big deal here in Japan anyway...) and it's simply not a future-proof investment (even if it's "free") to settle for 720p. If Logitech's Revue supports full HD it might be a much better deal.

agrmarcasepatentes Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass' favor.

Total BS that folks can't tell the difference between 1080 and 720! Maybe that's true on my laptop watching a YouTube video, but on my 52" set which is where I'd use an iTV, it's a pretty clear difference! Flip between HD on Fox in 720 and CBS in 1080 and it's like much crisper.
Have a hard time believing that it wouldn't support 1080 anyways. These days, it seems retro to only offer 720.

I have two Apple TV's, but the 3.5 year old one died last week. I got it the first day that they were released. I'm waiting for the new version before I replace it, and I don't mind only 720p. Until then I'm using a DLO homedock HD with an iPod, and it doesn't look nearly as nice as the Apple TV on a 42" screen.

I think people who want something like Apple TV/iTV will be able to live with 720p. High quality 720p looks better than low quality 1080p, which is what you get from a lot of 1080p cable. There are a lot of reasons to stick with 720p - the bandwidth needed for downloading the content, limitations on what can be streamed over wifi, etc. Apple doesn't even have a Blu-Ray drive option for its computers. So in general, Apple right now just isn't at the 1080p benchmark. However, they have pushed the resolution up on the iPhone and iPod Touch, and there's now the iPad. So 720p is pretty much going to cover all of those devices.
Apple does one thing in particular well - if you buy content from the iTunes store, you can put it on five compatible devices (I think that's right) and stream it throughout your house on unlimited devices. I don't think Apple gets props for this fact. In contrast, the MPAA doesn't want anyone to be able to legally rip even one backup copy of any DVD or Blu-Ray disc. There are very few practical and/or legal means of having 720p or 1080p video on multiple computers and portable devices, AFAIK.
If someone says, "but what about my 1TB of 1080p video content in mkv format?" we all know there are really only two or three ways the person got that content. For those people, there are plenty of devices that will output 1080p with multiple codec support.
Apple is for people who don't want to bother with that. The best reason someone would go with Apple's system is if they have a young family with kids. Basically, a parent makes one purchase of a movie for their kids and downloads one file. Now they watch it on every computer on the iTunes network, on every Apple TV unit, and on five iPads/Touches in the car, on vacation, etc. Anyone who knows a family with 2 to 4 year olds knows that kids need to watch the same thing 100,000 times.
$99 for an Apple TV with only 16GB of flash memory storage is perfectly reasonable and very likely. I expect that it's just the bottom tier though - there will probably be three models with increasing storage capacity that are $100 apart, as usual.

Actually, $99 for 16GB of flash storage does seem a little bit low. I would be curious to know what kind of profit margin Apple would be looking at at that price point. This iTV thing looks like it will be an A4 chipset with flash memory, some video output ports, a power supply, and maybe a USB port. Anyway, if Apple can pull off a $99 unit, I think it will sell well.
Apple is never about the best specs, just good enough specs with a great UI, great design, and, increasingly, integration with their existing products. On the one hand, when new products are announced, there's a huge outcry about how Apple is doomed; but then with the iPad for instance (no Flash video! I'd rather get a netbook! etc.), Apple have sold millions of units. But, when there's an actual design flaw, like on the iPhone 4, no one is returning their iPhone and users defend the product, because the value of the phone offset the problems with its functioning. So, the more I see comments about how the lack of 1080p is going to kill the iTV and how there are other devices with superior specs out there or just around the corner, the more I expect iTV to sell millions of units.

Apple TV never had 1080p or i to lose. Highest you can get in itunes store is 720p. This is a nonissue really but one that opponents will continue to bring up.
As for iTV...that's a silly name IMO. Nothing wrong with what they have already. But if they need an i name, then try iPod TV. Or iBox.
I see little value unless it can offer netflix & hulu, etc apps.

well im defo getting this aa we've not had a decent transformers game since the ps2, check out you tube,theres a fan made g1 prime, its flipping awesome, this guy loves his transformers!!!

If it is all too weird for you personally, and you'd rather make paper mache, or collect stamps or something, then by all means- go ahead. So the question is, are they safe? Reborners have even taken this craft to a whole new level with the birth of custom reborn babies, which are basically babies developed using the precise specifications of a buyer. Other folks who can't relate to the idea of parenting simply buy these babies for their collection. Talented Sculptors perfected baby functions adding in distinct facial expressions, some with closed eyes, some with open, all with the potential to be entirely transformed inside the hands of a talented reborner. She'll be overjoyed to have it and treasure it for the rest of her life. Is it for me?

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