New Apple TV teardown reveals extra RAM to handle 1080p video streaming
Now that folks have had some time to play with their new Apple TVs, it's inevitable that a few are going to crack theirs open to see what's inside. The new Apple TV sports a single-core A5 processor, which is a step up from the A4 used in the previous generation, but it's not dual-core, like the iPhone 4S. There's also extra RAM in there to help with the playback of high-definition 1080p video; the memory has been bumped up from 256 MB to 512 MB. The 8 GB of local storage is unchanged unfortunately, but seeing as it's primarily a streaming box, that's no surprise.
This might not be as exciting as the iPad 2 teardown, but it's great to see Apple has been able to offer some decent upgrades to the set-top box without cranking up the price. Aside from being decent option for accessing Netflix, iTunes, and other web content, the Apple TV also enables AirPlay, so you can wirelessly beam iPad content to the big screen. Besides enabling 1080p video, the new Apple TV is also introducing updated software with a fresh user interface.
As nice as the Apple TV may be, I think anybody who's serious about having a digital home media center will want a whole lot of local storage so they don't have to deal with buffering times or otherwise worry about connectivity to get their shows and music. I'm all for a service-centric streaming model of the Apple TV, but higher-end counterpoint with lots of local storage would be an awesome option to have.