What does a mythical Apple Television need? Mythical Android competitors of course!

What does a mythical Apple Television need? Mythical Android competitors of course!

While you might have though the holiday season was upon us, it's actually the start of Apple Television rumor silly season, with the always entertaining analysts not only speculating up a start to Apple's production, but a mad rush by competitors into the arms of Android. We kid you not.

Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said in a note to investors this week that Apple is expected to partner with Sharp for TFT-LCD panels for its so-called "iTV." Production is expected to begin in February at the company's Gen 10 Sakai facility in Osaka, Japan, placing the television set in position for a mid-2012 launch.

TV makers are said to be looking at Android as a potential option to counter Apple's anticipated television set. In that scenario, the television market would act much like the current smartphone landscape, with manufacturers making the hardware and Google providing the operating system.

Misek used words like "scrambling" and "caught flat footed", which is what happened with the iPhone and iPad and while phones have just now caught up, tablets are still struggling to find competitive footing.

So, it makes sense to now rush to compete with an unannounced product, right? How about just making good products, Apple be damned? Make a great television whether or not Apple enters the market.

Everything is going to be smart one day, not just tablets and phones. Let's see who gets there -- and where -- first.

Source: AppleInsider

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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What does a mythical Apple Television need? Mythical Android competitors of course!

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What 'mythical' tv makers need is 'mythical' network providers that can provide enough 'mythical' bandwidth to the end user to stream desired programming.

I have the second tier package thru Charter Communications. 16 Megabits down. I am able to watch 1080P+ content streamed via Justin.tv (I watch StarCraft 2 tournaments on NASL and IPL) on about 4 or 5 devices in the house.
If I can push that much data across all of those TVs and devices on 16Megabits, at this time I don't believe I need anything more.
NOTE: each device is getting it's own independent stream

Uhmmmm...sorry to break it to you but Sony already makes TV's and add-on boxes that run Android. Best Buy has the NSX46GT1 model on sale this week for $800. Not that Apple couldn't make a great TV, but they are actually behind on this one.

What will happen is they will launch something they think will compete [without knowing what Apple is doing or not doing] then Apple will release and they'll rescramble to change everything. lol.
Apple rumors are always far fetched then the real product is so "duh????" it makes you feel dumb for not considering it [ie - iPhone 3G = low-end iPhone vs launching multiple iPhone 4S's]. :)
Unfortunately for this industry, people will not flock to buy a new TV just 'cause. Ask Sony [re: Google TV integrated TVs]. [edit] So they better get it "right" on the first shot if they are trying to "beat" Apple.

While people may not flock to buy a new TV, there are still plenty of people out there that do not yet own an HDTV. Every time I am in WalMart I see the sales people trying to sell people on a new TV, but with the sheer number of nearly identically looking TVs and the mess of specs, add to that the badly educated employes that are just told to sell, who cares if the customer likes it.
I am not sure what Steve Jobs "cracked" in regards to televisions, but i'd really like to know.
What i would really like to see Apple do is open the AppleTV up to the AppStore and allow ATV apps to either be downloaded (to the AppleTV 2's built in 8GB of storage) or stream the apps via iCloud. That is one area where the Roku has leapfrogged AppleTV, the ability for companies and individual to add their own apps. But this is what everyone wants, lol
So far my Roku lineup is as follows: No Agenda, Netflix, Amazon, Crackle, TWiT, iTunes Podcasts (third party app that searches the Apple Podcast Directory), HBO Go, HGTV, Justin.tv, UStream, Chow, Hulu, YouTube, The Onion, TuneIn Radio, Revision3, and some random others...
I absolutely love the TuneIn Radio app for Roku since it syncs up with my iPad and iPhone TuneIn Radio apps.
I bought an AppleTV 2 for my mom and she has completely stopped watching cable TV and is now watching YouTube 24/7 (i have not gotten her a Netflix account). She looks up Zumba dancing (she is an instructor), knitting and crafting videos (many of them remind her of the PBS shows she watched in the late 80s early 90s), and old movie clips.
She also loves that it will display photos from the computer when not in use. An HDTV is way better than a digital picture frame in that respect since (a) it is so large and (b) has enough pixels in he screen to properly display the quality of the photos.

A lot of people do not, correct, but my point is all of those millions with one will say "why buy this when mine is fine?" It isn't as simple as a phone or tablet.
My point is more about the other players in the game too. They are scrambling right now, so says one report, and pushing something out too fast will be a mistake since folks aren't going to just grab the latest and greatest every year.

Seriously? Its called google TV. I thought this site was on top of tech news, pretty sad that I am more informed than them.

What brand of television has google tv built in? None as far as I know. So I think you misunderstand what and apple made TV is (the article is not referring to the apple tv that is currently out)

Apple already has Apple TV which is their competitor to Google TV. If they went with a TV, I'm MORE than sure it wouldn't be Apple TV embedded in a TV...but you never know. :)

Apple already has Apple TV which is their competitor to Google TV. If they went with a TV, I'm MORE than sure it wouldn't be Apple TV embedded in a TV...but you never know. :)

I still don't see how Apple, or Google, is going to deliver a TV that's so "radical" it changes the game.
What Apple did to the music industry is a warning to cable companies. They're not going to lose the control they have to anyone.
So as much as I'd love to believe Apple will come and disrupt this market...I don't see any logical way just yet.
Unless Google or Apple gets their own cable service. I just don't see it happening. It's going to be a TV, with Apple flair, that does what every Smart TV does to date. Has apps, connects to Netflix and Hulu, and that's it.

You don't need to change anything, all you need is a good marketing department to convince everybody that you did.

How are they gonna make tvs they don't even produce the screens for their other products. It's mostly Samsung and LG producing those parts.

Samsung is getting ready to produce Google TV television sets, this is no myth. Personally, I don't see the difference in buying a TV and adding something like Apple TV or a Roku box.
Anyway, the Movie/TV business is not the music industry, it is much more condensed, the costs of production are much higher, its done by fewer people, the files are much bigger, it's a whole new ball game.
Apple already has a good product, the current Apple TV, I don't see the logic in building a TV set around it.

Samsung is getting ready to produce Google TV television sets, this is no myth. Personally, I don't see the difference in buying a TV and adding something like Apple TV or a Roku box.
Anyway, the Movie/TV business is not the music industry, it is much more condensed, the costs of production are much higher, its done by fewer people, the files are much bigger, it's a whole new ball game.
Apple already has a good product, the current Apple TV, I don't see the logic in building a TV set around it.

I personally don't like the idea of having TV's get all of this multimedia content on them. I'd rather brick my Roku with a firmware update than my TV

Very curious and actually skeptical that Apple might have a significant game changer in the pipeline in this area for a few good reasons :

  • set-top boxes can be changed every 2-3 years, TVs have a much longer shelf life
  • Facetime/Skype on TV : potentially great applications, but I can do this today with my Ipad2/Apple TV2 combination and I usually don't. A few clicks less would not make a big difference.
  • Gaming on TV : yes, the console can be integrated in the TV as well as a Kinect controller and even touch screen à la MS Surface is a thing to dream of, but all this will be overpriced compared to one set top box.
  • iCloud + connectivity with Ipad/Iphone : sure, they could even pop-up incoming SMS and phone calls on the Big Screen but not sure this works for families, TVs are shared devices unlike Ipod/Iphones/Ipad (well, you know what I mean)

Frankly I only see one reason I would ever buy this : to have yet another good looking piece of electronics in the house.

Very curious and actually skeptical that Apple might have a significant game changer in the pipeline in this area for a few good reasons :

  • set-top boxes can be changed every 2-3 years, TVs have a much longer shelf life
  • Facetime/Skype on TV : potentially great applications, but I can do this today with my Ipad2/Apple TV2 combination and I usually don't. A few clicks less would not make a big difference.
  • Gaming on TV : yes, the console can be integrated in the TV as well as a Kinect controller and even touch screen à la MS Surface is a thing to dream of, but all this will be overpriced compared to one set top box.
  • iCloud + connectivity with Ipad/Iphone : sure, they could even pop-up incoming SMS and phone calls on the Big Screen but not sure this works for families, TVs are shared devices unlike Ipod/Iphones/Ipad (well, you know what I mean)

Frankly I only see one reason I would ever buy this : to have yet another good looking piece of electronics in the house.

Logitech decided to stop building the hardware. Google didn't cancel anything, and there will likely be other companies that are interested in building hardware for it.

Logitech decided to stop building the hardware. Google didn't cancel anything, and there will likely be other companies that are interested in building hardware for it.

What my mythical ideal Apple tv would have:
*a 2 Terabyte internal hard drive to store my movies and music. 3 is even better.
*Ability to play almost any movie codec and format i throw at it especially large (over 10GBs), mp4, mkv (yes mkvs), h.246, all with ac3, or aac in any complexity, and dts. I don't want to jump through hoops like i did when i used stream from an xbox 360. I would make this hard drive, upgradable too. And i'd get all steve jobsy too in that using and adding files and formatting should be apple simple. dumbed down if you want to put it. I shouldn't have to know linux to do it. It should be formatable with one click. i have a wdhdtv and it's great but at times it doesn't want to be seen by a network. I would not ever want customers having to jump through computer network settings to merely see the network. How to get it consumer friendly I don't know exactly but the bottom line goal would be it must must be simple for the average user to use.
*a top notch user interface, apple tv is ok i guess.
*app and app expandability. i dont use netflix but i'd like the option. sort of like how the xbox 360 can add new apps and panels like netflix and twitter etc and youtube. I'm not buying new tvs every year so expandability would be a nice feature cause it has to last and new things will come. plus it would allow for pleasing lots of people like who may not want what i want. things like pandora, or twitter, hulu, blockbuster etc.
*ethernet obviously since above i'm talking about netflix and youtube apps.
* a fabulous Harmony One univeral remote. I'm talking form and function. The right size, buttons in the right places and usable in the dark or light. Can run darn near every device around. Can be program to learn new devices like a game system or aftermarket device like an apple tv.
*1080p obviously and no less then 4 hdmi inputs. Bare minimum.
*enough mhz so that it doesn't blur when i watch sports. Maybe its' something other then mhz that does that but bottom line don't look like crap when i watch the sports which is pretty much daily.
*HD webcam for skype (could be a skype of facetime app)
*USB input. i don't know why i need it but it would be useful.
*Features and customizability too. apple has a tendency to limit customization. I'm not talking hackability. i man standard. So i'd be scared an apple tv would do something like only play quicktime or if it could stream from a computer it would only stream from folders it wants to but not from my external drive where my storage is. (that said i want a hard drive so hopefully it wouldn't matter). But simple customizability like the ability to add your most used apps to the front when you go to whatever your menu screen is.
*Internal Bluray player
*Hi quality audio outputs. For example if you're gonna play music from a tv interface with music stored on a drive or remotely you don't want to output it from crappy RCA jacks. Whatever you use be it optical or whatever you want someone with a fancy stereo able to output the music to a receiver and amp set up, a quality one.
*Automatically able stream from a computer running itunes.
*G & N wifi
*It should be sleek and all black. Under no circumstances should the only look offered be a white tv. I don't care if a second tv is white, brushed steel, hot pink, or plaid but most tvs are black, black is beautiful. Hey it's my ideal tv, I'd never buy a white or funny colored tv. I don't care if they offer options though.
*sizes 40 or 42 inches, 55, 71 (if you want throw a 32 in there but i don't do small tvs. That'd be for someone else).
*design wise i'd probably strive for the a thinner outer bezel but i could be flexible. Same would go for the depth of the device. We would be adding a hard drive so there might be trade offs.
*If you own two Apple TVs running on the same network they should be able to share stored media.
*Price: i'll just say this. TVs are cheap now. The price needs to be comparable to current prices. I get there are added features but if it's too expensive you price out regular people. A Ferrari on sale is may be a great product and a good value but still not feasible for most.
Other concerns:
-I don't care about 3D. I would be an after thought and only included if you could turn it off and most importantly do it without glasses.
-DVR: i'd consider working something out with cable companies if it could be done but right now it may be more hassle then it's worth to try and battle with cable companies trying to get them to allow you to work an internal dvr. And how would you cover every different cable system? I'd be open to it but it may be more of a hassle then it's worth.
Other optional feature but not mandatory:
*Prints $100 bills
*Makes clones of a Mila Kunis or Zoe Saldana like those guys in Weird Science.
(i can probably live without these two. but since i'm dreaming why not)
If you let me in an Apple Product development meeting. Those would be the general specs i'd want. i'd say "now go build me a prototype with all that in it and make it looks like sexy enough for Tony Stark to have mounted on his living room wall"

It would have to be made entirely out of plastic with a removeable battery cover. Plastic the superior medium when it comes to making superior electronics.

I'm an Apple fan, but I agree with many of the posts I've read. I think it's better to have a separate box attached to the TV, rather than a TV with "apps" built into it.
My current HDTV should suffice for years. The box interfacing with internet based content will likely require hardware upgrades before my TV resolution requires an update.