Apple’s ‘iTV’ strategy

“Apple’s surprise announcement of a $299 ‘iTV’ set top box was a confusion for some because Apple didn’t call it what it really is: the Video Airport Express. Here’s a closer look at the new device, and how it fits in with Apple’s online media strategy,” Daniel Eran writes for RoughlyDrafted.

“Apple didn’t advertise the full specs on the device, only showing off what looked like a thin slice of a Mac mini, with networking, USB, audio and video ports, and a brief demonstration of its extended Front Row interface. Sometimes saying a little says a lot,” Eran writes. “This isn’t a Mac. There isn’t room for an optical drive; its nearly the size of one itself. Further, there isn’t enough room inside for a general purpose Intel Core processor and necessary cooling, or other typical PC hardware. It even has the power supply transformer built in, so it only uses a thin power cable.”

Eran writes, “This is an appliance, the video Airport Express: it lacks everything else. It has no dedicated display, and no user interface beyond the simple TiVo-like Front Row. It uses a remote control, not a keyboard, so it only needs a single USB port, possibly for printer sharing or disk storage. This is designed to stick next to a TV, just as the AirPort Express hid behind a stereo.”

Eran writes, “Apple’s new iTV is being held up [due Q1 2007], I believe, because Apple is waiting to deliver 802.11n, the next major jump in wireless networking. As I noted earlier, the n standard isn’t going to be finalized until early 2007. While some vendors are releasing “pre-n” wireless equipment in advance of the standard, I believe Apple is holding off to make sure their equipment will be widely compatible and not interfere with existing networks.”

More in the full article here.

Steve Jobs gives sneak peek of Apple’s “iTV” wireless set-top box:

Related articles:
How will Apple’s ‘iTV’ work? – September 13, 2006
Apple eyes living room market with device codenamed ‘iTV’ – September 12, 2006
Analyst: Apple ‘s iTunes+iPod+iTV model ‘the gold standard for the digital home of the future’ – September 12, 2006
The Motley Fool’s Lomax: Apple news ‘mostly underwhelming, with some potential future bright spots’ – September 12, 2006
Analyst: Apple ‘s iTunes+iPod+iTV ‘will be hard for other players to match’ – September 12, 2006
Apple gives sneak peek of ‘iTV’ set-top box to debut Q1 2007 (with images) – September 12, 2006
Apple’s QuickTime stream of Steve Jobs special event now live – September 12, 2006
NFL and Apple team up to offer 2006 NFL game highlights via iTunes Store – September 12, 2006
Cringely on Apple video experiment, future 802.11n Apple Video Express, Sony TVs in Apple stores – October 14, 2005
Apple pushes for next-gen 600Mbps Wi-Fi standard as member of Enhanced Wireless Consortium – – October 10, 2005


  1. Interference seems to be the main reason the 802.11n standard is being held up.

    from wiki:

    “According to the IEEE 802.11 Working Group Project Timelines,[2] the 802.11n standard is not due for final approval until July 2007.
    It has been reported that 802.11n interferes with existing 802.11b and g wireless networks. It has also been reported that the range of the 802.11n has reached up to 1/4 of a mile. Interference on this scale is a major setback for 802.11n”

  2. I wonder if it is possible to use this device bi-directional…..what do you think? IS it possible to send video signal from mac to TV BUT also send a TV signal (any) back to the mac for recording??? What if iMovie wil act as a VCR feeded by the iTV???? Question is: where is the de-/encoding. To me this looks a bit like an Elgato Eyetv device….only with wireless capability!
    If this is the case it would be perfect….no mac, no recording. No iTV no movies on your TV….gee what a concept!

    MacB, Netherlands.

  3. IMO, the brightest on the BBC forum:

    “I have a widescreen cable TV, I have a dvd player, I have more than one computer. Can someone please explain to me why on earth I would need to buy into iPod, and watching tv/video on a 2″ square screen? The shops are full of things I don’t want or need, and this will just be added to the list. I’ll bet I’m not the only person who thinks like this.”

    Elaine Grant, Letchworth Garden City, United Kingdom – Sorry, Elaine. We checked. You’re the only one.

    “Who needs a TV? You can watch it on the computer anyway, or burn it to a DVD if you want to watch it on TV.”

    [tre-cool] – Yes, you are.

    “Since when is this new?

    “You can stream audio, and (I think) video from your computer with an X-Box 360 already!

    And there’s already software out there that allows you to connect your computer to your TV to watch DVD’s etc.

    Besides, you’re guaranteed that Apple will make this a subscription service.”

    Sethaen, Kent, UK – Subscription service? Wha?

  4. I love my video iPod 60G. It saves my sanity on 8 to 13 hour plane flights. At 12″ fmf (from my face) the screen is larger than a 28″ CRT TV at 10′ fmf (I recently verified this while staying at a Hampton Inn in Canada).

    Combine the video iPod with a set of Bose QC2 headphones and you’ve got a fantastic tiny entertainment system that won’t weigh you down when traveling.

  5. Comment:
    From: Greg M

    Sep 13, 06 – 10:20 am

    If this is all that it ends up being then it’s too little too late. There are already other devices that can stream the content on your computer to your TV with more options and flexibility.

    So Greg…the iTV is not for you, is it? Personally I will wait with conclusions….there are tons of other mp3 players as well but me and my family have iPods…

  6. Confusion about what? It is not a released product so why worry about it. When they announce it at MacWorld with its true name then everyone will know. I don’t see this as a big deal at all. I don’t think it is going to use N for wireless otherwise there isn’t a single Mac product that could use it because non of the currently released products have wireless with the N standard built in that I’m aware of. This would be a big mistake on Apple’s part if they were to use N as there would be few that would buy the iTV that could actually use it.

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