Apple’s ‘iTV’ is 11 years old?

“When I heard Steve Jobs’ ‘special’ announcement about a new product for 2007 called the ‘iTV,’ [I] just rolled my eyes thinking ‘you’ve got to be kidding me,'” Cynical IT Guy blogs for Business 2.0. “I guess Steve Jobs thought he’d really get away with it. I mean, sure, what kind of pissed off freak would remember something as obscure as that from 11 years ago and then nail him on it today?”

“The MacTV inspired another product (other than my performa) that is virtually unknown and will amaze you. And in 1995, I repeat 1995, this amazing product was called the ‘Apple Interactive Television Box,'” Cynical IT Guy writes.

Cynical IT Guy writes, “It was designed to stream content into a television. And this product looks awfully familiar to something Steve (11 years later) invented and called the iTV. But I guess when Steve Jobs announced the iTV, he must have forgotten that his own company had already made the iTV over a decade ago.”

MacDailyNews Note: “Stream content into a television” via wired connection, not wirelessly.

Cynical IT Guy continues, “It’s called iTV. That’s a codeword. We need to come up with a better name. -Steve Jobs quote from the iTV announcement speech. Aren’t you excited? It has a ‘codeword’ because it is so new that no one has even figured out what to call it yet. Now, I’m a nice guy, so when I hear Steve Jobs say that he’s trying to think of a name for an 11-year-old ‘new- product, I get confused and just want to help. So Steve, how about calling it the ‘Apple Interactive Television Box’ like Apple did in 1995. It’s catchy huh?”

Full article with more photos here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Michael” for the heads up.]

Wikipedia says:
Since the box was never marketed, no official technical specifications have been released by Apple. The following describes a typical unit:
• A/V ports include composite video on an RCA jack with two additional RCA jacks for stereo sound, an S-Video port, two RF coaxial cable jacks, and two SCART jacks.
• Mac-like ports including a Macintosh serial port, an RJ-45 ethernet port, and a SCSI port.
• The front of the unit has an Apple logo and an infrared receiver, apparently for interface via the remote control.
• The unit contains a 68LC040 CPU, and 4 megabytes of built in RAM, but no hard drive.
• An internal expansion slot of a type not found on other Apple products. There is speculation that this may be based on Apple’s PDS expansion slot.
Apple intended to offer the set-top box with a matching black ADB mouse, keyboard, Apple 300e CD-ROM drive, Stylewriter printer and one of several styles of remote controls.

“Apple Interactive Television Box” via Wikipedia here.

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Apple’s iTV will be much more like an upscaled iPod than a downscaled PC – September 30, 2006
Apple’s iTV: Where’s the DVR? – September 27, 2006
Intel’s Conroe-L the brains behind Apple’s iTV? – September 22, 2006
Cringely: Apple’s iTV strategy is iChat on steroids – September 22, 2006
The Motley Fool examines Apple’s iTV victims – September 22, 2006
Disney CEO Iger: Apple’s ‘iTV’ has ‘small hard drive on it’ – September 19, 2006
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Cringely: How Apple plans to own your living room – September 15, 2006
LA Times: With iTV+iTunes Movies, Steve Jobs stumbles over the last 100 feet – September 14, 2006
BusinessWeek: If anyone can make bridge the great divide, Apple can with ‘iTV’ – September 14, 2006
The Beeb asks: Would you buy the Apple iTV? – September 14, 2006
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Cramer: Apple’s ‘iTV’ all about ease-of-use; Apple shares are going higher – September 13, 2006
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The Register: Apple event more like ‘No Show’ than ‘Showtime’ – September 13, 2006
The Telegraph: Steve Jobs’ genius making people desire gadgets for which they have absolutely no use – September 13, 2006
The Guardian: Steve Jobs needs ‘a charisma download, Apple risks being left behind’ – September 13, 2006
Mark Cuban: Things that are special about Apple’s announcements – September 13, 2006
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71 Comments

  1. I remember these back when I worked at Oracle. We had a bunch of these set-top boxes from different manufacturers like Scientific Atlantic, General Instrument, Motorola, Apple and others. They were connected to an MPP (Massively Parallel Processing) Oracle Media Server for some interactive tv trials.

  2. Apple made good-looking, elegantly designed products even in 1995 when Steve Jobs wasn’t working for Apple.

    If Dell, Gateway, HP, Bill Gates, et al, came up with something as innovative back then, there would be racing stripes, cup holders, and gazillions of endorsement stickers on the thing.

  3. That guy is just sick!

    Yes, there may have been made products, which build on the same basics as iTV, but none of them, is just like it. Many things we didn’t have 11 years ago, we have now, soo the product is no where near the same today, as then!

    It’s like saying: “Hey! that car looks just like mine! the engine is even sitting in the front, just like 11 years ago!!! YOU BASTARD!!!!!

    See what I mean?..

  4. That just means Apple (even without Jobs) was thinking 11 years ahead of the technology and the public mindset that would make the product successful. Newton was way ahead of its time, but it was released too early and inferior products that came later became more successful. Apple thinks now is the time to make such a product successful. Like with MP3 players, Apple is not going to be the first to do such a product, but it will probably the company that can execute it successfully.

  5. This post by the Cynical IT Guys shows exactly what is wrong with the Ameican education system today. The guy quotes the dictionary definition of innovation as being something “new” and then promptly alters the definition of “new” to mean “first.”

    Example. The peanut butter and jelly sandwich was in its own right an innovation. Peanut butter and jelly had existed for decades, but no one thought of putting them together until World War II, when they were both packed together in K-rations for GIs because PB&J proved to be a high protein, high calorie compact food.

    The point? Neither peanut butter nor jelly were new inventions, but what was new was putting them together in a sandwich, which took nearly 40 years after the invention of peanut butter for people to figure out. The rest is history.

    Secondly, there is the fallacy of assuming that something dervied or depending on an earlier innovation is itself non-innovative. By that logic, sliced bread would not be innovative because it relied on the innovation known as bread. Nevermind that sliced bread totally changed the way bread was marketed and consumed.

    In other words, people like the Cynical IT Guy are so upset that the iPod is the juggernaught it is today when it wasn’t the first MP3 player that they fixate on trying to prove Apple is not innovative by pointing to superficially related predecessors. You might as well say the vaccuum tubes that powered ENIAC, the first all electronic computer, were just glorified lightbulbs and totally non-innovative.

    Idiocy knows no bounds.

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