Analyst: Next-gen Apple TV seen as stepping stone for connected HDTV

Apple Online Store“Apple is expected to launch a new Apple TV in the coming months with limited storage, a lower price, and its own App Store, paving the way for an Internet-connected HDTV as soon as 2012,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider.

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“Analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray on Monday issued a note to investors in which he reiterated his belief that Apple plans to launch a connected, full-fledged HDTV in the next 2 to 4 years,” Hughes reports. “He acknowledged recent rumors that the existing Apple TV set top box will be renamed iTV, but said that the anticipated product update will only be a stepping stone to the eventual flat panel living room TV.”

Hughes reports, “A key component for the Apple television set, Munster believes, will be Apple’s soon-to-launch data center in North Carolina. He believes the massive location could serve as a hub for a cloud-based iTunes service that would allow users to stream their catalog of movies and TV shows. Munster believes the upcoming Apple TV update will add an App Store, allowing users to download applications to run on the device.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Judge Bork” and “Lava_Head_UK” for the heads up.]

39 Comments

  1. When will this “story” finally give up and go away?

    Yes, M.X.N.T.4.1.is correct, bandwidth is the key. Or LACK of it.

    More importantly, HDTVs are commodity items. More so than even computers. Looking at Sony alone, they have dozens of different models with differing sizes and feature sets at different price points.

    Apple does NOT enter such markets.

    It makes more sense for Apple to design and produce a beefed up TV that can connect with ANY HDTV… YOUR HDTV… and connect to your home network.

    Mac mini with TV abilities anyone?
    Oh, wait, a Mac mini can do most of it now.

  2. @Al: That’s already happening north of the border to block Netflix online. Any cable provider that’s also an ISP sees the threat to their cable business and will do anything to stop it.

  3. IMO Apple are likely to offer 720p streaming for HD.

    I don’t think this will win then many customers in the marketing wars when Netflix, Microsoft Zune video, PlayStation, etc are offer 1080p streaming for movies.

    Moreover, it’s not a replacement for Blu-ray’s 40Mbsp high quality 1080p — nor is 1080p streaming to be honest with its 5Mbps-ish — but 720p streaming can be better than DVD.

  4. The idea is rather unrealistic, but not for the reasons stated by Mr. Reeeee. Making and selling a HDTV that also had additional functionality and connects to special online services is not fundamentally different than fusing Mac Mini with a monitor into an iMac. 21.5″ monitors are commodity, so the logic would be that it would be not worth it for Apple to sell a monitor with a built-in computer.

    I’m sure that if Apple were to build and sell a HDTV (perhaps 42″ or similar), it would sell well, it being the ultimate brand that consumers covet. However, the point remains that any service that relies on heavy usage of bandwidth (average of 3 hours per day) will fail with today’s availability of unlimited broadband. For an image quality even remotely resembling reasonably decent HD, you need at least 4Mbps of sustained throughput. This translates to about 6GB worth of data transfer per average day (for an American household). Let us not forget, not all family members watch TV together (on a single TV set), so with multiple TVs, there may be multiple streams, increasing those average 6GB. I can’t think of ANY broadband internet provider in the US that wouldn’t go broke if majority of their customers were to begin sucking this much data down their pipes on a daily basis.

  5. @ Mr. Reee
    “Mac mini with TV abilities anyone?
    Oh, wait, a Mac mini can do most of it now.”

    Exactly. When I get a chance I’m getting the new mini. Combined with Elgato’s EyeTV, the mini with HDMI out can do way more than Apple will ever do with the TV.

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