All-new Apple TV set top box coming soon with App Store possible, sources say

“We’ve learned that Apple is making progress on its development of a successor to the current Apple TV and that the device is well into testing,” Mark Gurman reports for 9to5Mac.

“We’re led to believe that the new device, which is said to be a set-top-box rather than a full-fledged TV set, will likely be introduced in the first half of 2014,” Gurman reports. “We understand that the product will include a revamped operating system that is likely to be based on iOS.”

“We understand that the new Apple TV will include new types of content, leading us to believe that an App Store or a ‘Game Store’ for the device is under consideration,” Gurman reports. “Will this next-generation Apple TV be what Jobs dreamed up?”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz,” “Dan K.,” and “Jersey_Trader” for the heads up.]


  1. I do hope they’ll get over their aversion to DLNA and add support. Yeah, it’s Microsoft but it’s a pretty good system. I also hope they get over their anti-MKV thing and will look at real surround support instead of the phony matrix stuff they do now. I’d love to toss an updated Apple TV into my system, but I’m not about to re-rip (or remultiplex) 3TB worth of stuff.

    1. Thanks Mikey!
      Some translations:

      DLNA uses Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) for media management, discovery and control. <–Not good because Microsoft's invention UPnP is yet another wide open gate to hackers. Use with EXTREME caution! I can offer details if anyone is interested.


      The Matroska Multimedia Container is an open standard free container format, a file format that can hold an unlimited number of video, audio, picture, or subtitle tracks in one file. <–I often wonder why Apple doesn't support every format. It's contrary to Apple's attitude about cross platform support. Is it a lawyers thing?

      1. “Is it a lawyers thing?”

        Yes. Adopting the license often means that all derivatives must all be open-sourced. Since Apple embeds file format support at very low levels so that everything above can take advantage of it (“it just works”) that means being very cautious what licenses get adopted, lest they get into a situation where the core OS must be released as open source.

        1. I suspect the MKV format is less rigid. I have several devices (TV, BlueRay) that only support a limited subset of MKV or DLNA. On the other hand, my WesternDigital devices decode everything I throw at them.

    2. However if this next AppleTV runs iOS apps then it would support VLC for iOS and that would provide support for playback of mkv files. I have the same good problem as you do and that’s close to 4TB of Matroska encoded movie files. Every movie file I download is re-encoded into mkv format specifically for my Roku player and PLEX combo. It’s really a pity that iTunes doesn’t support Matroska which is the best media container around.

    3. **The below isn’t to suggest that I wouldn’t like Apple to adopt MKV, just to explain their decisions**

      Apple is never going to directly support MKV. In addition to the legal issue jt016 describes, there are also issues of patent trolls. While MKV may be issue free regarding patents, it’s always a risk from Apple’s perspective of having the deepest pockets.

      Another factor is that it’s in Apple’s interest to direct the industry around a small set of standards. For video, that’s H.264 MP4 (and most likely soon H.265) for content delivery with other production formats such as ProRes.

      For audio, it’s AAC, ALAC, AIFF, WAV. Apple only adopted MP3 compatibility because it was so widely adopted and the iPod needed that functionality to be accepted. Adopting AAC for the store didn’t matter since it was encrypted anyway, and once DRM went away AAC had already been well established (heck the iPod itself became a standard). Anyway the same issues apply, Apple won’t ever adopt OGG/Vorbis or FLAC.

      In fact, Apple has been moving further in the direction of standardizing not only codecs and containers, but specific settings for them. Note the new version of iMove that ships with Mavericks. Not only must you output H.264, but you’re limited in the resolution, frame rate and data rates. The QuickTime Player has also reduced export functionality. Apple really wants people to focus around 480, 540, 720, 1080 H.264 MPEG-4 and for audio 128 or 256 AAC or ALAC.

    4. @Mikey: “I also hope they…will look at real surround support instead of the phony matrix stuff they do now.”

      You have it wrong, Mikey. Apple TV natively supports AC-3 which provides up to six DISCRETE channels of sound. No matrixing, phony or otherwise, involved.

    5. If they open it up to apps, they won’t need to support those. CineXplayer or similar iOS app will likely come to ATV. iPad version of it already supports DLNA and plays MKV. I haven’t tried it but I think CineXplayer can Airplay MKV to ATV.

  2. If this rumor is true, I will be first in line to buy one. I still have the 1st Gen box and I been holding out until something like this will come out. I am also hoping it has the new 64 bit processor and 802.11ac wifi. This will take care of any issues in streaming and game play. If this does come out the Roku 3 and the console gaming will take a big hit.

  3. One of the biggest options that is rarely discussed is for Apple to allow iTunes to rip movies as easily as CDs. Yes, I know there are legal hurdles standing in the way, but in my opinion, if users were able to rip movies to their HDs as easily this would make an updated Apple tv even more compelling. Think about having access to all of your DVDs streaming from your Mac or iCloud (via iTunes Match). Could Apple cut through the red tape by simply having users agree that they are only making a backup of content that they legally own?

    I ripped 450+ CDs years ago and never looked back, but I’m still waiting for a video solution that is as seamless. Get users to digitize their movie collections, add channels, rent shows and launch a dedicated Apple tv App Store and Apple will have a much more useful product.

    1. HandBrake does this pretty nicely. Once the ripping is done add to the iTunes library. With the newer processors the ripping is fast. I did this to my own library so I could access from iTunes not to share.

      1. Handbrake is OK for DVDs, buts it doesn’t do Blu Ray. For many, thats a two step; MakeMKV to get the file from the Blu Ray, then Handbrake to encode (or perhaps package is a better word) the video file for Apple devices

    2. I hate to be dream busting today but…

      if users were able to rip movies to their HDs as easily this would make an updated Apple tv even more compelling.

      That’s never going to happen. Again, not saying that I wouldn’t want it to but, to start with, Apple would kinda need to backpeddle a bit on their stance on DVD drives and even more so on Blu-Ray drives.

      Not only that, but it’s not just a legal red tape thing. Handbrake works ok, but not 100% of the time. It’s takes much longer to rip a DVD and even far longer to do a Blu-Ray. Worse, is that Apple would need to essentially convince the studios to kill the disc DRM in order to allow people to migrate movies they bought instead of forcing them to buy them again.

  4. Gaming is an obvious much needed update. There is huge potential in tying iDevices and well as new controllers with an AppleTV for games. This could really kill more expensive boxes for the casual user.
    Second on the list is a better interface on the Apple TV and the Remote app. Need to make it easier to find and use the different types of content.

  5. I’d like to see a new TV extruded from aluminum, using a form factor similar to the new Mac Pro. A black cylinder with interior lighting would be awesome.

    But, I’d rather see Apple roll the TV, the AirPort Time Capsule, and some of the new technology in the Mac Pro and put it into a new Mac mini Home Server that looks just like the Mac Pro but has all the functionality of a centralized multimedia center, including gaming.

    It’s time TV moved out of the garage and into living rooms of main stream technology and what better way to do that than to offer a device that’s as easy to use as an Apple iPhone or iPad.

    It will be powered by OS X but will respond to iOS devices of any kind. It will be wicked fast naturally and let’s hope it stacks, for us farmers.

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