Next-gen Apple TV may feature integrated 802.11ac AirPort router, built-in TV tuner; focus on gaming

“It is currently not clear or confirmed if the following specifications will be placed in the shipping product, but we understand from solid sources that they have been considered and/or tested in prototype versions of the device,” Mark Gurman reports for 9to5Mac.

“We’re told that Apple has considered combining the Apple TV and AirPort Express products. Versions of the new Apple TV in testing are said to include an integrated 802.11ac wireless router,” Gurman reports. “Putting everything in one box could make the overall experience simpler, while allowing the router to deliver peak video performance for the Apple TV and de-prioritizing other wireless traffic as necessary.”

“We’re also told that the new Apple TV will likely feature a focus on gaming,” Gurman reports. “We’re led to believe that the game integration will utilize existing iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches as controllers. It’s likely that there, too, will be some integration with Apple’s physical controller MFi program. Lastly, Apple has been testing versions of the Apple TV with a built-in TV tuner component…”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Highly doubt that they will integrate an 802.11ac wireless router capability in the Apple TV. I mean it’s nice if they do, but I highly doubt it, unless they don’t mind increasing the price to more than $99.

    The Apple TV by default will be placed right where your TV is or behind it. That will not necessarily correspond to the best place to locate a WiFi router which needs to be out in the open, preferably in the middle of your property’s intended area of coverage.

    Unless they want to put directional MIMO antennas in the Apple TV which will at least make it into a tower shaped like the AirPort Extreme, putting in 802.11ac capability will be wasted as bandwidth cannot be focused directionally on the remote client machine.

    1. It’s fairly trivial to add routing capabilities to a device that already has the wireless baseband chip. It’s merely a matter of including the necessary software, which iOS already has built in.

      1. Exactly. I don’t think people are looking at this the right way. The purpose of the “router” being built in is to minimize AirPlay latency. All iOS device AirPlay communication would be directly to/from the ATV instead of bouncing all over your home network. Having direct WiFi communication between these devices will make it much easier to guarantee a highly responsive user experience.

        1. If it adds no more (or little) cost, that’s fine as a feature. But the Nut ain’t nuts this time — having a direct connection to a modem near your television isn’t going to be a common setup for most people.

          In my case, I do have Cat5 running throughout my house that I don’t really even use, so I could probably make it work without much fuss. But for many people, the cable or DSL line enters wherever and you’ve got a modem there hooked to a wi-fi router that feeds your home, and the odds that your main television is right in that spot is likely rare.

          1. Oh I totally agree. My point is that the router functions wouldn’t be there to primarily function as a traditional router. They’d be there to offer low latency 1-hop communication with iOS devices in the room. That it can also function as a traditional router is a bonus freebie. Besides, many (most?) people who use an Airport Express (myself included) use it to extend a wireless signal, not as a pure hardwired to the modem router. In these cases, having the modem and/or Ethernet cable by your TV doesn’t matter.

  2. I was one of the ones that asked for this. We have people that just had to have ipads for presentations when going out and recruiting students and the only solution I could come up with was an AppleTV and Airport Express and velcro’ing them together because they wanted the ability to walk around.

    A better solution would be for a projector to have full support for airplay and have the ability to connect the iPad to the projector and mirror fully to the projector. Some projectors kinda have this setup but require a special app and only works on certain things, like having an iPad 1. Be nice if they had the option for people to buy, have an AppleTV without and with a router for some choice!

    1. I’m fine with having two models, one with and one without a router. Having a router inside the AppleTV would be great as that way the ethernet cable connects directly to the Apple TV and you have the benefit of a router to supply Wi-Fi to the living room.

  3. This is what you can expect at launch, a more robust product combining disparate pieces & features into a cohesive platform.

    Expect to pay more. The hobby product was a 100-bucks and the mainstream version will add to the cost.

  4. Wifi direct technology is supposed to negate the need for a router. Apple were behind the push for developing Wifi Direct I don’t get why they haven’t supported it yet. I think it would only need to be a software update on recent H/W (ATV3, iPhone 5 & up, maybe even ip4 H/W supports it).

  5. Wifi direct, airport express, 802.11ac anyway it does need better networking capabilities. Furthermore, it does need much better processing power for advance gaming and to handle the video camera aka xbox motion sensor, better graphics for supporting 4K TVs, and support gaming controllers as well as using your iPhone as controller (iController) and of course it will need the next version of iOS so developers can develop applications and for users to buy apps from the AppStore. All these means a major overhaul to the currently antiquated user interface.

    PS. Not to forget low power Bluetooth to support iBeacon at home.

    1. Stop with the 4K already. No one has the need, TV’s or bandwidth for it. Just go to Best Buy and ask about Sony’s. It takes 24hr to download a movie and a big ass HDD to store it. If Apple salves the lag issue then they can turn the ATV into a game machine using your iOS games. The idea of AirPort Express tech could solve that problem. It won’t be a replacement for the Xbox or PlayStation. It will be a new way to play the games you already have. If they keep it at $99 then they will sell a hell of a lot of these.

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