Apple should make a smart TV projector

“Apple almost certainly made a sound decision by giving up on the idea of developing a television set,” Leonid Bershidsky writes for Bloomberg View. “Nonetheless, Apple could still change the way the way we watch television and movies if it decided to create a smart projector. There is a market for these devices that Apple, with its gift for making user-friendly gadgets, could take by storm.”

“People buy projectors because they can produce an image of almost any size. A screen or a flat white wall turns the room into a cinema. Kids love it, and on big game days you can turn your apartment into a sports bar,” Bershidsky writes. “There’s a price to pay, however: Even the best of these devices is stuck in the past. If you’re a connoisseur of 1970s interfaces.”

“This is the kind of market that is ripe for Apple to work the same kind of magic as it did with music players and mobile handsets,” Bershidsky writes. “According to Bloomberg Intelligence, almost 229 million LCD TV sets were sold last year, compared with 8.3 million projectors. The opportunity for Apple is to turn projectors from a niche product for geeks into a mainstream alternative to TV sets. That could truly change the way we watch at home, taking us from the 1970s into the 21st century.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Now there’s an idea… that leaves us cold.

Ambient room light, expensive bulbs with short lives (LED might fix that), pull-down screens and/or roughly-textured flat white walls, noisy fans, costly… it seems like a bag of hurt and just too niche.

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

22 Comments

  1. I have a great quality projector, and I only use it on special occasions. An evening here, a day there, but not continuously. This way I can be sure I can captivate audiences for some years to come. Used like this it is very affordable. Using it up on just watching TV would be silly.

  2. I have a HD projector myself and I use it for watching movies, and playing console games even watching TV from time to time. I prefer it to owning a HD TV as I can adjust the size and it is much more compact and mobile than a HD TV. I can take it to use at work if needed.

    1. I like that! I can’t believe some of the comments here. Something may not be for them but it may work for others. As Mike below says, Why is everyone thinking “old tech”? This is ripe for what Apple does.

      Being able to adjust the size of the projection is absolutely great.

      Heat, Noisy fans objections? IF this is the way some of you guys (including MDN) think, you are still in the stone ages. Get out in the real world. CREE led type of technology incorporated into projection units would solve that easily enough. And that technology is consumer grade. Imagine what Apple could do with what is already here!

        1. “Huge device” – Of course it is. But Look at your iPhone or at the Apple Watch. I would guess that the Apple Watch has more processing power than the computer onboard the first flight to the moon. Most certainly the iPhone does.

          Why are you thinking that Apple needs to copy the “size” and look as samsung did to Apple.

          The cool bulb, (almost fanless) super bright projection technology for home screen projection is here. Apple could easily refine it and with their battery technology knowledge – they could easily take portable projection to a new level. A big plus in under developed countries.

    2. Say what???
      Thats one big mutter freaking box sitting on the floor.
      Come on now… do people want that 300 pound projector on the ceiling or floor… Get real.
      Its nice technology with edge blending and all but it ain’t solved much – its so huge. Also did you hear everyone… who the heck wants to be setting something up for about an hour. Hello – not me.

      1. Do you guys who are confounded by the size – not ever visit home theater projection systems and rooms in electronic stores? There IS a market for that or most stores would not dedicate two or three rooms just to the sound and projection alone. And it is not just in the US of A. My first projection/sound room visits were in Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan years ago! They still have them.

        Get real. There is another life out there that you evidently are not aware of!

  3. Stupid idea…..I do wish that Epson or someone would incorporate Airplay directly into the projector though! (Wasn’t available the last I looked) It has gotten better with AppleTV in that you only need bluetooth now. Don’t need to rely on having the Apple TV and your iDevice on the same wifi network now. That is great!

  4. Why is everyone thinking in old technology? Apple is an innovator. Think: something new; perhaps something like real 3D UHD holograms, so the room transforms into a movie scene. Maybe that’s more like Apple of 2050, but that’s my hope.

    1. I was thinking that too. Apple wouldn’t think of the way projectors are made now, but find a better design that still has the desired functionality.

      A lot of the MDN take applied to traditional computer boxes 10-20 years ago: noisy, hot, frustrating, breaking down… Apple found ways to improve that, and think outside the beige box.

  5. A projector is a really dumb idea. If you project on a wall, you get poor reflectivity and contrast. If you do rear projection, you end up with a clunky box–unlike the 1″ thick screens of a good LED/LCD TV.

    The next play is in HDR (or Ultra High Contrast, depending on who you talk to). I’ve seen itt at trade shows and it’s considerably more dramatic than 4K–especially on anything smaller than an 80″ screen. Apple won’t do it for the same reason they’re not going to make a car. TVs (and cars) are low-margin commodity items with plenty of solid competitors. That’s not an Apple play.

    Apple will be in this space, but I suspect it will be more along the lines of content delivery–set-top, subscription, etc. Apple can provide some real differentiation in this area.

    1. Disagree. I watched a movie on my friends “cheap” (ie non-HD) Espon projector on a yellowish wall at 137″ and was completely amazed how vibrant and true (at least true “looking”) the colors were considering it wasn’t a proper white or grey screen. I was very surprised and obviosuly didn’t have a reference white screen next to it to see that the colors may not be 100% accurate.
      So I don’t think its a dumb idea.

  6. Apple’s direction seems to be getting everything to retina quality. I don’t think there’s a way that a projection system ever gets that good.

  7. Casio already makes a great series of projectors that uses laser LED’s to create images, they are short-throw projectors with all the features you could want… except for Apple Play.

    Casio has an add-on device that lets you remotely use the Casio projector from a Windows machine. If Casio would make the same adapter to work with Apple Play, I know that it would sell well.

    1. If it has a HDMI cable input couldn’t you just connect any of the available devices like Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick, or Chromecast to it?

  8. AirPlay projector has been on my wish list for a long time. Now the technology is finally getting there to have a pocket size 250lm projector that doesn’t make much noise. I have one that is making too much noise so I have it inside a soundproofed box with a bigger slower spinning fan.

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