Apple finally gets serious about pushing into our living rooms with new Apple TV

“Apple is finally getting serious about pushing into our living rooms,” Katie Benner and Brian X. Chen report for The New York Times. “That ambition will be underlined at an Apple event in San Francisco on Wednesday, when the company plans to unveil an upgraded Apple TV, a device similar to a set-top box that brings video and music from the Internet to a television, according to people briefed on the product.”

“The upgrade, the first in three years, will expand Apple TV’s uses in gaming, including a redesigned remote control with a touch pad that can double as a game controller, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity,” Benner and Chen report. “Importantly, the new device will include support for apps and games made by independent software developers.”

“The company this year announced an exclusive deal with HBO to bring HBO Now, an app that lets users stream HBO’s programming without a cable subscription,to the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. Apple has also held talks with several leading television groups to offer an Internet-based TV service for its iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, but the service will not be ready for an announcement next week, according to people briefed on the talks,” Benner and Chen report. “Apple is also raising the price of the device to $149 from $69, which puts pressure on the company to deliver expanded capabilities that go beyond what Apple TV and its rivals now offer.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The reported lack of 4K puts a slight damper on our enthusiasm for the product – especially since Netflix and Amazon Prime already offer a selection of 4K content, albeit rather limited. We need content to feed our 4K Sony Ultra HD TVs!

Apple dominates pay TV streaming with 61.9% viewership on Apple devices – September 4, 2015
Analyst: New Apple TV platform is bad news for Netflix – September 3, 2015
The new Apple TV’s potential beyond gaming – September 3, 2015
New Apple TV to offer A8 chip, 8/16GB storage, same ports, no 4K, and new black remote – September 2, 2015
New Apple TV will feature universal search, start at $149 – September 2, 2015
Apple TV 4 to focus on extensive Siri control, deep support for gaming – August 31, 2015
Apple TV 4 coming in October for under $200, Apple TV 3 becomes entry level; both get new streaming service – August 30, 2015
Apple TV said to have motion-sensitive Siri-capable remote with touchpad – August 28, 2015
The next-gen Apple TV’s marquee feature – August 18, 2015


  1. I agree with MDN’s take, but I would put it much more strongly.

    With Apple’s history of very infrequent updates to the AppleTV box, not having UHDTV (which IS different from 4K, which is a Digital Cinema standard different from UHDTV) is just plain dumb.

    If Apple does not do UHDTV in this iteration, and does not do a version that does UHDTV for two or more years from now, then Apple will be significantly behind the power curve — truly relegating the AppleTV to “Hobby” status.

    And, for those who think that UHDTV is not important yet, think of a few things…
    Competitors are already offering streaming UHDTV and more are coming online every couple months.
    Physical media (the competitor to streaming and the picture and sound quality leader) has launched their first Ultra HD Blu-ray system (by Samsung, no less) with many more expected in the coming months.
    Comcast and others are offering (or soon will offer) very high bandwidths allowing people to get decent quality UHDTV products streamed without buffering (with Comcast claiming they’ll have DOCSIS 3.1 to ALL their customers by mid 2017 — which, in theory allows up to 10 Gbps [yes, Gbps] to their customers, but should in reality allow multiple 100s Mbps to any and all of their customers.)
    Native, UHDTV implementations are growing, and higher quality (4K and 6K) scans of older media are progressing forward.
    Go into any big box store (Costco, Sams Club) or any electronics store and you’ll see a large number of UHDTV sets, in some stores there already are more UHDTV sets on display than HDTV sets!

    The transition to UHDTV from HDTV is happening faster than the transition from SD to HD. It just is.

    It will be foolish if Apple does not fully support UHDTV in the next AppleTV.

    1. I agree with you and I would also add that AppleTV upgrade pattern is even less frequent compared to iPad. Apple needs to have a hardware in place for 3-5 years even if it means using software upgrade or smoking optional add-on or worst case scenario to have 2 versions:

      – Gamers and those willing to pay for UHDTV
      – Everyone else who needs an extension to their IOS devices and more than happy with HDTV for say the next 5 years.

      I say that the HDTV standard took nearly 10 years and in my recollection we are 6 years into that cycle and UHDTV will be the norm late this decade.

      Keeping my fingers crossed…

    2. The transition from HDTV to UHDTV sets is happening rather quickly. But the transition from 720p and 1080p content to UHDTV content is very slow and will likely remain so for years to come. The infrastructure just doesn’t support it (physical removable media or download/streaming), just as HD content lagged the introduction of HDTV sets.

      This is all just rumors right now. The new AppleTV may support UHDTV/4K when it is released, or that support may be latent and unlocked at a later date. Or, the rumors might be correct and the new AppleTV may be a 1080p device. That would seem to be shortsighted given the capabilities of the new processors and built-in graphics, but it is possible. Regardless, I do not believe the UHDTV will be the deciding factor on whether or not the AppleTV is a success over the next two or three years. The keys will be cost, content, and the user experience/user interface. Simple and effective HD will beat complex and confusing UHDTV.

  2. What we have to remember is at the moment all these stories about Apple releasing a new ATV are just that, stories.
    The “news” is entirely based on rumours, supposed leaks and “sources familiar with the matter”. If you remember last year it was the same, the press was alive with news of a new Apple TV Service and it didn’t arrive.

    These stories could be one of two things, peoples expectations and wishes going into overdrive or an attempt to drive up expectations that are dashed when no new ATV is announced and so Wall Street drops the price of AAPL.

  3. $200 for a device with 8GB of storage and only 1080P support? That doesn’t sound like Apple being serious to me… especially if/when the rumors of the new iPhones are true and they can capture 4K video… Does apple want us to use a competitors product to stream our 4k recordings on? They seem to be making many penny pinching, margins before customer satisfaction decisions lately…

  4. In the long term, ATV home integration and automation will have the greater overall impact. Other TV boxes will offer similar media choices, but exclusive Apple home automation features will create a deeper hook into the iEcosystem.

  5. I live about 65 miles northwest of Chicago, in a suburban location. I can’t get Comcast. In fact, I’m limited to a wireless provider to whom I have to pay $40 per month just to get 2 Mbps download. My TV is 1080p and it’s 50″, the biggest set I can fit into the viewing area. I’ll bet there are a lot of people like me who will be completely happy with Apple’s new offering.

    1. Just because you have limitations doesn’t mean that Apple should restrict its offerings to the lowest common denominator. Perhaps Apple needs to offer two models of Apple TV. But there is no question that the premium market will go elsewhere if Apple chooses to ignore them. Remember, the people with the latest big screen TVs are also the ones who spend more on media. They will spend that money on BluRays or from another provider if Apple chooses not to play.

  6. Apple will wait till 4K is more prevalent. Then it will update.
    Maybe next year. In the meantime, it’s a non-issue, just like having the most megapixels on a camera or screen before the technology is perfected or cost effective or storage space effective. Or having 3G or LTE before the networks roll out. Hopefully, they won’t be a bit late like bigger screen phone.

    1. The thing is, Apple adding 4K now would usher in it’s prevalence sooner. It certainly would for me even though I’m perfectly happy with HD. In fact I would be surprised if 4K TV makers didn’t beg Apple to include it for this reason. 4K media has always been an issue for 4K acceptance and a problem Apple could’ve solved at the forefront, not waiting for someone else to do the job.

      And you KNOW companies like Roku won’t wait to include it, searching for whatever competitive tech edge they can have over Apple.

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