Where does the Apple TV go next?

“For as long as it’s been in existence, Apple TV has wanted to be something more than what it is,” Michael Simon writes for Macworld. “Whether it was purchasing and renting movies, downloading games and apps, or simply watching live programming, Apple’s digital media player has always been a step or two behind its expectations.”

“Even as it’s matured from a Mac-reliant box to a standalone streaming dynamo, there’s always been a sense that Apple TV’s potential is greater than its reality,” Simon writes. “And while it may have graduated from its hobby status, there’s still a sense that it’s a secondary device, something that adds value to the existing ecosystem but doesn’t really stand on its own.”

“At least not yet. During Apple’s third-quarter earnings call last week, Tim Cook teased a future for Apple TV beyond voice-controlled viewing and simplified sign-ins: ‘You shouldn’t look at what’s there today and think we’ve done what we want to do,” he said. “We’ve built a foundation that we think we can do something bigger off of,'” Simon writes. “The message is clear: After nearly 10 years in existence, Apple TV might finally be ready for its closeup.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Wow, it’s shocking to be reminded that Apple TV has been with us for nearly 10 years!

So, where does the Apple TV go next? Hopefully to 4K capability, at the very least. To full-blown, affordable skinny bundles (fingers crossed) ASAP!

22 Comments

    1. Where does the Apple TV go next?

      Trash heap. Bought one reluctantly some years ago when my Roku died because I liked the idea of streaming certain content that aren’t available as apps in the Roku (or AppleTV for that matter) to the TV.

      Performance is middling at best – it sometimes refuses to remember saved password from devices, sometimes loses network connection and has to be rebooted. Airplay display and streaming from OSX is far from seamless.

      I guess I don’t hate it but it’s nothing special. When it gives up, I’ll likely go back to Roku.

      If guess a competitive OTT offering to replace cable would be attractive. Honestly if it just ran iOS apps and could impersonate desktop browser w/ Flash, HTML5, Silverlight plug-ins, it would be light-years more attractive.

      “Oh, there’s no native app for that.. gotta stream it from your phone.” Or worse, from your Mac. Bleah.

      1. “Bought one reluctantly some years ago…”

        So you’re not running the latest model which has an app store and despite being new, already has large ecosystem of apps and is growing.

  1. It goes nowhere fast would be my prediction. I used to love Apple TV but it really seems to have stagnated and not lived up to its potential. I own 4 of them and have a metric ton of movies from iTunes…but other than that, there still isn’t a fully backed use case for it. Maybe the “we cracked it” comment raised my expectations unrealistically high…but it is what it is. Apple TV is handy…but it doesn’t thrill or wow me. Just saying.

  2. How about making it a media SERVER? A Mac mini with OS X Server seems like overkill for the home and Apple doesn’t seem interested in the server market anyway. Or how about an AirPlay replicator that’s simultaneously streams audio to all my AirPlay devices (like airfoil on a Mac)? I see lots of potential but I’m disappointed third party developers have not stepped up.

  3. From my perspective, it’s really super simple. $50 for 50 channels that I choose. If I want to trade fishing channel for CNN, then I either pay $51 or I trade a channel. Apple guaranteed gets $50 a month. If I want more, i pay more. But I get to choose and check off the 50 I want. If I need 75 channels, then I pay $75. KISS principle…keep it simple stupid. As it is now, I have to pay $50 a month for DISH to tell me what I need to watch.

    1. I agree, however it’s rather clear that Cue and Friends have no bargaining power for video. Apple is just another middleman that doesn’t actually control the pipes, the screen, or the content. Until Apple TV changes from being just another me-too streaming box, overpriced with an inexplicable Apple cost markup, Apple may never be able to negotiate logical pricing. Sad, considering that a reasonable compromise on price was made on DRM-free music back when the iTunes music store was launched and the iPod was in its infancy. The difference perhaps was that with the iPod, Apple offered the clear best music player hardware and offered an excellent alternative to piracy. Everyone was happy. Today Apple TV offers nothing unique and better for media content owners or consumers.

      Perhaps if Apple offered a better Apple TV or Mac-based player and earned greater market share in media distribution, then media content owners would take notice. Apple’s slow steps in Apple TV functionality improvement are still too modest to shift it from hobby classification. Consumers can find better ways to find both higher quality and cheaper content.

      Note also that Apple doesn’t even seem to consistently promote logical leveled pricing anymore — iTunes albums are sold at different prices based on popularity/marketability. Such is the modern world where media prices have almost nothing to do with the actual cost to produce and distribute, nor quality of file, nor time of media content — and almost all content can be found in the discount bin in a couple years. Right next to the Apple TVs that few people use anymore.

    1. 4K may not matter to you, but it may matter to anyone who buys a new TV today and at any point in the future. It matters to cinema buffs and sports addicts. It matters to people who shoot 4K video on their iPhones and non-Apple gear, to photographers, and pragmatic people who prefer to future-proof their investment.

      It should also matter to Apple, but apparently Apple has abandoned the cutting edge and is rapidly rebranding itself as an overpriced consumer-grade fashion-first company.

      Even if you don’t think you need 4K, most objective reviews put the competing 4K streaming players above the Apple TV for many reasons besides UHD video capability. Reviews of the Apple TV, even the most positive, can only point to potential which has thus far been unfulfilled. Why does Cook think he can charge more money for an inferior product and inferior experience? Apparently he is arrogant enough to think that people will pay a premium for anything with an Apple brand on it. That is the very definition of complacency, and just one more reason that Cook is taking Apple in the wrong direction.

  4. Saving $83.00 a month from cable, regardless of AppleTV, is enough incentive to cord cut for me. Too much stupid on cable anyway to justify. Purchased two OTA antennae to pick up digital OTA channels. I get around 20 channels. Old as crap shows, but shows I grew up with so it is fine for killing a few brain cells for a few hours. That and streaming other programs on my laptop is fine for me now. The digital antennae signal may lapse momentarily every now and then, but there is no customer service to call, because IT’S FREE, so I can’t complain. Plus the $500 bucks and counting in my pocket is a nice added bonus.

  5. Apple and Sega should team up and make a brand new console. It would be great for BOTH companies. Sega is back into the “game”, and Apple would have a proper game console! The last time Sega worked with a major company “Micro$oft” they got ripped off and M$ stole Dreamcast designs for Sexbox! Sega should make the RIGHT decision!

    1. That is hilarious. Sega licensed WinCE for the Dreamcast which ran on a Hitachi SH-4 MIPS processor.

      The original XBox was x86 and did not run winCE.

      I have both consoles and they are nothing alike, not from a hardware, devkit or OS standpoint.

  6. What disappoints me is they can have the most engineering Horse Power in the world and ATV 4 is what they came up with???

    I got a ATV4 just to see if it had any value to me….I got it all set up and updated…but I never use it. I am a Music guy but stream all my ripped music from my MAC mini….

    I wish they would really put some effort in to that product but it appears they are more interested in making a electric car????

    They have enough $$$ and resources to do both IF they wanted to…

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