Predictions on the Apple Television
The tech community is currently rife with talk of the major players such as Samsung and Apple entering into the TV arena. For many years Apple have hinted at wanting to invade the living room but have never offered anything beyond the AppleTV. The ATV is great, we have two in our house and use them constantly but I myself have found the offerings of actual televisions severely lacking. Technology is advancing at a fast rate and the likes of televisions are very quickly falling behind.
Current solutions, whilst a good firm step, are still limited by the television unit itself and this I feel is where Apple can really make some headway as the market leaders in hardware. With that in mind I will briefly outline my predictions on what I think Apple can/could/should do with a television.
HardwareApples screen technology is second to none and to scale this up to large sizes i.e 50" would be a sight to behold. With all the bells and whistles we find in our current screens such as IPS the contrast ratios on these TV's would make the viewing experience unparalleled in comparison to current televisions. Just days before writing this the first OLED TV's were announced but their price range makes Apple products look like bargain bin deals and are in no way a current choice for the average user (the prices start at $10,000!).
TouchApple created the touch generation and there is no reason why this should be any different with a television and no I am not suggesting a touch screen TV, the power lies in the remote. A touch based remote the likes of a limited iPod with the ability to bring up TV guides, menus, TV controls and a whole host of other functionality that would link in with the next generation AppleTV unit that would be built in to the new television. This would be the major selling point, making the 1980's style remotes we are still stuck with obsolete. No doubt of course there would be the option to use your other iDevices as alternate remotes making the iPad an awesome tool to link to your television. Along these lines AirPlay would really find its niche.
Media ServerRunning a media server at home is still very much an enthusiast activity but Apple could really bring about a change in this area. With software built into the display an external hard drive could turn the unit into a media centre that serves the whole house including additional ATV units. I don't doubt it would have some form of Wi-Fi capability giving it the ability to receive and stream wirelessly making it a complete solution.
I have no doubt that Apple will make their own television and that there are going to be other features that I have not covered in this article such as some form of set top box. This I believe is why we have not seen the television yet - negotiations with content providers can take years. I would be amazed if the hardware is not already ready to go. 2013 is going to be an exciting year for television and I look forward to seeing what comes out at the end of it.