Apple TV 3.0 debuts tonight??

There’s just a few hours left until Apple reveals the real deal at its special event in San Francisco today, but a new meme of speculation has emerged – that Apple’s “one more thing” may well be an all-new version of the Apple TV.

And even if this particular speculation proves incorrect, we think the commentator has come up with some compelling suggestions and effective reasons for Apple to make such a move – there’s money in it…

Peter S. Magnusson, founder of Virtutech, has gone on the record to predict the introduction of Apple TV 3.0 at today’s event – and his predictions make good reading, even as a simple list..

 

Apple TV 3.0 – a simple list

– Blu-Ray support

– Time Capsule functionality

– Keyboard support

– Support for iPod touch and iPhone as remotes

– Digital TV tuner

– Up to 1TB hard drive

– Built-in Safari browser

– More video codec support…

There are all quite tantalising – we particularly like the idea that we may be able to kick back with a keyboard and surf the web using an Apple TV and, erm, a TV..

We hope that at least some of the new features can be easily introduced via a Software Update for owners of older model Apple TVs.

One of the reasons Magnusson thinks Apple will reveal a new Apple TV is that in Feb. 2009 all analogue TV broadcasts in the US will cease, with 22 million (and maybe more) US households being offered two $40 coupons toward the cost of a set-top box to receive digital signals…

Can Apple afford to ignore the opportunity to seize a slice of the $1.6 billion (of government cash) that will be circulating in the US digital set top box business in the months ahead? Particularly given economic recession tends to drive people to become more home-based, gathering together around the TV until things improve.

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