High-definition television Stories June 4, 2012

Brightcove CEO: Apple’s cable TV strategy will focus on AirPlay, not an HDTV

While the media is quick to jump on any hint that Apple might be working on an HDTV—and many analysts even pinpoint a late 2012 launch—CEO of video cloud company Brightcove Jeremy Allaire said Apple’s approach to cable TV will not focus on a traditional TV monitor product (via AllThingsD). Instead, he makes the case for beaming content from iOS devices through dedicated cable TV apps using AirPlay. This follows reports late last month that claimed Apple is set to introduce a new Apple TV OS at WWDC this month. Allaire explained:

I believe Apple will seek partnerships with the top cable companies for them to open up their APIs for their EPG, VOD libraries and Network DVR infrastructure so that Apple can offer a superior user experience on top of those services… In such a model, you’d purchase and use an Apple TV device (more on what the devices will actually be below) and use it in concert with an existing subscription from a TV operator, and access the TV functionality as an App. Yes, cable TV will just be an app among what will be tens and then hundreds of thousands of apps on your Apple TV.

As for new devices and software, Allaire claimed Apple’s main focus would be to enhance its current TV platform and integration with iOS devices, while possibly entering the TV monitor business. He further claimed Apple will release a completely redesigned Apple TV set-top box as a “thin black bar,” a “TV monitor” device that includes the same features as the set-top box, and updates to iOS APIs and AirPlay to include “new camera and microphone, motion detection and speech recognition” capabilities:

First, Apple will release a new Apple TV add-on product, though I expect that rather than using the current “puck” design it will instead be a thin black bar, perhaps 1 inch tall and 3 inches wide, that can easily mount to the top of almost any existing HD capable TV set. Like the existing Apple TV, it will have HDMI and power jacks on the back, but it will also include a high-def camera built into it’s face, as well as an embedded iOS environment that provides motion-sensing and speech processing.

Second, Apple will also release a TV monitor product as well with identical capabilities as the updated Apple TV add-on device, but in a design and form factor that presents the Apple brand effectively. Why would they do this when it is such an established market with such long replacement cycles? In short, because they can, and it will be gorgeous and include the latest innovations in display technology, and will sell at a premium price that ensures a reasonable gross margin for Apple.

Third, Apple will provide updates to iOS that include significantly enhanced and improved AirPlay functionality, and where AirPlay capabilities become a more front and center aspect of the iOS experience. Additionally, they will release new iOS APIs for dealing with second screen device capabilities such as the new camera and microphone, motion detection and speech recognition. Developers will be encouraged to build iOS apps that are Apple TV ready, using dual-screen features and motion user interaction, among other things.

High-definition television Stories May 30, 2012

According to a report from BGR, which cited a “trusted source,” Apple is preparing to demo a refreshed version of its Apple TV OS at WWDC next week. The report also claimed it is the same OS that runs on the much-rumored Apple HDTV that many reports indicate the company is working on. BGR also said Apple is testing a new “control out” API. The report explained:

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High-definition television Stories May 7, 2012

Rumor: Apple HDTV looks like a Cinema Display with iSight and Siri says anon source

Continuing a long string of recent exclusives that quote un-named sources, CultofMac today claims that someone who saw the Apple HDTV says it looks like a bigger Cinema Display with an iSight camera and Siri, according to the post.

We are filing this one somewhere between the infamous Steve Jobs eating rice pudding post and….

High-definition television Stories March 27, 2012

A ton of recent rumors all but confirm Apple plans to enter the TV market with a full-fledged Apple-branded HDTV, but today a patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office details an advancement of high refresh rate LCD technology known as “fringe field switching.” As described by PatentlyApple, Apple’s patent offers advancements in the technology that would allow FFS for use with large screen HDTVs. The report noted, “Previous versions of FSS couldn’t accommodate such large displays.” PatentlyApple explained:

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High-definition television Stories March 15, 2012

The story from USAToday:

[Cincinnati Reds’ manager of video scouting, Rob] Coughlin says the third-generation iPad’s improved resolution will enhance those efforts, noting the Reds installed high-definition cameras at Great America Ballpark this off-season in hopes of gaining a scouting edge.

“With the ‘3,’ now you’re going to be able to see the grip on the baseball, perhaps even the rotation of the baseball and be able to (better) break down mechanics,” he says. ” A decade ago (the latest) was VHS tapes, then the quality of video improved when everything went digital. Now, the next step is getting everything in high definition. The clearer the picture, the clearer you can see what the pitcher is trying to do.”

In a game of inches, every pixel matters. expand full story

High-definition television Stories December 7, 2011

There has been no shortage of analyst reports regarding an Apple branded HDTV that the company is rumored to have already started work on. Some are calling for a late 2012 launch, but up until now, all have imagined the device as a standalone HDTV. Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair offers up another concept, claiming Apple will introduce a next-gen iMac with TV capabilities that will act as a transitional device before jumping head first into the TV business. The device would essentially integrate iCloud and Apple TV features, in addition to traditional TV hardware, into the larger 27-inch iMac design. Blair explains (via Forbes):

We think this makes sense because while we typically think about the newest TV’s hanging on the wall in large form factors, Apple could effectively start with what they already have on the manufacturing line and slowly push their offering from 27 inches and scale up from there to 32 inches and then move on to the 42, 50 and 55 inch market. In short, we believe the initial Apple TV is their iMac computer that can function as a TV, over the iCloud platform.

While this appears to be entirely speculation at this point, he makes much of his case based on the fact Apple already has the 27-inch iMac in production. We know Apple killed Front Row in Lion, while at the same time introducing iOS-like functionality like Launchpad. The 27-inch iMac is already an excellent display for consuming video content, but how conventional TV features might be baked into Lion is yet to be seen.

We’re pretty sure the Apple HDTV, if it comes to pass, will be based in iOS.  It will also be a living room experience unlike the up-close experience of an iMac.  Also, Apple seems to be going away from using its Mac Hardware as a TV device killing both Front Row and the included remote on many of its products.  Therefore we think this speculation is off. expand full story

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