The “Apple TV” Was Revealed Today

March 14, 2013 (7:45 pm)

iMac VESAIt’s a surprise that nobody seems to have picked up on this today. In our view, Apple just made a momentous announcement.

The New iMac. Apple today revealed a slight modification to their iMac’s in order to make them compatible with VESA mounts. If you don’t know what a VESA mount is, it is essentially what allows you to attach a flat screen television to a wall mount. And voilà! The Apple Display is born.

The ultra-thin design of the recently-released iMac’s makes it thinner than a majority of flat-panel televisions out there. Now, of course, Apple’s current iMac lineup only comes in a 21- and 27-inch variation. That would be quite small for a flat panel TV based on current standards. But think about the implications if they were to introduce a larger display size. They already have the manufacturing process and component designs perfected.

Simplicity. The current iteration of iMac’s are most well-known for their large, beautiful displays. Imagine taking down your current TV and hanging the Apple Display in your living room (or bedroom). Unplug your current audio receiver, your cable provider’s DVR box, and your old Xbox or PlayStation. Take all those devices, along with your TV stand, and bring them to another room. Now, all that should be left where your older TV and multiple components once sat (with the ugly mess of associated cords and wires) is the single Apple Display and its one power cord. That’s all. Simple.

Games. Now what? The current iteration of the Apple TV (the black puck) is not known for integrating all of the features you just removed from your living room. But that will all change shortly. When (it’s no longer an if) Apple releases an SDK, or software development kit, to the developer community, the developers will do exactly what they did with the iPhone and iPad. They will create amazing applications and games. These apps will quickly rival those of competing platforms like the Xbox and Playstation. Instead of having controllers dedicated to those consoles, you’ll only need your iOS devices. And who wants to go out and buy games with long loading times anymore when we’ve become accustomed to downloading them on the fly on our phones and tablets? These capabilities will all rest within the Apple Display itself.

Movies, TV Shows and Music. With AirPlay imbedded within the Display (along with all the capabilities of a high-powered computer), you can wirelessly stream audio and video from any iOS or OSX source to your Display (and speakers). Unless you want to play an audio CD or a video DVD, you no longer need a receiver or CD/DVD player. It’s now easier and cheaper to simply stream it through Netflix, Hulu or iTunes on your Apple Display.

Integration. A developer SDK is the only thing Apple needs to take over the living room entertainment space. Not only because the applications and games will be great, but more importantly, because their platform will integrate easily into the living room without the need for multiple remote controls and additional bulky devices and consoles. Instead of a mess of cables and wires connecting to your current TV, the Apple display will sit on the wall with its single power cord. It will play movies, TV shows and music via AirPlay. You’ll be able to play amazing games and use intuitive and beautiful applications via your iOS devices. And the best part? Only one remote for all of this – or, even better… just use your phone. Or Siri! And don’t forget that Apple’s wireless keyboard comes with every display for the rare instances you might find it useful.iMac VESA2

THE CHALLENGE. Of course, the Apple Display wouldn’t be complete without the capability to add live television. How can this be accomplished? We’ve discussed a potential concept in the past. You know your current DVR box from Time Warner or Comcast? The one that freezes just as you find a show you want to watch. Apple should replace these Motorola boxes with their own Apple TV devices (the hockey puck). If Apple is able to incorporate a cable outlet into the design, it could stream the output via Bluetooth 4.0 or WiFi to your Apple Display. This represents the biggest challenge to Apple. Will the cable companies comply? They don’t need to give up control. All they need to do is allow Apple to replace Motorola as the primary “DVR” box. Steve Jobs said that they “cracked the TV.” This is it. Apple now has all the pieces in place. If only the cable companies allow the Apple TV to replace their beat up, old Motorola boxes, Apple will quickly take over the living room.

Let us know your thoughts below.

  • CalIdaGirl

    I liked your analysis of this change to the iMac. Under “The Challenge”, you pondered about the how live television could be accomplished. Yes, Apple could incorporate their own DVR device, but why couldn’t they just bypass Cable altogether? The advantage of an iMac would be like you say all the APS that can be developed for a TV experience. But, how about this one for LIVE TV viewing: Further, more and more TV channels are offering free APS for live TV viewing, if not then within a couple days. In my view, Cable TV is becoming a thing of the past. An Apple experience would allow the viewer to create their own “viewing” experience versus a package product that is currently sold through Cable/Satelitte. These package products on the most part make individuals mad, because in order to get the one show they want, they have to buy a package that includes a few programs amongst a whole bunch of programming that they will never watch. The idea of Jobs was SIMPLICITY and creating an environment wherein the owner could create their own experience whatever that is. Have you ever seen an iPad or iPhone that has identical APS downloaded on it? Exactly. In my view, Jobs had already created the TV (just look at the iPhone and iPad. Just blow up the size and they are already gaming devices. To me, the big question he was trying to crack was to incorporate live viewing. Anyway, just my musing. It will be interesting to see.