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The much talked about Apple TV has been around for a while and is being carried by major retailers, and has been hacked over and over again. After catching yet another Apple TV review, I put together this list (with explanations) of stuff I hope Apple integrates into its next Apple TV.
- Upconverting Ability
- 1080p Support
- Ability to Browse iTunes Store
- RSS Support, Web Browser and Bluetooth
- Same or Lower price
Right now, Apple does not sell HD television content nor do they sell HD quality movies. Why not make the next Apple TV have the ability to upconvert the current content to HD resolutions? This move would not alienate people who had purchased lower quality iTunes releases while giving Apple time to get some HD content in the store.
The maximum resolution supported by Apple TV is 1080i. Unfortunately, that’s not “True HD.” If you pay attention to DL.TV at all, you would know that the “i” stands for interlaced and “p” stands for progressive and that progressive is much better for high definition.
Ability to Browse iTunes Store
I was surprised this was not included in the Apple TV. Not only could you easily and impulsively purchase music, TV shows, and movies, but you could subscribe to all kinds of podcasts from your Apple TV. The obvious hurdle is navigation of iTunes using a simple Apple Remote. Arguably, Apple could simply use the same navigation that is currently used in the iPod or Apple TV where you drill down via “Artists” or “Genres.”
RSS Support, Web Browser and Bluetooth
I lumped these three things together because they do not make a lot of sense without each other.
You can get news your Nintendo Wii; you should be able to get news on your Apple TV. Apple could even throw in that nifty RSS screensaver that is in OS X. I’m sure Apple would set the default RSS feeds to all kinds of pro-Apple sites. A rudimentary web browser could easily be made out of WebKit or the Mozilla engine.
Bluetooth would be an excellent addition since web browsing and navigation in iTunes could be done using bluetooth keyboard and mouse (or some kind of combo device like a “Keyouse” or a “MouBoard”).
The addition of these three features would not bog down the device, and many people would not bother to use them. However, it would get more tech-savvy users to pick up the device.
Same or Lower Price
I disliked that Apple has raised the price to the entry level Mac mini and also no longer has a sub-$1000 notebook. The price of the Apple TV should not be increased. Since the device is pretty-much a headless iPod, it should follow the iPod trend of lower prices over time.
Notables I Didn’t Wish For:
I didn’t push for Divx or Xvid or other video format support because I don’t believe that Apple is about to enter that kind of openness with their iPod or Apple TV. I tried to stick to things that Apple could and could possibly do. Apple has standardized video formats via its iTunes store. There’s no need to look for the next codec.
I also didn’t push for the Apple TV to become a full-fledged “Mac nano.” The Apple TV is a consumer electronics device; it should not become a computer in the living room. Apple has done a great job of hiding its OS under the shiny Front Row-esque and there’s no reason to destroy that illusion.