by Anton Shilov
12/20/2011 | 04:24 PM
Apple has started to discuss its forthcoming Apple TV-set with media executives from various large companies. Among the key features of Apple TV technology will be Internet streaming of the content to various devices, including smartphones or tablets. Another key feature will be control of the TV using voice and gestures.
At present Apple is talking with its partners about TV in general in a bid to understand how much of the universe of video content the providers actually had the rights to and whether media companies would be interested in creating new TV-like services or, perhaps, even special channels for Apple devices, reports the Wall Street Journal. The company is also exploring whether it can use its iCloud syncing and storage service for its TV services.
One of the main features of Apple's television set is projected to be an ability to quickly search for content from numerous sources, including Apple's own iTunes. Given the fact that the user experience should be integrated, this feature alone presents a number of challenges. In order to provide unique capabilities and simplicity, Apple TV will likely integrate iCloud as Siri along with motion sensing support for content sharing and control purposes. In a bid to be able to control the TV using iPhone, iPad or iPod, the TV will be compatible with Apple's AirPlay technology.
Apple traditionally remains tight-lipped about its future television set, nobody knows whether it will receive content using radio broadcast, cable or the Internet. Actual peculiarities and capabilities of Apple TV will be determined after the company negotiates with media partners.
The Apple TV project has been discussed by market observers for several years already, this year Apple's former chief executive officer Steve Jobs confirmed his biographer Walter Isaacson that the work on TV was underway as well as that the Apple TV would have a simple user interface and would wirelessly synchronize content across all Apple devices.
Apparently, Apple already has a prototype TV in the works and may introduce a product for sale by late next year or in 2013, according to some analysts., Apple is investing in manufacturing facilities and securing supplies of LCD screens of up to 50".
It remains to be seen whether the Apple TV device will also support high-definition gaming as presently Apple's ecosystem clearly has a weak spot due to absence of high-quality games on Macs and lack of a game console in Apple's lineup.
Although Apple currently sells Apple TV set-top-box, to enable customers to watch iTunes content on their HDTVs, the device is not popular. As a result, the actual Apple television set will have to offer a lot more that the STB does today to be successful. Given the fact that Apple is in process of negotiations with its partners at the moment, it is almost a guarantee that the firm is on-track with its TV for the second half of 2012 or the first half of 2013.