Apple TV finally gets some respect

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Date: Wednesday, January 29th, 2014, 03:06
Category: Accessory, Apple, Apple TV, Rumor, Television, wireless

appletv_2ndgenDidn’t I just call Apple out on this? Congratulations Apple TV, you’ve hung in there and now made it to the big times! Early Tuesday, Apple’s online store went offline for some updates and when it came back, the Apple TV finally had its own section to call home. Rather than being relegated to the Accessories section of the Apple Store, now it’s listed alongside the sections for Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod and even has its own accessory section that lists some products for the Apple TV that I had never seen before. It appears that the Airport Extreme and Airport Express have found a home here as well. In addition, you now have the option to buy refurbished Apple TVs at $25 less than standard retail.

The speculation making the rounds on the Internet is that the next generation of Apple TV, rumored to be released in March, may have a gaming component as well as the ability of letting 3rd party developers create apps or channels that can be loaded onto the device. Games would be controlled by existing iOS devices. So, giving the Apple TV its own section is the first step in a plan to put the Apple TV into the limelight before the big paradigm change. I find it funny that it took the addition of gaming to finally bring the Apple TV out of the dusty corner of the “hobby” label. As a side note, Apple has just added the Red Bull channel, which has music, sports and other lifestyle video aimed at promoting the energy drink’s image.

According to 9to5Mac, another interesting change may be in store for the beloved hockey puck;

“We’re told that Apple has considered combining the Apple TV and AirPort Express products. Versions of the new Apple TV in testing are said to include an integrated 802.11ac wireless router.”

No one is sure what the benefits of this might be, but there are a number of ideas to choose from including simplifying the wireless product line, improving the Apple TVs wireless connection in preparation for increased streaming demand, or perhaps it’s to make the Apple TV more appealing to people who need to extend their wireless network. I’m not sure I see any clear benefit to any of these options. Finally, there are also rumors of the addition of a TV tuner and iCloud storage solution for the DVR functionality users have clamored for many years, giving Elgato’s EyeTV some competition. I guess we’ll find out this Spring how Apple intends to take over the living room.

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