Apple reportedly testing new 4K capable Apple TV

What probably comes as no surprise to anyone, Apple is reportedly testing a new Apple TV that is capable of 4K playback, according to a new report by Bloomberg. People familiar with the plans say the new device, internally codenamed “J105,” is also capable of displaying “more vivid colors,” which likely means support for HDR content. Bloomberg’s article points out that the current Apple TV, released in 2015, as well as the new unreleased model consist of numerous compromises that have resulted in a product that is evolutionary instead of revolutionary. Apple’s original vision for the product included connectors for a coaxial port to replace cable boxes, a game controller to compete with Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation, and microphones for hands free Siri communication. None of that panned out and Apple “essentially settled for turning the television set into a giant iPhone.” A 4K capable Apple TV, as well as HDR support, is inevitable from Apple, but it sounds like a disruption of how the average customer consumes streaming media is not coming with the next generation device.

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New ‘TV’ app from Apple aggregates multiple streaming services into one place on Apple TV and iOS

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It’s more evident than ever that Apple has given up on releasing their own streaming TV service. Yesterday they announced a new app, simply called TV, coming to Apple TVs and iOS devices that will list content from multiple streaming services you’re subscribed to in one place. This is identical to the strategy that Amazon has had with the Fire TV interface and Google has had with the Chromecast app. Instead of trying to pull content under Apple’s umbrella, the new app helps you discover content you already have access to from other streaming services. Read more ›

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Summary of Apple TV, Xbox, and PlayStation news from WWDC and E3

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Yesterday was the start of WWDC, Apple’s annual developer conference, where they revealed some new features coming to the Apple TV. It was also the start of E3, the big gaming conference where Microsoft talked about the Xbox’s future and Sony talked about the PlayStation’s future. Here’s a summary of the announcements related to streaming media.
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New Apple App Store revenue-share model could result in an Amazon Video app on the Apple TV

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Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, has revealed changes coming to the Apple App Store that directly impact the likely reasons why Amazon Video is not available on the Apple TV. The specific change is a reduction in Apple’s cut of an app’s subscription revenue from 30% to 15%, after a customer has been subscribed to a service for over one year. Amazon hasn’t specifically said that the current 30% “Apple Tax” is the reason they haven’t released an Amazon Video app on the Apple TV, but it is widely speculated to be their main concern with the platform. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, did say last week that “we want it to be on the device with acceptable business terms,” when asked about Amazon Video on the Apple TV.

Under the new Apple App Store policy, Amazon would now keep 85% of most Prime membership fees from customers who signed up through an Amazon Video app on Apple devices. While Apple would still pocket 30% the first year and 15% each subsequent years, the new terms are a step in the right direction for Amazon, which might make them reconsider releasing an Amazon Video app for the Apple TV. Read more ›

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Apple’s live internet TV service is on hold

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Apple has been rumored to be working on a new live TV streaming service for the better part of this year. Now, CBS CEO Les Moonves said yesterday, at Business Insider’s Ignition conference, that Apple has “pressed the hold button” on the new TV service. Bloomberg has confirmed separately with their own sources that Apple is suspending plans for the TV service that was expected to offer “14 or so channels for $30 to $40 a month.” They say Apple isn’t giving up entirely on the new TV service, but is instead shifting focus to being “a platform for media companies to sell directly to customers,” i.e., an app platform.

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The new Apple TV is now available for preorder

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The new Apple TV, announced last month, is now available for preorder. The 32GB model is $149 and the 64GB model is $199. Orders placed today will arrive between November 2nd and 4th with standard shipping, or as soon as October 30th with expedited shipping. I’ve ordered one to compare it to the Fire TV, and to see if I can shoehorn Kodi onto the device without rooting. Let me know in the comments what, if anything, you would like to know about it or want me to try/compare with the new Apple TV when it arrives.

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New Apple TV to be released next week with new CBS and NBC apps but no new TV service

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Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, announced on the stage of The Wall Street Journal’s tech conference that the new Apple TV will be available to order on Monday, October 26th, and will arrive later that week. Released this week, and available on both the new and old Apple TV, are new apps from NBC and CBS, which join existing apps from Fox and ABC to round out the big four US broadcast networks. The NBC app requires users to log in with their cable provider to view most content, while the CBS app requires subscribing to CBS All Access, their à la carte service, which costs $5.99 per month for on-demand access to CBS’s content as well as live TV streaming in select major markets. In comparison, the Amazon Fire TV has an ABC app and will gain an app from Fox soon, but has shown no indication of receiving NBC and CBS apps. As for the live TV service that Apple is rumored to be working on, it doesn’t seem like we’ll be seeing that anytime soon. CBS CEO Les Moonves told Bloomberg that they’ve been in talks with Apple, but doesn’t know when the service will launch. Cook did call the new Apple TV “the foundation of the future of TV” on stage, so it doesn’t seem like Apple is content with just the new hardware.

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New Apple TV reportedly available in October and twice as expensive as current model

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Apple has sent out invitation to an event on September 9th where rummors say they’ll finally be introducing their next generation Apple TV. Sources tell 9to5Mac that the new Apple TV will be either $149 or $199, about twice the cost of the current $69 model, and will be available in October. Those sources say the new device will include Siri support, a new touchpad remote with gesture support for gaming, and finally a real app store. Apple’s streaming TV service, which they’ve been having trouble locking down deals for, won’t be announced next month, but is said to be one of the few new features coming to the existing Apple TV. The current Apple TV will reportedly remain in production as the entry level model for the new streaming service, but will not receive app store or Siri support.

If the rumored pricing is correct, it’s a stark reminder that, unlike Amazon, Apple is primarily a hardware company that needs to profit from the sale of their devices. Amazon can sell devices like the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick at cost because they expect to profit from services revolving around Prime membership. At possibly twice the cost of the Fire TV and five times the cost of the Fire TV Stick, the new Apple TV is priced to be profitable for Apple at the time of purchase, with profit from the sale of services being secondary. Would you pay twice as much for a Fire TV if it meant it’d have a less Amazon focused interface? Let me know in the comments.

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No New Apple TV or Subscription Service mentioned at WWDC

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As expected, Apple made no mention of the rumored new Apple TV or their new subscription internet TV service at their WWDC keynote presentation today. Word on the street is that Apple hasn’t been able to lock down the content deals they need for what they want to be a complete replacement to traditional cable television. While that is the most likely reason for keeping their new TV offering under wraps, it may be a simple case of not having enough time for such a major announcement. This mornings opening keynote was jam packed full of announcements and even seemed to move quicker than their keynotes usually move. It’s hard to see what Apple could have cut out even if they were ready to reveal the new hardware and service. Read more ›

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Unveiling of new Apple TV hardware and service reportedly called off for WWDC

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WWDC, starting next week, is Apple’s annual developer conference where they often announce new products and services. Top publications have been reporting for weeks that a new Apple TV and a new TV subscription service from Apple would be revealed during Monday’s opening keynote. Reports began circulating this week that Apple’s new TV subscription service won’t be revealed at WWDC becuase the company has been unable to finalize licensing deals. Apple reportedly wants to include local broadcast programming in their new service in order to position it as a complete cable replacement, but industry executives predict the service will not launch until later this year or 2016 due to issues surrounding streaming technology and money. The New York Times has today reported that the updated Apple TV hardware will also be missing from this years event. Read more ›

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