I posted a lot the other day about how Apple could change the HDTV industry. One point I didn’t do enough justice to was my claim that it will not have input switching as a feature. At first that sounds insane, after all my Dell Projector that I use for everything has HDMI+Audio, DisplayPort, Two VGAs and a VGA Out, Component, Composite, and S Video, RCA and 1/8″ audio inputs and 1/8″ Output, and so did my 24″ Dell Display which also had 2 DVIs on it. Nerds love that shit, and it was great. It was one reason (besides price) that I got that instead of a 23″ Cinema display which only had DVI. Nerds love that shit. I know I did.
But then comes that time when you have to explain it to someone…
“Press the input button… ummm it looks like a rounded rectangle with a line- yeah an arrow… yeah OK now hit it until the screen says HDMI on it… no you have to wait a few seconds before it switches… yeah wait… OK it says HDMI the TV should come up. Press ‘STB’ on the FiOS remote. Give it a minute. OK, now press DVR” – and that’s what it’s like explaining to my Mac literate family. This is how I explain it to my computer illiterate grandparents:
“Yeah sure I can come over”
An Apple HDTV (which I’m going to call it to distinguish from the blackbox) would have Zero buttons on it. None. Like the cinema display it would either be on or sleeping. I also claimed it would not have an onboard OS and instead would have a single input designed for an AppleTV blackbox. I now realize this was just wishful thinking. It was wishful because I wanted to play xbox on my Apple HDTV. Apple doesn’t care if you can or can’t, and your grandparents don’t own an xbox. The AppleTV ecosystem already has an input, it’s called AirPlay. Maybe Apple will client/server Apps to improve latency but honestly I think sending 1080p over 5GHz 802.11n is only going to get easier over time.
That makes me wonder if the Apple HDTV will also be able act as an AirPort Express. If you don’t have a wireless network it can create one and if you already have an AirPort powered network it can extend it just to make sure things work.