Saturday, March 21, 2015

Apple TV 2 release date, price, news and rumors

Apple TV 2 release date price news and rumorsIn the battle royale of set-top boxes that has erupted over the last few years, there's always been one contender who's not afraid to quietly sit on the sidelines and garner attention by being inclusive, sleek and to-the-point, and that's Apple TV.
Now, before you go down into the comments and leave a nasty retort, we know that Apple TV 2 - technically a moniker for the second version of Apple TV - has come and gone.
But Apple bows to no numerical and/or logic system, and Apple TV has yet to see a true sequel, instead receiving iteration after iteration of internal upgrades.
Apple TV
It's been about two years since the last minor change to the system and three since the last major one. Which, for a company that's bound and determined to release a new iPhone every 12 months, seems a little strange that Apple's popular streamer has been MIA since the iPhone 5.
So what's the hold-up? Why hasn't Apple launched a stick to fight the Amazon Fire TV Stick or Roku Streaming Stick? Why hasn't it taken the fight to Roku 3 and Nexus Player by launching a new set-top box based on iOS 8?
Honestly? It's just a matter of time. There are a ton of possibilities with Apple's next streaming system. From a small stick to a 4K streamer, from a TV service like Sling TV to a 40-inch TV, anything and everything is on the table for the future of Apple's must-own A/V accessory.
Cut to the chase
What is it? The next generation of Apple's set-top box, the Apple TV
When is it out? We don't know. Apple hasn't set a release date, or shown it publicly.

Apple TV (fourth generation)

UPDATE: New hardware could be coming sooner than we think if a report from Buzzfeed is to be believed. The listicle site claims that Apple's World Wide Developers Conference should have both "new Apple hardware" alongside the Internet-based TV streaming service that has been rumored to be in development. Finally the report claims that Siri could also be en route to Apple's streaming system, alongside an App Store that would finally give third-party developers a crack at the little black box.
The most likely path Apple TV will take is another streaming box, not unlike its third iteration. Rumors floating around the internet claim that the new box will have an 802.11ac Wi-Fi antenna, Dolby 5.1 audio, a new processor and 1GB of RAM to potentially turn out 4K streaming.
If it does turn about to be a new box, chances are good it will look - and have many of the same apps as - iOS 8. This could include some of the announced Apple initiatives like HomeKit and HealthKit, as well as a few in the works, like the Beats music streaming service or live-TV streaming service. It could also have a heavy emphasis on gaming.
Apple TV
Some fixes we're hoping for are an included wireless HD TV tuner and a slightly more open ecosphere that allows a few of Apple's closest third-party developers to develop apps for the system. A smaller streaming stick and a remote with built-in voice search would also be welcome additions, though, at this point those are more of added bonuses than necessities.

Apple TV (streaming service)

We'd give 2:1 odds that, like its last three iterations, Apple TV 2 is going to be a set-top box. If you're more of a gambler however, we'd say the chances Apple's got an ace up its sleeve in the form of a streaming service are about 10:1.
Apple TV
This possible-but-not-probable scenario was first given life on the web around the same time Sling TV made a splash in the US. The only problem with this plan is that Apple would need a lot of partners - FOX, NBC, ABC, Viacom, etc… - within a short time period.
Possible? Sure. Probable? Not likely.
The potential package in question would have a number of channels you know and love from cable but streamed over your Internet service for a lower monthly cost than traditional vendors like Sky, Virgin, Verizon or Time Warner Cable.
A service like that, exclusive to Apple TV, could be a huge differentiator and killer app for Cupertino. Whether Apple's TV streaming dreams come to fruition - or actually exist at all - however, remains to be seen.

An Apple television set?

The last possibility in the TechRadar crystal ball is an Apple TV … television.
It's a bit of a longshot obviously, but rumors have been circling for years that Apple's got plans to go up against the likes of Sony, Samsung and LG in the TV space by offering its own brand of sets based on iOS or OS X operating systems.
Apple TV
Apple has some skilled panel technicians on its staff (have you seen the latest MacBooks?), which means maybe an iTV isn't completely out of the question. This rumor's been around since 2010, so until we see Tim Cook on stage with a 50-inch screen on stage we're not ditching our unconnected flat-panels yet.
How will Apple's iTV work? We have a few ideas.

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