I have no idea whether Apple would actually do a line of TVs, or even if it's a good idea. (There's an analyst who has been saying for years that they're just around the corner.) But let's say they did. Would you buy one? Assume it'd have Apple TV built-in, support for AirPlay, a really nice screen, and wasn't too much more expensive than a comparable model from Sony, Samsung, or Panasonic, etc.
TVs tend to be something people buy relatively infrequently -- I bought my last HDTV about six years ago -- would you be worried about being saddled with a TV that in a couple of years would seem out-of-date or that couldn't be upgraded with the latest software?
Taking off my analyst hat (the hat where I either get review units or buy one of everything for test reasons), no, I probably wouldn't. My 720p HDTV is perfectly adequate for my needs. Even an upgrade to 1080p is unnecessary, as we sit too far back to discern the additional pixel density. If my TV died, I'd certainly want to replace it, but I'd probably be looking for the best value, where price and picture quality meet, not the absolute best or connected features. I have a TiVo and game console for that (and a bunch of other devices, including an Apple TV). I definitely see Apple TV becoming more valuable over time as content and games move from the phone/tablet onto to the TV, but I don't know that I need or even want that functionality embedded in a price sensitive device mounted on the wall that I buy once a decade.
That said, in smaller form factors, it could make sense. I like Sony's Playstation display. Seemed like just the thing for dorm rooms.
When it comes to "smart" or "connected" TVs in general, regardless of manufacturer, I think I'd prefer a dumb screen with plenty of inputs. As you discussed, technology is always evolving, and I don't see any reason to pay for technology built-in to the TV when I can much more easily and more frequently upgrade my attached boxes.
Apple isn't a panel manufacturer, so you'd really just be paying for a Samsung panel dressed up with some basic Apple TV internals. So is it really worth the premium you would most likely be paying? My guess is that it wouldn't be. The best argument for spending more to but an Apple product is OS X (or iOS) its usually not because the hardware is better... which it isn't (might be prettier). In the case of a TV, the isn't a ton of software going on, so you would be paying more purely for the brand and maybe exterior design.
side note: there is some sickening apple fanboyism happening on gdgt. people need to step back and analyze a product for what it truly is, not how shiny it is or how awesome it is purely because the apple logo is on it.
I'd compare this to buying a car with built-in GPS. The integration is great, the buttons on the steering wheel support it, and the audio is integrated. But after a while, the maps are out of date, the screen doesn't look so good, and it can't match the features of a navigation smartphone app or a much cheaper stand-alone product.
So no, I wouldn't buy one. I don't think they are going to release one anyway, but I don't see adding $99 functionality into what's becoming commodity hardware is really an opportunity for Apple, especially when they would have to deal with long product cycles and count on partners/Frenemies (like Samsung and LG) to produce the screens.
I think if Apple released their own HDTV, it would not be with the gdgt community in mind, but rather the same general public they have been targeting the iPad to. For a non-techie, having a TV that works as any other regular TV yet integrates features such as Apple TV with its signature user-friendly experience would be compelling. So in answer to the question, I would not get one for myself because of the type of tech user I am. However, I can see this being a very attractive product in the broader consumer market.
I do not like the trend of connected TVs. I understand the appeal, and for a large segment of the population I'm not surprised that it works. I have a couple non-techie friends with these sets, and they love getting Netflix on them (and that's pretty much all they use the "smart" part for).
Personally, I've always wanted my television to be a dumb monitor. After 4.5 years it even still bugs me that my 60" TV has huge speakers on the sides. I want a TV to display a picture, and leave the rest up to me.
I'm a big gadget geek (that's why I'm here, after all), and as I said, I haven't upgraded my TV in 4.5 years. The average person is going to have theirs for even longer. The market for connected home theater devices has advanced so much in just the last three years, that buying something today and expecting it to last 5 to 8 years seems absurd.
Granted, you could simply buy an add-on box when the components inside the TV eventually get outdated, but then why have it built into the TV in the first place? Heck, the current Apple TV is so darn small, you can mount it to the back of a current set and still have plenty of room for most wall mounts. Why does it have to be built in?
I like treating my TV as a dumb device where it has a single function that other smarter devices can hook into it. That gives me the flexibility of trying out new boxes and software. If Apple could keep the cost of the display at the same price as similar TVs and keep the extendability of the TVs of today, I'd be interested. But if was more than a comparable TV plus the cost of an Apple TV, I'd have to pass.
Add another "NO" to the list. Average consumers might go for it if Apple hyped the "Airplay" feature, but geeks know better. Still, people don't seem to mind buying new Apple laptops every 3 years, so they might adopt the same mentality towards their TVs. We have to realize that Apple doesn't consider users like us anymore when they do their feasibility analysis. The average consumer is the money train for Apple... not us.
knowing apple, if they did make a tv it would cost twice as much as one made by sony, would be outdated in about year, and would lock you down to itunes, with no other inputs. so no, i would never buy an apple hdtv. ever.
I wouldn't buy a TV that crosses into the realm of apps. TVs, for me, are just meant to output video and nothing else. If I want to be able to run apps, DVR features, or stream my media, I'd buy an external box for it like the Apple TV, Google TV, or a Roku.
The reason that I wouldn't want a TV that can run apps is because it'll be outdated in no time as the OS for that TV will require better specs from that TV. Like you pointed out, most people will buy TVs on a very infrequent basis and I'd like to keep it that way.
If my house was centered around the Apple ecosystem I would consider these for bedroom or office TV's just to be able to access shared content through Air Play. It's something I'm working on now and have the added device would just make the integration easier. I would not consider one for my living room though since I do my primary tv & movie viewing there and would want a panel with the best picture; not saying apple couldn't pull it off but I'm very happy with my current panasonic plasma.
thegreatino hit the nail on the head. Since Apple likely wouldn't produce the panel...it would have to be priced VERY competitively with the likes of a Panasonic or Samsung TV for a nice bezel design and built-in AppleTV to be worth a premium.
I wouldn't. I have a pretty nice 1080 HD my in-laws got us as a wedding present and we own just about every console since the 90s (seriously, in the bedroom I have a working Sega Genesis...Altered Beast, baby!), which means we have a X-Box 360, which already gives streaming networked play (admittedly from a Windows box only, but my wife is a Windows user (not a personal failing, she's a gamer and has little other choice), so that works out fine, we just store our video media on her machine), Netflix, and Hulu. As those services get updated, so does my 360 to reflect the changes. My TV has plenty of inputs (as you would expect, inputs are a selling-point for us), including USB and Firewire. This pretty much takes care of all of our needs and involves the use of a whole slew of products from different companies.
And there is the rub...Apple does not work and play well with others. If you get nothing but Apple products, they are all happy and fine working together, but if you want to make them work happily with other company's products there are always a ton of additional costs, lots of fiddling, and even then there are issues and problems. So I have to assume an Apple television would be the same...happy to work with iTunes, not so happy about my X-box. Happy to sell me media, not so happy to have me streaming it for free or for a subscription cost that THEY aren't getting.
So no...I wouldn't buy an Apple TV for the same reason I am highly unlikely to buy another Mac and unlikely to buy an iPhone 5 or another iPod Touch. Apple is determined to eliminate choices and lock people into their ecosystem. Their behavior is overwhelmingly against working and playing well with other hardware and software in general. I am a supporter of Open Source (indeed, I'm writing this from within Linux) but not a zealot, and I am all for Apple doing well as a company. I don't want them to give their products away. But the more they act like they are the only show on the road the more they lose my dollars. Example: I would pay a premium to run OSX on whatever hardware I wanted; I would be willing to pay far more than it costs on the Mac. I would be willing to pay double the price on the Mac for being able to watch iTunes content on any media player (so I could stream via my X-box). I would be willing to pay extra for naturally unlocked/Jailbroken iOS, where every patch didn't break my install. But I don't even get the choice...no matter how much I am willing to pay, I can't. That's a bad business practice, IMO. You're either in or you're out as far as Apple is concerned, and maybe that is cool for people who want to be told what to do, but I prefer to decide what hardware and software works best to suit my needs. By trying to lock me in on so many levels they lose my dollars.
I always thought this was an interesting possibility -- if not inevitability. To your point about your fancy Apple HDTV seeming out-of-date in a couple of years: wouldn't that be just fine and dandy for Apple who regularly convinces its fans that they need to purchase expensive handheld devices and laptops every couple of years. I don't see anything being different just because it's a tv!
It's hard to make a good case for or against a vapor product. I expect my home theater equipment to adhere to common standards that don't move often. Would an Apple HDTV conform to these standards, or would I be faced with some Thunderbolt wielding beast that only worked with the latest accessories blessed by Apple? Vendor lock-in would be my biggest concern with buying an Apple HDTV.
This past decade saw a sea change as we transitioned from NTSC and composite connectors to ATSC/ClearQAM and HDMI. During that transition would have been the best time for Apple to attempt to enter the market and try to influence standards. That time has passed, and I think it won't be until the next round of connectivity changes come around that we might potentially see Apple enter that market.
That's not to say there isn't ample room for innovation that Apple could capitalize on. Apple is best at reducing complex activities into simple user actions. I think if Apple could find a clever way to unify all of that equipment in your living room (television, tuner, cable box, internet streamer, local network sources, amplifier, remotes) they could have a winner. I love my setup, but it isn't user friendly. When grandma or the babysitter comes by, I always get that concerned like "Oh good criminy, how do I even change channels on this thing?!"
Apple is great at delivering an excellent user experience straight out of the box. That's something you don't get out of a lot of home theater equipment as it requires quite a bit of tweaking and adjusting until you get the top notch experience you are looking for. If Apple were able to deliver a HDTV with an excellent out of box experience that reduced user confusion, I think I would definitely consider spending a 10-15% premium to get it.
A lot goes in to deciding what TV to purchase. I am more concerned about the picture than I am about the interface to my existing media. I use separate components for everything else (think sound system, dvd player, ATV, etc). My current TV has internet access that I never use. If my next TV had ATV functionality, that would be great, but would not be a major driver. So would I buy an Apple HDTV? Maybe, if it had a great picture and was priced right.
Apple would need to deliver something that no other TV can deliver. 3D won’t cut it and an integrated apple TV won’t either. I do want to get a new TV (I have a Samsung 42 or 46 inch DLP 720P TV) to replace my old one. The 3D TV is not something I am looking for specifically but I don’t see not getting it on a high end TV. Personally I want a TV that has many inputs. I don’t want a TV with a built in TiVo or other hard. Remember the old TVs with built in DVD players? If the DVD broke you couldn’t fix it without having the TV Take apart. For these peripherals like apple TV, Google TV, and TiVo I like them being external because I can easily upgrade and replace them. The TV does not need to be changed as often as these devices.
My fear with apple is they will make the TV a forced upgrade every couple years because something won’t run on it anymore and for TV I don’t think it’s worth the cost.
Despite being a Mac user for over ten years, I can't see what Apple would lend to an HD television. They clearly wouldn't be making the glass - they'd be farming it out to Samsung or another of the panel makers. What innovation can they bring? And on top of it all, it'd be at a 40% markup? The real killer to this rumor that won't ever die I believe Jobs himself made during his conversation with Walt Mossberg at the All Things D conference last year. He went through the reasons for not succeeding in television in detail. And furthermore Apple keeps referencing television as a "hobby". Not only did Jobs say it but Tim Cook said it also.
I don't mean to be so 'doom and gloom' about this and I'm as excited to see what the likes of Jony Ive could do in other verticals from a design standpoint. But it just doesn't make sense. This is less 'iPod' and 'iPad' and more 'iPod Hi-Fi' and 'Xserve'.
1) I am very happy with my Samsung plasma I have now and see no reason to upgrade with in the next 5-10 years. (3D is a fad)
2)All I want my TV to do is provide an excellent picture and have plenty of inputs. Putting any kind of extra smarts in a TV is a mistake because as peter stated "TVs tend to be something people buy relatively infrequently", see #1. Technology moves faster than this and the TV will be out of date very quickly. I don't want to by a new $1500 TV every 2 years because it's got "Netflix Plus" or whatever in it. I want to continue using my perfectly good TV and buy a new $100-$200 box to attach to it every year or 2 that will give me access to new products and services.
3)Any TV made by Apple would invariably cost at least 30% more than an equivalent TV from Sony, Samsung, or LG. As I have said, to me they will not be able to justify this with built in software, because I don't want it anyway. The only thing that could compete on is Design and I happen to think Samsung's TV are pretty slick already. So there is not much for them to do there either.
Apple should leave the TV making to those who already do it so well and focus on improving the services on future Apple TV boxes.
Although I'm a fan-boy, and having Siri in my TV is a compelling feature, their TV cannot be tied down to only iTunes friendly content in my case. I've been viewing my content over my networking using 3 MacMini's and my choice of interface to reach a central media server. I can't imagine Apple's HDTV allowing that much freedom of choice. For the same reason, I never bought the current AppleTV box and have been seriously considering dumping the mini's and going with Roku boxes for all rooms. The loss of Frontrow in Lion is another drop in my bucket of Apple frustrations leading again to Roku as an alternative. Also, I think most enthusiasts shell out a good deal of cash for their main viewing display and wouldn't replace it immediately just for a couple of features. I think Apple should start with mid-size displays since most people would try it out at an introductory price point and for use in their spare rooms.
You make a great point about being able to keep a TV for more than just a couple of years, which is, frankly, the lifespan of most Apple products until they stop providing updates for it. TVs in general have lasted me a long time, 5+ years for most, and I would hope that Apple would understand that in creating a TV that has some more life to it.
Software is going to be the key point of the device, so with a stable hardware platform behind it, I don't see why they couldn't provide many years of updates. It's not like TVs are making huge leaps and bounds technologically every few years (sure, they get thinner, but the basic hardware advancements - decoding, interlacing, etc. - are generally only evolutionary in nature), so if they don't try to constantly add too many features and provide occasional updates (codecs, new services), I can see this as a good product for consumers.
Apple may have not wanted to do that in the past due to "accounting restrictions" that prevented adding new features, but I really think that has just been code for wanting to sell new hardware. With the iTunes Store baked into this TV, that gives them a constant money stream (in theory), so even though they might not sell as many new units several years down the road, they would still be providing their existing & paying customers with updates that will continue to entice them with new features (= new ways to give Apple money).
As someone in the market for a new TV and without an Apple TV at the moment, any development in this direction would very much be in my interests...
I have 3 of the new ATV's in my house. While I do miss the local storage option of the old model. The new ones are very fast and use much less power. While there are "geekier" options my wife and 4 year old can operate the ATV's without my assistance and that is a win for me!
I wouldn't buy it. I'm not a fan of my AppleTV unit as it, I wouldn't buy a TV based on that service. If they opened it up to more streaming partners, and actually made it that when I rented a movie/show from apple i would actually be able to watch it right away, and not wait two hours for a TV show to buffer, or whatever it's doing.
Assuming the price was comparable and the inputs where good (4 HDMI...), I would. They make good monitors, they make good hardware and I would trust them to update it more than the propitiatory internet tv software running on tv's now. That and it would probably be faster and run better then current internet tv's. Which is why buying a roku or other box and not caring about what's on your tv, just make sure it has ports, is the best bet. Besides the new roku is crazy small.
I think a lot of people would find it kind of refreshing to see a unified platform in a market where TV apps might be more segmented than any other sector. Trying to keep track of what services are available natively through which manufacturer is vexing at best. Even Google TV makes it tricky to know what your TV can actually do.
That said, I think a lot of purchasing decisions would hinge on how compatible it is with other set-top boxes. While there's a very real benefit to being up front with what the TV can do, it'll also emphasize the things it can't do. Do Vizio TVs have a built-in way to support Hulu+? No idea. Would I know if the Apple HDTV supported Hulu+? Probably. So, if I know I'm buying a TV that will exclude me from certain services, that would likely be a detractor. If there are going to be compatibility issues with add-on boxes and the TV, it might make a lot of people think twice.
It would also have a lot to do with the interface that drives the whole thing. It seems like a bit of a no-brainer, I guess, in any conversation about Apple. I don't think it's enough to stick Apple TV software and Airplay into a panel and expect that to march them out the door. Especially when you can just buy an Apple TV as cheaply as you can right now.
There's also the very real issue of price. When it comes to PCs, Apple offers a tangibly different experience at a premium. Unless they're offering something groundbreaking, that justification goes away. They likely won't be catering to the die-hard high-end guys, which would leave them afloat in a sea of competition. A huge number of TV decisions are made in a very Black Friday frame of mind. Why? Because if the screen is good enough, you can just add on whatever you want later. Apple isn't exactly Black Friday friendly, which might make the price disparity seem enormous to most consumers, while they fall short of the high-end AV guys that don't care about the extra price.
Having said all of that, I'd actually be a little surprised to see an Apple HDTV. Much of their success in recent history has been due to them getting into the game early. They're so successful in the App Store arena because they were so early. They got the iPad out before the hordes of other tablets and it's paid off big time. Jumping into a market where they're already way behind and where such a huge part of the decision making process is driven purely by specs and price would seem a little out of character in my eyes.
You could say the same thing for a computer screen ("why buy an iMac when you can just buy a 'dumb' screen and a computer?"), but as Apple has proved time and time before - they do think different. If they would ever release such a product - I bet it would be much more than a TV + Apple TV + Airplay, but a whole re-imagination of what the biggest screen of your house should be able to deliver.
That being said, I cannot think of much they can do with an Apple HDTV, that cannot be done via a set-top box like Apple TV. Then again, maybe that's why I don't work at Apple :)
Oh and regarding your question - If they would release such a product, I would probably buy it in a second :)
completely agree, I would never buy a computer/monitor computer or all in one. That's why if it was a good tv for a good price the software on it would just be a plus and better than what they are putting on other TV's. At some point you won't really get a choice it will just be part of all TV's.
Not a chance – I'd be lucky if I replaced the current HDTV set we have in the next five years. Five years ago, no one had seen the iPhone, Netflix wasn't streaming video to TVs and the PS3 and Wii weren't even out yet.
I'd rather stick a $99 Apple TV on the back of an appliance I'm planning on keeping around a long time.
I am not that interested in putting more computing power into the TV for exactly the reason you highlighted - I do not want to put my TV purchases on the same lifecycle as my PCs. I own an Apple TV and it does not bother me that the $99 compact box contains the processing power and the TV focuses on the picture.
I currently own a Sony "smart tv" and it is nice but external devices allow better functionality. Even the PS3 performs the same tasks the TV can in a more efficient manner. Looking at Apple's history of product replacement I would not want a TV that is only relevant for 2-3 years max.
Looking at it from a different angle, this would be a bad move on Apple's part when it comes to product support. I am a former Genius and I cant imagine people bringing a 40"+ TV to the Genius Bar and then the support team having to ship it off for repair. That would be an incredible waste of resources. The simplicity of the Apple TV is that the repair process is nearly the same as the iPhone 4 (Restore / Replace) and I cant imagine adding the complexity of a large TV to that process.
With the typical Apple support level for older devices I wouldn't even think of it. Before I bought my HDTV I had the same tube tv for 10 years and I still have it in the basement for a "kid" tv as no one cares what the old nintendo and super nintendo look like on an LCD. My HD TV is now over 2 years old but I still think of it as new. The various boxes and devices plugged into the TV may have changed in that time (though I am still using the same WMCE box that I bought in 2007 but with an upgraded video card and OS) the TV it self just has to be rock solid and look good.
On the other hand I have an ipod that hasn't had a software upgrade since I bought it and I have a laptop that while 9 years old at this point is still working... but I can't upgrade it and haven't been able to for the past 2 years because Apple gave up support for it. So the screen looks good and all but I can't even run a current version of itunes on it. That level of support is not what I am looking for in a TV. A TV is an appliance like a fridge or stove. You replace it when it breaks or when you really need to get a new one because the current one doesn't fit your needs. Not every 2 years just because they don't want to make the software work on it. I would rather pay the $99 and buy a little box so that in 2 years when they decide mine is too old i am only out $99 instead of $999 or more likely $1999. Because if anyone thinks they are going to be able to get into a living room size Apple HDTV for under $2000 they are just kidding themself.
But then the Apple TV just isn't a compelling product for me. The Windows Media Center experience is just so much better than all the Cable company set top boxes and most of the streaming set top boxes I just am not willing to leave it. Being able to record more than 20 hours of HD content puts it leaps and bounds above most of the STBs. The netflix integration is very slick. Adding in a blue ray drive so that I only have one device and thus one remote to deal with makes it so wife friendly that when I tried to go to a comcast STB to get HD content she was the one that vetoed it and sent it back being happier to deal with SD and a more pleasant experience.
Keep the TV part and make a better Apple TV. I would really like to see what they could do partnering with something like Lagato with the eyetv product so that you could record tv and provide an Apple level 10 foot interface.
The short, immediate answer is probably not. The slightly more detailed answer is: ask me again in five years. I've never been disappointed with the quality I get from Apple products. However, I've never been an early adopter, either. When the 1st gen iPhone came out my cell contract was up for renewal, but I was held back by the fact that there were things that my Treo could do that Apple still hadn't mastered, not to mention the lack of 3G support. I didn't make the switch until a few years later when they finally added crucial features that at least mimicked my (then) current phone capabilities. Likewise, While the idea of an Apple HDTV is appealing, I'd need to know more. In addition to the services you mention above, would it have connectivity with Apple's upcoming iCloud service? easy access to Google+/Facebook/Twitter (many TV's have these things standard now); what are we looking at in terms of size? What would be the Apple Care protection model on something like that? Would it even come with one beyond the standard warranty? Finally, is Apple willing to make this competitive in terms of price? With most electronics purchases, I have the ability to shop around and sample at brick and mortar stores before ultimately finding a better deal for the product at an online retailer (we found our current HDTV online after shopping around in some of the local shops, and it still ended up being about $300 cheaper AFTER shipping costs). With Apple's pricing, WYSIWYG, in most circumstances.
Over time, I think they may be able to successfully deliver a competitive product, but as we've seen with the Apple Hi-Fi, Apple just isn't cut out for the peripheral market.
I bought a Westinghouse LVM-42w2 about 5 years ago and it was 1700 dollars then. It's just a giant 1080p HDMI computer monitor. It has great color, enough inputs, and I could care less about getting over the air tv. I use my ps3 to stream netflix and other movies/shows, and have hooked up a media center to it.
So my case would probably be against. If by some reason I had the ability to spend the amount of money an Apple HDTV would probably command, I'd spend it on a Canon 5d MKII or put it towards the lowest end RED cam, or a trip to Europe or something.
Until something truly comes out that blows my mind I won't be upgrading. I do sometimes wish I had a 60" because my living room is fairly big, but I love my tv. Its been perfectly calibrated and looks great! No need for another.
Honestly, it depends on the features and size. If it launches with the streaming movie/Netflix killer that has seemingly been leaked, and it was at least 42", I could probably do it - depending on the price. If it launches with just Apple TV capabilities, I would probably not go for it - there's just not enough reason to switch when I could attach the regular Apple TV to any other television set.
I'm not an Apple fan boy by any means, but they do have a history of making great products and supporting them for quite a while. This would obviously be a premium product, and it would surprise me if it followed the same product refresh structures as other Apple products.
In short, if the price is right, and it launched with some amazing proprietary software and enough inputs to support a cable box/gaming console/what have you, I would probably go for it.
What would an Apple-branded TV have that a good HDTV + AppleTV wouldn't have... unless it runs iOS and can download and install iPad applications... or they could just make an AppleTV that does the same. I really don't think Apple will get into the TV business. There are very small margins on HDTV's these days. Apple doesn't like small margins.
HDTV's are items that one can expect to be discounted in this day and age and Apple rarely, if ever, allows their products to be sold at a discount. Can't see this product being a success unless their target market is the type of customer is one who buys Bang & Olufson tv's.
not with just itunes and netflix and youtube. with boxee-level aggregation and a browser that can get to any video on the web, perhaps, but definitely yes if they build in a dvr with cablecard , but it has to be a software-upgradable replacement for all the boxes at my tv set and it has to feed my existing audio speakers/system.
I doubt Apple would get into this business due to the low margins. Given the pace of change with iOS and the A4/A5/A... processor running it, I don't think it would be a wise investment to be stuck with an older CPU for the life of a typical TV so I wouldn't be interested in buying one and hope they keep the Apple TV box separate as they do now.
If Apple could come up with a way kind of like CableCard where you could update the equivalent of the Apple TV box, that might change my mind but they have been going the other direction lately of making things harder to upgrade (planned obsolescence). Another good feature would be if you could use the Apple TV as a monitor as well as a TV (with a wireless option like AirPlay).
Even though there would be some interesting features I wouldn't simply buy one for that reason because I really don't desire a new TV until it's necessary due to it not working or functioning properly.
Having a TV become outdated quickly is a turn off as well, plus the concept of having apps on a TV doesn't excite me. It seems we've gotten to where we except everything to have an "app" of some kind. While I certainly don't hate apps it's not always practical to have them in everything such as a TV.
No, but I'd like to play with one and see what all the hype was about, if there is any hype. I'm sure the faithful will extol the virtues of the Apple HDTV but I'm having a hard time imagining what Apple can do to a display to make me want to pay more for it than a Samsung, Visio, JVC, Sony, LG, Toshiba, Panasonic, Sharp, etc., etc. The buying habits of the general public concerning HDTVs seems to indicate that price is a bigger concern than picture quality.
The other side of the coin are people like me who consider picture quality to be the ultimate factor when choosing a display. All any TV needs to do is look good. I tend to want my AV components to do the one thing their supposed to do and do it well. I really dislike the trend of putting anything in a TV that is going to make it cost more because I tend to not use it. I'm more inclined to choose a TV based on budget, room size, lighting conditions, then whether or not it has a Yahoo weather widget, but first it’s got to have a great picture.
I don’t think Apple will make an HDTV. I have a hard time coming up with what Steve might think he can do with a TV that would set his display apart from the myriad of other quality models from a long list of reputable manufactures. Apple makes some beautiful hardware, but what really sets them apart from their competition is the interactive part of their products. TV’s just don’t have enough interaction for Apple to shine.
While I try not to let my Microsoft fanboyism get in the way I have to admit that Apple certainly knows how to innovate and make interesting, fun and useful entertainment devices. However I would be reluctant to jump in when so many established HDTV makers exist and put out high quality products. Besides as a video gamer my HDTV really only needs to accomplish one goal for me and that is offer stunning picture quality. Add on to that the Apple tax and it doesnt seem like the best idea. But I am not saying that they couldnt maybe do something "magical" who knows what they are up to.
It depends, Apple does have great design when it comes to the User Experience and overall quality compared to other manufacturers. But they also do not play well with other services... And if I am to buy an Apple TV I would expect quality regardless of the price...