News that the Apple TV software will support Bluetooth could make the streaming device largely viewed as a “hobby” into something more. Much more. More than simply replacing the Apple remote with a keyboard, the new software potentially does for video what the iPhone did for grainy phone snaps.

While speculation is rampant (and likely quiet wrong) about when Cupertino will enter the television business, the Apple TV box is a gold mine just gathering dust, here’s why…

For years, the device has been relegated to streaming videos from your Mac or tablet to the living room television. But while debating when Apple will get into the TV business is like arguing when horses will replace SUVs, Apple TV – particularly one with Bluetooth – can take advantage of the movement away from live TV toward time-shifting and place-shifting entertainment.

The growth of Netflix and Hulu are not accidental.

Both are side-effects of a culture that has grown up with an interactive Internet.

Among the possible ways Bluetooth could expand vistas for Apple TV is as a low-cost home theater device, serving up movies and videos from an App Store directly to a home screen – no AirPlay stop-gap needed.

Of course, an App Store for the Apple TV could give Apple a fourth revenue stream.

Then there are games.

As TechCrunch‘s Darrell Etherington points out, games for the iPhone and iPad are quickly “approaching console-quality”.

Imagine a $99 Apple alternative to the Xbox or Playstation that comes with a ready connection of thousands of low-cost games. As for Microsoft, recent reports suggest the company is prepping an Xbox TV to challenge Apple TV.

Bluetooth also opens the door to Siri.

Imagine telling your home theater “play it again, Sam” or conversing with your games.

Apple TV could indeed quickly stop being just a “hobby”.

In your view, can Bluetooth (and how) elevate Apple TV to a real product?

  • I’d buy one in a heartbeat if I could install xbmc on it. For now I have it running on an old laptop that had screen issues so I wasn’t using it for anything else. Being able to stream stuff I have on my network hard drive is the biggest thing for me. With xbmc I’m able to browse through my collection with all of the info, artwork, etc. At $99, I’d buy three of them today but at $200+ for used (ATV version 2) it’s a bit much. Apple needs to realize that allowing the jailbreak scene really would help their bottom line.

    • yup or make more feature rich devices s we wont need to jalbreak

  • CollegiateLad

    It’s more than a hobby for me… I ditched cable nearly two years ago. And haven’t looked back. I hooked up my Bluetooth keyboard and it’s surprisingly good.

    I don’t know where Apple is headed with this, but I’m eager to find out.

  • hmm if apple brings out a games controller its game over for ps3 and xbox

    • jclocs1

      how… microsoft and sony have an enourous amount of game titles, and games like halo or cod would make the apple tv look like shit

      • It’s not necessarily the hardcore gamer they would be going for, but the more casual gamer. Bring mom, dad & grandma into the “gaming” equation, and the money can roll in.

  • Alfiejr

    i have no idea what this post’s point is. sure, wireless connectivity is more flexible. but Bluetooth is inherently inferior to wifi and AirPlay LAN connections – because you can only pair two BT devices at one time. that works ok for limited purposes like game controllers and headphones and inside your car. but home A/V setups are just too complicated.

    if you’re using an iPhone/iPad, you’re already connected fully via wifi. so which other device would you most likely pair via BT with your Apple TV instead of connect with a short cable? hard to think of one …