apple tv

There’s been a lot of talk this week regarding the next-generation Apple TV. First, an unknown AppleTV 3,2 device popped up in Monday’s iOS 6.1 release. And then yesterday, a slightly smaller ATV surfaced in some FCC documents.

So now that we know that Apple is readying a new set top box for release, the next question is: what improvements has it made? Well for starters, it looks like the device is going to get a performance bump with an A5X processor…

screenshot of ios 6.1 atv

The smart folks over at AnandTech did some digging around and found some interesting things regarding the new Apple TV (model A1469). In addition to the A5X SoC, it will also sport the iPhone 5’s single WLAN+Bluetooth antenna.

“Inside however from what we can glean from the FCC documents there’s no longer a two antenna solution for the BCM4330 WiFi+BT combo, but rather a single antenna solution with different gain and utilizing a BCM4334 combo instead…

…Instead of the A5R2 SoC (S5L8942) inside the Apple TV 3,1, this new device contains an A5X SoC (S5L8947) as shown in the screenshots I’ve taken of the Restore.plist file, though there are numerous others. It’s entirely possible that Apple is again using different bins of the A5X, it’s not possible to tell whether CPU or GPU cores are fused off at this point from my digging through the IPSW.”

Apple first introduced the A5X chip in the third-gen iPad last Spring. It only has two processing cores, but it has quad-core graphics, which the iPad 3 needed to push its Retina display. It’ll be interesting to see how Apple uses it here.

I’m not sure what to make of any of this just yet. The Apple TV 3, released last spring, only offered a processor bump and better video output over its predecessor. So it’s hard to believe that doing this again would prove very effective.

But what else could Apple have up its sleeve? The most common answer tends to be apps. Users have long been calling for Apple to open its App Store to the set-top box, allowing developers to take a console-like approach to design.

Will this year be the year it finally happens? Hopefully we’ll find out more in the coming weeks.

  • Gray

    Being someone who’s a little out of the loop here, what really is the advantage to Apple TV. as opposed to just using a PS3/360 for Netflix and Hulu Plus, or a cable provider with On Demand, or even devices such as Roku?

    As much as I like the sound of better technology going into a device, it just doesn’t have much impact on me unless I really know what the device is really good for to begin with.

    • well i juse the thing for air display
      (stream movie photo’s to the tv) and i have my audio heughs up to it
      so that handy
      but its no a killer device

      • Gray

        I’ll admit, the interface does look really sleek, and it does seem pretty useful. Especially for only $100. I’m just not sure really how well it stacks up against the Roku, or even a PS3 — I own a 360, but I can’t justify paying for Live in addition to already paying for Netflix and Hulu Plus. Perhaps when jailbroken it has a lot more appeal to it? I’m really not sure.

        I’m partially curious for research purposes. I need to look into a way to watch shows and movies when I move to a new apartment, so if this device does stack up well against other devices economically, then I might have to look into purchasing one.

      • Tbh I used to own an Apple TV box and I didn’t get much use out of it (I think it was before AirPlay came into being) there’s not much difference from downloading a movie on that than on a PS3. It’s just displayed differently in terms of usability and the UI

      • Kurt

        if you can afford it, your best option is buying a computer, even a cheap one that can of course play HD videos and have that hooked up to your tv (im writing now on my 42inch tv in bed) i have netflix and well, the whole web. not just a tiny tiny slice of it 🙂 and with windows 8 playing games like cut the rope is very cool as i’m used to playing it on my ipad 🙂

      • Scott

        I Dow load all my video content off the web and then import it to iTunes so I can watch it on my ATV3 on my TV. Works well for me for the last 2 yrs. AirPlay is awesome as well. I can play my home videos of my kids on my tv for my family to watch.

    • Air Display + Plex for iPhone or iPad….

    • skychet

      I have a 360 and the newest (3rd generation) Apple TV. The interface is a bit simplified and smoother compared to the 360, but the 360 still offers video apps like ESPN which I use all the time (I think there’s an Amazon Video app too). Airplay is fine, but I personally don’t use it all that much. My fiancée has had my ATV the past few months so I’m not terribly attached to it. If you’re mainly going to use it for Hulu and Netflix, just keep your money until something better comes along.

    • If you are heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem, then the Apple TV is much more valuable than an XBox360 or PS3 (I used to have an XB360 until it got the dreaded RROD – a testament to MS’s quality aka MS = CRAP) My iMac is loaded with iTunes music and movies – so having all that stuff at my fingertips is great! Plus the added functionality of Airplay is great.

    • pauleebe

      It’s a lot cheaper and without contract than all those products you just listed. And with AirPlay it integrates very easily with your macs or iOS devices.

  • What about the actual TV?

  • My Apple TV 2 jailbroken Is the best thing I own from streaming movies TV and live sports also access to all my movies on hard drive and plays any format I have XBMC and ATVflash Black installed and I honestly would rather get rid of my iPhone 5 and iPad mini instead of my ATV2. Jailbroken=awesome device
    not jailbroken=not good at all

    • seyss

      buddy which program you use on your AppleTV to play any movie format I want? How do I install it?

  • F P

    My jb Apple TV 2 has everything!