Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports Apple is currently testing a fifth-generation Apple TV, which could see a release “as soon as this year.” The new set-top box, codenamed “J105,” will be a minor internal upgrade, bringing 4K video streaming to the box, and not much else in the way of improvements.
Earlier this month, Apple Inc. poached the chief of Amazon’s Fire TV unit to run its television operations. Timothy D. Twerdhal brings hardware and content experience to his new gig, and his hiring suggests a renewed focus on the Apple TV set-top box.
Twerdhal’s arrival comes as the company tests a new, fifth-generation Apple TV that it may release as soon as this year. Internally codenamed “J105,” the new box will be capable of streaming ultra-high-definition 4K and more vivid colors, according to people familiar with the plans.
Apple TV a Box of Compromises
Gurman’s article also notes the numerous compromises that Apple engineers have had to make with the development of the streamer.
Time and again, the people say, Apple engineers have been forced to compromise on Apple’s vision of revolutionizing the living room.
Early on, the Apple TV was going to replace the clunky set-top boxes from the cable companies and stream live television. It never happened. The team debated bundling a gaming controller with the current model to better compete with Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox and Sony Corp.’s PlayStation. That didn’t happen either. Originally, viewers were going to be able to shout commands from the couch to the Apple TV. Instead they must talk to the remote control.
Apple’s recently released “TV” app is also mentioned as not being all that it could have been. The app was reportedly intended as the be-all portal for accessing live shows and sports, which were to be a part of Apple’s much-rumored “skinny” TV streaming bundle, which never materialized due to snags experienced while negotiating deals with content owners.