Apple TV Software Updated to Version 6.0.1

Apple released version 6.0.1 of the Apple TV software today, capping a week of new product updates. There is no indication yet about what has changed in the new release.

The last Apple TV update occurred back in September following the public release of iOS 7 for the iPhone and iPad. That release added support for iTunes Radio, AirPlay from iCloud and new podcast functionality...

Read the full story here... Source: Mac Rumours

How Xbox One opens the door for the next Apple TV

It's 2014. Apple has gathered everyone together for a special event. As Tim Cook presents, he says, "Today we're introducing three revolutionary new products. The first one is a cable box. The second one is a revolutionary streaming-media device. The third is a new way to play games on your TV. So, three things: a cable box, a streaming box, and a game console. Are you getting it? These are not three separate devices. This is one device. And we're calling it iTV."

The next Apple TV, that long-fabled product, doesn't exist yet. But it could. And it should. And it's not too late, not by a long shot. In fact, the future-of-TV transformation has yet to be settled, or even determined. It's a mess right now. The door is open. Apple can seize the moment.

If you think the Xbox One jams up Apple's plans, think again. The Xbox One is Apple's best friend. Apple needs the emerging TV landscape to be tackled, and whatever mistakes are made, Apple can improve upon them, and show everyone why that strategy was mistaken. This is the Apple Way. The iPhone was built on old smartphones, the iPad on failed tablets. The landscape now is littered with half-good, half-bad solutions: TiVo, Wii U and TVii, Google TV, Roku, Xbox 360, PS3, even the current Apple TV. None of them truly replaces your cable box. None of them is the true, absolute future of TV...

Read the full story here. Source: CNET

Apple releases Apple TV software update 5.2.1

Apple has released the Apple TV 5.2.1 software update. Hulu users will notice that the Hulu interface has been completely redesigned, including category enhancements and other UI tweaks.

The update also addresses a number of security issues on the Apple TV, including one in which a local user may be able to execute unsigned code. In a security document, Apple describes the issue: "A state management issue existed in the handling of Mach-O executable files with overlapping segments. This issue was addressed by refusing to load an executable with overlapping segments."

Other security fixes include changes to the kernel, including the ability for a local user to determine the address of structure in the kernel: "An information disclosure issue existed in the ARM prefetch abort handler. This issue was addressed by panicking if the prefetch abort handler is not being called from an abort context."

A third issue that allowed a user to execute arbitrary code in the kernel was also fixed: "The IOUSBDeviceFamily driver used pipe object pointers that came from userspace. This issue was addressed by performing additional validation of pipe object pointers."

Users can manually check for software updates on their Apple TV by selecting "Settings -> General -> Update Software".

[Source: TUAW]

Smaller A5 Chip From Tweaked Apple TV Contains Only One CPU Core, Revamped Analog Circuitry

For the past few days, we've been following the story of the smaller A5 chip found inside of the recently tweaked Apple TV, seeking to understand what changes Apple has made in order to shrink the chip to roughly half the size of the previous A5 chip. 

Yesterday, experts at Chipworks determined that the new A5 was still being manufactured by Samsung using the same 32-nanometer process used for the previous version, indicating that Apple had undertaken significant design changes for the chip. 

Chipworks now has a full image of the A5 die, revealing that this smaller A5 chip contains only a single-core ARM CPU. Apple has listed the Apple TV as having a single-core A5 since the third-generation model launched last year, but the previous design involved a dual-core chip with one core disabled, while the new design contains just the one active core. The new A5 does still contain the same dual-core GPU found in the previous version of the chip.

Chipworks' Dick James tells us, however, that there must be more to the story in order to achieve a nearly 50% size reduction, but the firm has yet to determine exactly what other changes are contributing to the smaller die size. 

A separate observation of interest involves the analog circuitry included on the chip. This new A5 chip appears to take advantage of optimized analog components such as resistors, capacitors, and inductors, yielding a mixed signal chip that seems to be a rather significant technical achievement at the 32-nanometer process node.

My guess is that the analog sections have been re-designed, always a work in progress when we get this small, since analog circuitry does not shrink anywhere near as predictably as digital. And as Jim said earlier, we think this is now in a mixed-signal version of the 32-nm process that allows extra passive components such as resistors, capacitors, and inductors, that is much more suited to analog stuff.

It is still unclear exactly why Apple has elected to redesign the A5 for the Apple TV, as it has been assumed that the company's "hobby" does not generate enough shipment volume to warrant such an investment in and of itself. As a result, it is possible that Apple has plans to use this chip in other products, although the single-core nature of the CPU design will likely limit the range of devices for which it would be suitable.

[Source: MacRumors]


Latest Apple TV reveals smaller A5 chip, adds to rumors of split with Samsung

Quiet, mid-cycle component upgrades are a thing with Apple, and they're sometimes worth watching out for. The iPad 2 got a chip update last year, for example, which significantly extended its battery life by using a 32nm A5 SoC instead of a 45nm one. Well, much as expected, a very similar processor update has just come to the Apple TV. MacRumors popped open the latest version, known as "AppleTV3,2", and found good evidence of a further die shrink: the central block of silicon is just 6 mm x 6 mm, which is even smaller than the 8 mm x 8 mm chip in the newest iPad 2. This inevitably leads to speculation that Apple has shifted to a 28nm fabrication process, possibly snubbing Samsung's 32nm foundries, but we'd need a proper silicon-level analysis to be certain. In the meantime, though, we'd guess that this update may not be worth hunting down to the degree that the new iPad 2 was -- the level of shrinkage here doesn't seem enough to have a huge impact on power draw, and in any case that's less of an issue for a device that's fed from the wall.

[Source: Engadget]

Apple TV Sells 2 Million Units in the Holiday Quarter; Still a Hobby

Apple reported today that the Apple TV streaming device sold 2 million units during the holiday quarter. When exactly will this finally qualify as a real product?

Last quarter Apple sold 1.3 million Apple TV units, and during the 2011 holiday quarter it sold 1.4 million. The 2 million it sold in this latest quarter represents a 60 percent increase, and makes it one of the top selling streaming solutions on the market. Somehow Apple still feels this product qualifies as a “hobby,” much to the confusion of folks who work in the tech industry.

Most companies would be ecstatic if its product sold 2 million units in a quarter, and a large number of them could make that the only thing they do. In the case of Apple, somehow it remains a “hobby,” a product that is not considered serious enough to be included in quarterly reports, but still gets asked about on the earnings call.

At some point Apple will have to admit this is a real product, but one has to wonder what the magical sales number is to trigger that event.

[Source: TechnoBuffalo]

Apple revamps Apple TV firmware, iOS Remote app to play nicely in an iTunes 11 world

If you're the early adopting type living in an Apple ecosystem, you probably upgraded to iTunes 11 almost as soon as the bits reached the servers. You might not have noticed that Apple gave its iOS Remote app and Apple TV firmware shots in the arm to match. Of the two, Remote 3.0 is the larger update and brings a simpler UI that also takes advantage of iTunes' new Up Next feature to add or prune out songs in ongoing playlists on a host computer. iPad owners reap the most rewards -- the album view now expands in place to quickly drill down to a specific track. Apple TV viewers aren't quite so coddled, although they too get Up Next support for iTunes 11 (and iTunes Match) as well as the usual rounds of speed-ups and bug fixes; we imagine a solution to some of the troubles with 5.1 is part of the package. No matter which update fits into your vision of musical harmony, you'll find details at the source links.

[Source: Engadget]

Apple in talks with cable operators to use Apple TV device as set-top-box

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is in talks with cable television operators to use an Apple TV device as a set-top-box. Instead of Apple building their own TV show database to compete with the cable operators – as Apple has discussed with show creators in the past – this approach would simply plug cable operators to televisions via an Apple device.

The report says that Apple’s plans with cable TV networks aren’t necessarily for the current Apple TV $99 box. The plans could be for a future version of Apple’s current device, or for the much-rumored Apple Television set.

Two people briefed on the matter said the technology involved could ultimately be embedded in a television. Apple has worked on prototypes for televisions in the past, according to people briefed on the projects.

Additionally, the report says that Apple has not yet come to any agreements with any cable TV operators.

[Source: 9to5Mac - Read the full story]

Hulu Plus Now Available on Apple TV

Apple has quietly launched a Hulu Plus channel on Apple TV this morning. We've first received a report from one Apple TV owner who first found the channel to appear this morning and have since been able to confirm it ourselves. We've found that users may have to reboot their Apple TV for the channel to appear.Hulu Plus is a U.S. online subscription streaming video service with support from many television networks and studios. The service has been notably absent from the Apple TV despite being available on the iPhone/iPad as well as other set top boxes such as Roku.Existing Hulu Plus users can login, while new users can be billed for Hulu Plus service via their iTunes account.

[Source: Mac Rumours]


Apple Brings 1080p High Definition to New Apple TV

SAN FRANCISCO—March 7, 2012—Apple® today announced the new Apple TV® featuring 1080p programming including iTunes® movies and TV shows, Netflix, Vimeo, photos and more in HD. With iTunes in the Cloud, customers can purchase and play their favorite movies and TV shows from the iTunes Store® and watch them instantly on their HD TV. The new Apple TV features a simpler, refined user interface making it easier than ever to access your purchased movies, TV shows and music with iTunes Match℠ right from iCloud®. With AirPlay®, users can stream or mirror their favorite content from their iPad® or iPhone® 4S to Apple TV. 
“People are going to love streaming movies and TV shows in 1080p with the new Apple TV, and photos look beautiful displayed at the maximum resolution of your TV,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Apple TV is easier than ever to use with its new icon-based interface and the ability to access your purchased movies, TV shows and music right from iCloud.”
Apple TV users can choose from an incredible selection of programming including over 15,000 movies and over 90,000 TV episodes on the iTunes Store. Apple TV also offers great content from Netflix’s streaming catalog, live sports from MLB, NBA and NHL as well as Internet content from Vimeo, YouTube and Flickr.* 
With iCloud, you can buy movies and TV shows on Apple TV and watch them on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch®, Mac® or PC. iCloud also stores photos and pushes them wirelessly to all your devices including your HD TV via Apple TV. iCloud provides an incredibly easy way to get instant access to all of your content, no matter which device is being used. 
iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users can use AirPlay to stream music, photos and videos from their devices directly to their HD TV with Apple TV. iPhone 4S or iPad users can use AirPlay Mirroring to show the screen of their device right on their HD TV, allowing them to stream web pages, spreadsheets or even games.** 
Apple TV makes it easy to enjoy iTunes video, music and photo libraries from your computer right on your HD TV—and with iCloud you can instantly enjoy content that was purchased on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch as well. iTunes Match customers can now play their entire music library from iCloud—even songs they’ve imported from CDs. Users can also control Apple TV with their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch using the Remote app, available as a free download on the App Store™ (
Pricing & Availability 
Apple TV will be available on Friday, March 16 for a suggested retail price of $99 (US) through the Apple online store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. Apple TV requires iTunes 10.5 or later. Apple TV requires an 802.11g/n Wi-Fi network or Ethernet network, a broadband Internet connection and a HD TV capable of 1080p or 720p and an HDMI cable that is sold separately. iTunes movie and TV show availability varies by country. Second generation Apple TV users can install the new Apple TV user interface via a free software update, available today. Third generation Apple TV hardware is required to play 1080p video.