By Frank Kenna
The rumor has been around for a while now that Apple is due to come out this year with a new “Apple Television”... the iTV? Whatever it’s going to be called, and assuming the rumor is true, then this will have a big impact on the home market… and maybe the digital signage one too. Why? Whatever technology is built in to the iTV is sure to find its way eventually into commercial DS systems, either by design or imitation. While that remains to be seen, in the meantime I thought it would be fun to take a shot at what features I’d like to see in any future iTV, like I did a while back for the iPhone 5.
My iTV wish list list:
1. Watch TV. This sounds obvious, but when I want to watch TV, that’s just what I want to do. I don’t want to surf the web, be interactive with the shows I’m watching or answer surveys or quizzes. I just want to chill out and relax. So keep it simple, Apple.
2. Find shows. I currently get 300-400 channels (at last estimate). Ridiculous really, especially considering I can’t find anything interesting most of the time. It’s not because there’s not anything good on, I just can’t find it. AT&T’s user interface is right out of the 1980’s—clunky, slow and non-intuitive (I’m not picking on them; I recently switched from Comcast, which was worse). So Apple, please come up with a sleek, smooth intuitive interface that allows me to quickly and easily find something I want to see. I want to find shows by the name of show, actor, date and genre. (Hint: think iTunes.)
3. Record multiple shows—and lots of them. For the life of me I can’t understand why the big cable companies only allow recording of 30 hours of HD content. I mean, I can buy a 1 terabyte (1,000 GB) hard drive at Wal-Mart for $50… storage is dirt cheap! And it should probably be in the cloud anyway. Give me 100 hours of recording at least, and 4-5 channels recording simultaneously.
4. Just one remote. I currently have four, one for the cable box, TV, speaker system and Roku box. It’s complicated and unnecessary. I want just one… or knowing Apple, maybe none?
5. One source for internet content. Right now I can get internet content through my Roku box, or the smart apps on my TV. The content comes from AT&T, Hulu, Amazon, Netflix and others I haven’t tried yet. I want these all mashed together transparently. When I want to watch a show or movie, I really don’t care where it comes from, what network it goes through or who owns it. I just want to sit down and watch it, now!
6. Be portable. I want my iTV to be anywhere I am; in my living room, on a plane or train, waiting in the supermarket line… anywhere. I want to be able to start watching it in one place and finish it somewhere else, seamlessly, on any device.
7. Video calls. I’d like to have the option, while watching my iTV, to answer a phone/iChat/Skype call on the iTV. Or if not suitably attired, to transfer the call to the nearest connected device, i.e., my iPhone, Android, cordless phone, Bluetooth earpiece, etc.
8. Sound. I recently bought a 60” LCD TV. Really cool looking; really awful sounding. The sound quality was a big step down from my last one. The salesman told me it’s because of the thin design. While it is very thin, I don’t want to hear excuses, I want to hear full, rich sound without having to run it though my home stereo.
Apple, if you can do these things (or even most of them), I’ll buy one. And I think that can be just the beginning… I can see iTV eventually taking over the entire household management, much as the iPhone has taken over managing my personal and business life. iTV could control the thermostats in each room, lighting, security alarm and kitchen appliances. This could get interesting.
Do you have any features on your wish list? If so, click the ‘comment’ button and share them!