Apple has been selling their line of Cinema/Thunderbolt Display monitors since 1999, but despite the name of their Cinema Displays Apple has yet not released a set with a built-in TV tuner or media player (…unless you count the iMac). Cult Of Mac says they have a “source” who has seen a working prototype of an Apple HDTV with embedded Siri and FaceTime. They’ve also got mockups. Apparently the Apple HDTV looks like an overgrown Thunderbolt Display.
A camera/voice controlled media player in the living room isn’t an unfamiliar concept to gamers. In 2010 Microsoft released Kinect for the XBox 360, which already integrates with the XBox’s media player functionality as well as video chat. What Siri could bring to the table is natural language recognition. Instead of uttering somewhat clumsy commands, viewers would be able to directly ask for what they want.
iTunes and Airplay integration would also be interesting. Someone could bring a movie to a buddy’s house on their phone and wirelessly stream it to the Apple HDTV. (But they can already do that with an AppleTV, or through cables with an HDMI adaptor.)
While I’m looking to replace my crappy TV set in the near future, I’m not sure if I need one integrated with what would amount to another Netflix box in my apartment. Why would I rent movies à la carte from Apple’s pricey app store when I can get full access to a growing library on Netflix for $8/month Canadian? Regardless of how they package it, Apple will have to do something exciting with content.
Do you need a TV with Siri-built in? Let us know in the comments section below.