Shelved Prototype and TVKit Rumors

More Apple TV rumors popped up yesterday. One rumor was about a shelved TV panel that’s locked away in some lab. I have no interest in what they are rumored to not-release.

There’s still some simmering excitement over “4K” with some news outlets saying it’s possible, and some saying it’s not on the table at all. I’m very inclined to believe it’s not on the table. “4K” is really UHD, which is a way to sell panels, not content. Even with the Blu Ray Association revising the disc standard to allow for UHD content, there will still be a paucity of people excited about rebuying a library of discs for UHD. Particularly when most TV and film is not output for the format.

Since the rumors around Apple’s OTT service center on American broadcast stations, and a select number of cable networks — none of which show UHD content — I don’t think it’s a remote possibility. Particularly when Apple is competing against cable networks on that OTT service and those networks aren’t rolling out UHD channels either.

That’s not to say that they will never, ever do it, but there’s no reason to expect it in the fall, or even next year. Not until things you can watch in UHD show up. Crazy, I know, but most people don’t want to sit at home and watch a handful of Netflix episodes and some demo footage of a scenic waterfall, or canyon vista.

From The Wall Street Journal:

Apple is in talks with programmers to create a bundle of TV channels delivered over the Internet to its devices, according to people familiar with the matter. It has told media companies that it hopes to unveil the service in June, and begin programming in the fall, they said. Whether Apple makes that announcement may depend on the progress of those talks.

There are also rumors about “TVKit” which will allow third party developers to create their own apps for the Apple TV.

Our sources add that a new version of Xcode, known as “MuirTrail” internally, includes a new feature called “TVKit” for developers to build third-party Apple TV apps.

Many people, including MacStories’ Federico Vittici are interpreting that as gaming on the box:

TVKit rumor:…

Thinking about the possibilities of Metal and haptic feedback powering future Apple TV games…

While that is possible, I would like to point out that it’s just as likely that this won’t have anything to do with gaming. It’ll allow for richer brand-engagement with custom menus and interfaces for apps that serve streaming content. Think about the networks that have apps on your phone. Now imagine those apps on your TV. Imagine someone on stage at WWDC talking about how easy it will be to develop apps for both devices with “TVKit”. Also imagine that it’ll focus on analytics, possibly through iAd, because I still see analytics driving advertising as the primary motivation for these networks to take OTT services seriously. Like Roku’s deal with Nielsen.

I mean, yes, I’m sure “TVKit” is for super-fun games. Sure.

2015-05-19 08:45:00

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