The idea of an Apple TV set (iTV) is a tantalizing one for living room-based music consumption, with possible Apple TV features including an iPad 3 universal remote, iTunes and iCloud for music and music videos, Siri voice activation for changing channels and navigation, not to mention TV shows and movies in HD. So today brings one more shred of a rumor that an Apple TV set is indeed alive and well (although no release date yet), which comes from analyst Gene Munster via AllThingsD as well as CNN.
“In January we spoke with a major TV component supplier who has been contacted by Apple regarding various capabilities of their television display components. We see this as continued evidence that Apple is exploring production of a television. This latest data point follows January 2011 meetings in Asia that led us to believe Apple was investing in manufacturing facilities for LCD displays ranging from 3.5″ mobile displays to 50″ television displays.”
2012 should be the year of Apple TV vs. Google TV, with other players like MySpace TV lining up to feed at the trough of a smart TV, or connected TV as it's sometimes called. It's a flat panel TV with a connection to the web via wi-fi for streaming music or videos (or just web sites) in a comfortable living room experience instead of a geeky desktop experience or mobile phone like most of us are accustomed to. Just think ... you could watch music videos and live performances in your chill living room in HDTV, with the speakers turned up on your sound system. Throw in a touch screen remote from an iPad or iPhone and iCloud apps for media and the use of iTunes and you'll have a steady diet of media. The new iPad 3 becomes a great tool to integrate with an Apple TV set, although at this point an iPad 3 release date is unknown, but best guesses right now include the end of March.
Check out more about iTunes and steaming music sites in the Spacelab Streaming Music Guide.