Theory: HomePod Will Replace AppleTV

ipedro

macrumors 601
Original poster
Nov 30, 2004
4,672
4,966
Toronto, ON
I’m going to make a bold prediction: The Apple TV as we know it will disappear.

When Apple announces its new TV service on Monday, it will be called TV.

Apple began working towards this a few years ago when the TV app was launched. Not only did it take a prominent role in tvOS as the place to find your purchased content, replacing the Videos app, it also took the actual Home button on the remote which previously sent you to the tvOS app screen.

So why the TV naming scheme?

MUSIC. NEWS. TV.

We already know MUSIC. Moving on to the second service, Apple hints at the continuation of this naming scheme with a subtle change in iOS 12.2 beta:

842D88F8-65F1-4F8D-B1BA-46B2AB011A15.png


Apple News is now News. The logical next step for the third service is TV.

So wait, what happens to the Apple TV box? They can’t both share the same name. That’ll be confusing, right?

Well, you must’ve all realized that Apple was up to something when they started announcing partnerships with all the major TV brands earlier this year. Every major TV brand from Vizio, to Samsung, to LG, to Sony will come with built in AirPlay 2.

Where does that leave AppleTV? What if Apple’s play is to have the TV app and its service run on Apple devices like iPhones, iPads, iPods and Macs that can be played on any TV rather than through an Apple TV box?

That’s great but many people like the convenience of not having to use their phone to play content on their TVs. What if their kids want to watch TV? I don’t want to give them my phone. People like to sit back with a remote in hand, turn off their brains and watch TV.

Well, Apple just launched a home device whose purpose is to sit on a shelf at home all the time. The HomePod has a conspicuously powerful A8 chip. People have wondered why Apple would put a chip that was previously powering the entire iPhone 6 and its Retina display, inside of a speaker.

What if HomePod is destined to become the stay at home media device that can not only play music and operate Siri, but can also run the TV app and stream it to any screen in the house? Rather than an Apple TV box tethered to a TV by HDMI, you’d have a HomePod (whose very name suggests it’s the centre of your home) serving in the role currently served by the Apple TV box.

That leaves us with one final unresolved issue. What about all existing TVs that don’t have AirPlay? People aren’t going to run out and replace their entire TV just for AirPlay. I expect Apple to sell an HDMI AirPlay stick to make all older TVs AirPlay compatible. This AirPlay stick might even come with a remote and the TV app installed and serve as a low cost entry into the TV service.

One final point: HomePod would need a remote to navigate the TV app. That brings us to yet another conspicuous hardware feature in HomePod that has gone unused: HomePod has Bluetooth. You can’t listen to music on HomePod via Bluetooth and it serves no other function other than during initial setup to pair with your iPhone and transfer settings. It’s never used ever again. That’s quite a big waste of an entire Bluetooth module. What if HomePod was always meant to pair with an accessory? An accessory like a Bluetooth remote.

Speaking of which, iOS 12.2 has just removed the icon representing the AppleTV from Control Centre. What replaced it? A stand-alone remote:

24AB378A-B3CF-47E9-95F2-A8DFE4271D44.jpeg


I think that HomePod’s other shoe is about to drop.
 

ZEEN0j

macrumors 68000
Sep 29, 2014
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I don’t believe this is happening. What the name of service will be I do not know. But I think the Apple TV is staying for now. The HomePod is almost twice the cost of an Apple TV. A box you can plug in everywhere already (also available in many more countries).

Why would you make something so simple into something so complicated? You’ll have to buy a speaker that will have to stream which is in many cases worse than a cable. And then also buy a stick. Why not just sell the stick? Like a chromecast.

Also the a8 isn’t that powerful. The a8 is in the Apple TV 4 and it can’t do 4K. A10 is in the 4K Apple TV.

The remote in control center changed as it makes more sense now as it can control more than just an Apple TV.
 

YaBe

macrumors 6502a
Oct 5, 2017
830
1,430
I don’t believe this is happening. What the name of service will be I do not know. But I think the Apple TV is staying for now. The HomePod is almost twice the cost of an Apple TV. A box you can plug in everywhere already (also available in many more countries).

Why would you make something so simple into something so complicated? You’ll have to buy a speaker that will have to stream which is in many cases worse than a cable. And then also buy a stick. Why not just sell the stick? Like a chromecast.

Also the a8 isn’t that powerful. The a8 is in the Apple TV 4 and it can’t do 4K. A10 is in the 4K Apple TV.

The remote in control center changed as it makes more sense now as it can control more than just an Apple TV.
Agred, I don't see them merging 2 product into one.

I can see Hopmepod being the center for Homekit, but ATV is here to stay.
 

priitv8

macrumors 68040
Jan 13, 2011
3,533
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Estonia
Apple began working towards this a few years ago when the TV app was launched. Not only did it take a prominent role in tvOS as the place to find your purchased content, replacing the Videos app, it also took the actual Home button on the remote which previously sent you to the tvOS app screen.
Even if the TV app has been long in the making, it has nowhere nearly reached all the aTV markets.
Actually, just 10 only.
So I would not build a whole strategy on it, yet.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208083

PS if you look at that page, it looks more like a legal/contractual problem, than technical. The only fast solution out of this situation would be to limit the viewers to new apple service only.
 

vertical smile

macrumors 601
Sep 23, 2014
4,013
5,213
I’m going to make a bold prediction: The Apple TV as we know it will disappear.

That is bold, but I doubt it will happen.

Not only did it take a prominent role in tvOS as the place to find your purchased content, replacing the Videos app, it also took the actual Home button on the remote which previously sent you to the tvOS app screen.
Not on my ATVs, I have it go back to the home screen.

The HomePod has a conspicuously powerful A8 chip.
You lost me here. The A8 is not powerful, relative to the ATV4K's A10X.

The A8 was underpowered for the ATV4 and would be way underpowered if it was suppose to be the future of Apple's tvOS app store content.

People have wondered why Apple would put a chip that was previously powering the entire iPhone 6 and its Retina display, inside of a speaker.
Who was wondering this? I have seen people asking why there was not a more powerful A-chip in the HomePod, but never seen asking why Apple would use a "powerful" A8.

My guess as to why Apple is using an A8 is for easy iOS integration and the A8 is suitable for music and audio. The A8 isn't really suitable for graphic-intensive stuff like the A10X is.

The iPhone 6 now is 5 generations old. I doubt Apple is going to be launching new products/services based off of tech that old.
 

BODYBUILDERPAUL

macrumors 68000
Feb 9, 2009
1,572
1,241
Barcelona
Some brilliant and interesting ideas buddy but oh gosh, I'd never buy a HomePod as I like my music with me ie my iPhone X for everything - travel, AirPods, running, using the iPhone built in speakers around my house or airplaying it to the TV speakers via Airplay and then Apple CarPlay when i'm driving. I've no need for a separate speaker.

I most definitely see the Apple TV box continuing - it's a revenue maker for all Apple services to the TV. IF it stops making them tons of money, then Apple being Apple will simply do as they did with their lazy deigns of the iPad Air & Mini this week and simply not bother making any new design changes, which I guess with the ATV, they havn't since 2010 ATV2.

With the decline of the BluRay / disc format, surely the Apple TV box has an even brighter future amongst those that do buy a TV. Now whether the TV market will decline further over the years outside of the US which seems to be the world's longest hour TV audience, I don't know. I remember Monocle writing a report 2 years ago which found that the young cbig city dwellers were not buying TVs and were spending their hard earned money on MacBook Pro's, iPads, eating out / organic food, health & fitness and travelling - healthy living, healthy mind!
 

ipedro

macrumors 601
Original poster
Nov 30, 2004
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Toronto, ON
Good feedback here but I’d like to clarify that I see HomePod replacing the Apple TV, not as the box that lives next to your TV, but as the centre of our home media, the role now served by Apple TV. I expect the TV app to take over what we now see as tvOS. Apple already started that transition, making the TV app the new home screen (for markets where it’s available). Without tvOS, Apple TV becomes nothing more than a dumb AirPlay box with one app on it.

Wrapping the entire tv experience into one app makes it possible to put it directly in other TVs as an app, just like Apple Music can live on Android.

The other option is to see the existing Apple TV relaunched as an HDMI AirPlay stick with the TV app built in. But again in this case, the Apple TV and tvOS as we know it would disappear. HomePod would take its “centre of the home” role but would be just one of many devices that can access tv (the service) and broadcast it to any AirPlay enabled TV.
 

gnomeisland

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2008
648
323
New York, NY
Interesting ideas, and I've long thought that HomePod and Apple TV have a strange overlap, but *if* anything like your prediction comes true then it won't be with the current hardware. I could see the two devices merging into a new device, perhaps even called a HomePod, that does both but with different hardware. An Apple TV replacement will need at least power, HDMI, and ethernet. Maybe, MAYBE as a hold over the current HomePod will be able to stream video on command to an Airplay 2 video device. BUT, that can't be longterm solution because Apple is pushing 4K/HDR hard and both Airplay (although it could change) and the A8 don't support those data rates.
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Who was wondering this? I have seen people asking why there was not a more powerful A-chip in the HomePod, but never seen asking why Apple would use a "powerful" A8.
Me. I agree that the A8 doesn't make sense in a device that's meant to handle 4K/HDR or even high-quality 1080P streams but it is a surprisingly robust process for a speaker. When the HomePod was released the A8 was still comparable with mid-level Android phones. That's a lot of power for something that just does audio (and, yes, I know the reason it because of the beam-forming).
 
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NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,145
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I figured HomePod would eventually be the single device for appleTV and a mesh network replacement for Airports sometime in the future personally.
 

Beerstalker

macrumors 6502
Jun 14, 2011
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Peoria, IL
I don't see this happening either. The homepod as it exists is not ideal for TV/Movie watching.

Now, that said I would be interested if Apple were to release a soundbar with a mixture of HomePod and AppleTV features.

Imagine a soundbar with all of the room adaptive speakers/microphones and Siri built in like the Homepod, that is meant to sit on your TV stand, or mount on your wall above/below your TV. Add in the Apple TV features like HDMI output to your TV, remote control, App Store, Airplay, etc. You could even add in a camera and use it for FaceTime on your TV. It would be great if it had multiple HDMI inputs so you can pass thru your Ultra HD Blu Ray player, Satellite/Cable TV Box/Video Game system as well, but my guess is Apple wouldn't do that. ARC over HDMI would be almost as good though.

Pair that with some HomePod mini speakers for surround and it would be a pretty great setup.

That said I think this has the same issue as a TV with AppleTV built in. Just like the TV screen is going to have a service life much longer than the processor/features of the AppleTV built in, I think a HomePod soundbar with AppleTV features built in would end up with the speakers and microphones still being perfectly fine, but the processor/memory etc. getting outdated faster.

Its much more reasonable to buy a good TV you replace every 10 years, and an AppleTV that you replace every 2-3 years, then it is to replace the whole TV every 2-3 years. Just like it would not be fun to replace a HomePod soundbar every 2-3 years. Keep it separate and you can replace the HomePod soundbar every 10 years and replace the AppleTV every 2-3 years.
 
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Tech198

macrumors G5
Mar 21, 2011
14,057
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Australia, Perth
Most already have the equipment in their homes already to watch movies.. Hompod would be like an Apple watch: An 'accessory'/device to make life easier.
 

Pakaku

macrumors 68020
Aug 29, 2009
2,169
2,159
No thanks, I'm more than happy with an ATV that doesn't have an always-on microphone.