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Apple TV is soon expected to bring major changes, if sources are to be believed. Last revamped in late 2015 with beefier hardware, a refreshed tvOS interface and the Siri Remote, Apple’s set-top box has basically languished as competing set-top boxes like the Amazon Fire TV, Roku Ultra and the new NVIDIA Shield TV run circles around it.
That could soon change. Apple is reportedly testing a new Apple TV capable of streaming 4K video with more vivid colors (sounds like HDR). The current Apple TV only outputs at 1080p full HD, which is fine, but it’s no 4K.
The report points to Apple’s recent hiring of Timothy D. Twerdhal, the former head of Amazon’s Fire TV unit, to lead product marketing for Apple TV, as a sign Apple is taking the TV space more seriously.
Twerdhal’s extensive experience in the TV video space, he worked at at Netflix and Roku before he joined Amazon, makes him well-positioned to help fix the Apple TV’s shortcomings.
Apple TV has reportedly not been selling as well as Apple would have liked. Apple doesn’t break out exact figures on Apple TV sales. Adding 4K video streaming support will be a good first step towards making the Apple TV more competitive with the Fire TV and Roku Ultra, especially now that 4K TVs are more commonplace in homes than before, but it’ll only be catch-up.
The company will need something more compelling to convince people why they need an Apple TV. Offering a bundle with a game controller could help reposition the Apple TV as more than just a video streaming box, but it would also be another catch-up move as there’s also a Fire TV bundle that includes a controller.
One way Apple could make the Apple TV a must-have product for the living room is by turning it into an Amazon Echo-like device with Siri at its core. I’d buy an Apple TV with hands-free Siri voice commands that not only controlled my TV, but also my smart home devices in a heartbeat. Such a device would also put Apple in the ring with the Echo and Google Home — a battle it’s losing ground to every day it doesn’t compete.