According to “solid sources” of 9to5Mac’s, Apple has been testing device that combines the abilities of Apple TV with those of AirPort Express, Apple’s Wi-Fi base station. This essentially involves sticking an 802.11ac wireless router into an Apple TV – which, incidentally, already looks very similar to the AirPort Express.
The reason for such a move, according to the report, is to improve video quality and stability. Existing Apple TV models have to connect to a separate wireless router, which may often be situated in another room.
But that’s not all. It’s claimed that Apple is also considering packing a TV tuner into that increasingly crowded Apple TV shell. This would essentially act like the Xbox One, enabling you to run your existing set top box setup through your Apple TV, thus benefiting from a unified Apple UI.
These claims follow reports last week that the new Apple TV would feature its own App Store, with a particular focus on games. Essentially, this would turn the Apple TV into an affordable games console, complete with wireless games controller support.
We’re not sure whether this supports such claims or not, but Apple is now placing more importance on the Apple TV in its online store. Previously featured as a simple accessory, it now has its very own section alongside the major Mac, iPad, iPhone, and iPod categories.
Apple may well be paving the way for something major in the set top box space.
Next, read our pick of the best TVs of 2014.