By Luis Estrada:
Apple yesterday released a software update for the second-gen Apple TV. The updated OS is version 4.2.2 though the internal build is referenced as iOS 4.3 build 8F305.
Some of the noted updates and improvements include:
Audio: Addresses an issue in which audio is not output when playing some video content.
Video playback: Addresses an issue in which video is not displayed when playing some content.
Audio output setting: Adds an audio output setting for switching to 16-bit audio for compatibility with some TVs and AV receivers.
Live FF/RW improvements: Improves the performance of fast-forwarding and rewinding live events.
Movie description: Addresses an issue in which the description information is not displayed for some movies.
YouTube video order: Addresses an issue in which YouTube subscription videos were not ordered by date.
The second iteration of the Apple TV has been doing quite well for Apple, thanks in large part to new features and a much more reasonable $99 pricepoint. This past December, Apple announced that it had sold over 1 million units of the device after it launched the previous September. Apple has consistently referred to the Apple TV as a hobby, with Steve Jobs noting that all companies face significant challenges in conquering the living room, Apple included.
The problem with the television market— the problem with innovation in the television industry is the go to market strategy. The television industry fundamentally has a subsidized business model that gives everybody a set top box for free—or for $10 a month—and that pretty much squashes any opportunity for innovation because nobody’s willing to buy a set top box. Ask Tivo, ask Replay TV, you know, ask Roku, ask VooDoo, ask us, ask Google in a few months.
Apple of course is rumored to be working on an HDTV that might potentially combine Apple TV and DVR functionality into one standalone device. This rumor has been bobbing along for some time now but it remains to be seen if Apple will boldly go after the living room by entering an extremely cut-throat market.