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Thread: Apple's Original Interactive Television Box

  1. #1
    Default Apple's Original Interactive Television Box



    Apple's prototypes have had a bad habit of popping up online via eBay, Craigslist, and other means lately, but this gem is Apple's first stab at what we now know as Apple TV.

    This isn't the Pippen (God have mercy on the 42,000 of you who bought it), but is rather Apples first foray into interactive television. Apparently Apple spent part of the 90's working on a predecessor to todays video-on-demand services. There were never any production units, only prototypes including this one.

    Randall Bennet posted a few pics on his Tumblr of the original Apple TV circa 1996. The pictures came from Rob Gould who had access to the unit pictured above during his time at Bell Atlantic which is now Verizon for those not familiar with the "Baby Bells" and their consolidation in the mid to late 90's.

    When it boots, you see the Mac OS Finder on your TV and the inits start loading on the bottom of the screen. It played video from MPEG1 streams at 1.544 mbps, which actually didn’t look bad at all in standard-def.


    Very interesting stuff. The unit appears to have composite outs as well as S-video outs for a little better picture. The box connected to a user's cable, and internet judging by the cable and ethernet ports on the back. It definitely is a very early iteration of what the cable-box, and set-top box have become today. Apple TV and this box appear to be light years apart, and rightfully so. This look back to 1990's cable television is definitely a blast from the pay-per-view past. Does anyone else remember hooking their video game consoles up via a cheap RFU adaptor because your television didn't even have composite inputs?

    Those were the days.

    Source: TUAW
    Last edited by Phillip Swanson; 09-16-2011 at 07:10 PM.

  2. #2
    Apple should do their own television network and compete against Comcast, AT&T, etc. I bet they would dominate all of them if they actually put some thought into it. If they do then their network would be called "Apple Network", just a thought.
    Sent from my iPhone 4.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Swanson View Post



    Does anyone else remember hooking their video game consoles up via a cheap RFU adaptor because your television didn't even have composite inputs?

    Those were the days.

    Source: TUAW
    I still can't play xbox at my grandma's house because her TVs STILL don't have composite jacks, I have to take a TV and everything if I'm planing on staying there more than a night.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by jose060789 View Post
    Apple should do their own television network and compete against Comcast, AT&T, etc. I bet they would dominate all of them if they actually put some thought into it. If they do then their network would be called "Apple Network", just a thought.
    Awesome Profile Pic!!!
    Apples taste good. PwnApples taste better!

  5. #5
    iPhone? More like MyPhone SwatPac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jose060789 View Post
    Apple should do their own television network and compete against Comcast, AT&T, etc. I bet they would dominate all of them if they actually put some thought into it. If they do then their network would be called "Apple Network", just a thought.
    I Would love for Apple to create a Game Console to compete with Xbox & Playstation (If you consider Playstation a competitor). I think my Xbox is awesome, but I know "If Microsoft can do it, Apple can do it better". Maybe one day there will be an Apple iCon.
    When Is The Apple iCar Coming Out? I Want One!


  6. #6
    Livin the iPhone Life R.Mortera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jose060789 View Post
    Apple should do their own television network and compete against Comcast, AT&T, etc. I bet they would dominate all of them if they actually put some thought into it. If they do then their network would be called "Apple Network", just a thought.
    I agree

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by emerica6708 View Post
    I still can't play xbox at my grandma's house because her TVs STILL don't have composite jacks, I have to take a TV and everything if I'm planing on staying there more than a night.
    Really? You can't go without it?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by SwatPac View Post
    I Would love for Apple to create a Game Console to compete with Xbox & Playstation (If you consider Playstation a competitor). I think my Xbox is awesome, but I know "If Microsoft can do it, Apple can do it better". Maybe one day there will be an Apple iCon.

    Nope, that is one field that Apple should not enter at the moment. The three companies in the market are handling themselves well but adding another player in there would be more strugle for the developers. Doubt developers want to program for 4 different platforms; most stick to 2 of the platforms as it is.

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