Many have speculated upon the killer feature that could be incorporated into the long-rumored Apple television set, a feature that would turn the television industry on its head. While it’s difficult to predict what such a feature would be, one analyst points towards a massive hard drive, in excess of 2 terabytes, as the low tech piece of hardware that would facilitate the killer feature which has been the subject of previous rumors…the 4K resolution (via Motley Fool). 4K resolutions are 4 times the size of 1080p HD resolutions and, as an example, Sony has just begun shipping a tv with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels packed into a 55 inch display.
The idea behind this is that a 4K ‘iTV’ could be marketed as a ‘Retina Display’, but wouldn’t require HDMI cables or a separate set top box. As the analyst, Mark Hibben, points out, the iPod was so innovative because it was a simple MP3 player with a big hard drive, and it would be that combination that would make an Apple television so successful.
That said, it would all be well and good for Apple to release a 4K television but the problem comes when it is time to pipe 4K content from iTunes to the television itself. A 4K sized movie, even with h.265 compression would be a significant file size, in excess of 25GB with maximum compression.
It’ll be interesting to see how Apple approaches this, and if indeed, a big hard drive will solve everything.