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December 15, 2019 05:34 pm

'Maximum PC' Magazine Accurately Predicted Apple TV-Like Devices In 2001

Slashdot reader alaskana98 writes:In the February 2001 issue of Maximum PC, technical editor Will Smith described in his column what he would like to see in the "perfect set-top box". At a time when arguably the best 'PVR' experience was being provided by the first iterations of the Tivo (with no HDTV or LAN connectivity), Will's description of what a set-top box could and should be comes eerily close to what we now know as the Apple TV and other 'set-top' boxes such as Roku and Amazon Firestick... To be fair, not every feature on his list would come to pass. For example, he envisioned this device as essentially serving as the main "broadband router of a household, sharing your Internet connection with any networkable device in your house". Also, he envisions the media box as providing a "robust web experience" for the whole family, something that today's set-top boxes aren't especially good at (anyone remember WebTV?). Still, in wanting an "elusive magical box" that "will set on top of our HDTV's and do everything our computers, game consoles, and VCRs do, only better", he was prescient in his descriptions of what would eventually materialize as the Apple TV and other like-minded set-top boxes, impressive for a denizen of the year 2001. Are you impressed with Smith's predictive ability? Here's what he wrote... On networking: "My set-top box will have to have a high-speed broadband connection...sharing your Internet connection with any networkable device in your house via standard Ethernet, Wi-Fi compatible wireless Ethernet, Bluetooth". On gaming: "[W]ill include state-of-the-art 3D acceleration and gaming support" and "will include Bluetooth-style wireless connections for all your controllers". On media playback: "[W]ill also serve as a media store, handing the duties of both my high-def personal video recorder (HD-PVR) and digital audio jukebox". On device collaboration: "integrating the ability to automatically synchronize with Bluetooth-enabled" devices. [Though the original article says "PDAs"]

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