Imagining Apple TV

With the mythical tablet finally out and going strong, the next object of forward-looking gadget fetishism has gotta be Apple TV. Not the TV of the set-top box "hobby" variety; the real thing. A Piper Jaffray analyst said as much, Wired speculated about it, and patents shed light on some of the company's thinking. And then it kind of makes sense, too, for Apple to get into the business of pairing quality content with beautiful screens as it has done so successfully in the past.

I've just fretted, pretty publicly, about today's television sets being way too complex and yet failing to deliver the one thing we expect from them -- an uninterrupted stream of interesting moving images. Apple, of course, knows a thing or two about simple. A DVR that would program itself, channels that would organize themselves around your interests, un-buttoned remote controls, multiple sources of content converging in the background into one seamless stream, auto-adjusting volume. All the stuff that would makes watching TV easy again in the same way iPad has made computing accessible for two-year-olds.

The downside: expensive proprietary cables, no porn, and iFart apps stretched across a 50-inch screen playing in surround sound.

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