The Future of HD, Courtesy of Apple
Apple is poised to released a TV according to rumors on the Interwebs. This editor thinks the HDMI port on the Retina Macbook Pro is a clue to the future of HD and TV. Apple said the Retina MBP was the future and I think they mean it literally.
Think about it, Apple introduces the machine that pros use to create content first. The distribution system is already in place. Content via iTunes will flow seamlessly to the new Apple TV Display. It all falls into place. FCPX Editors will be able to natively edit and color correct on the display that people watch the content on for the first time in history. This is the future Apple is talking about.
On Twitter today, I saw the GPU on the Retina MBP can handle four simultaneous displays. That is ridiculous for a notebook and if used for editing probably means that the GPU could handle most tasks in FCPX and Motion 5 if only one external display is connected and the device isn’t displaying at the full resolution on the Retina Display. We need some hard data to support this claim and I’m sure performance tests are about to hit any day now.
The design of the Retina Macbook Pro seems like it is specifically to allow for Thunderbolt devices on the left and TV on the right. With LG producing the displays for Apple now, we can probably expect to see huge movement in the market in the next few years in regards to HD. As if 1080p wasn’t around long enough, Retina TV displays could mean 2.5K or even 4K, however the distribution system for such resolutions simply isn’t there yet in an overwhelming majority of places. And forget about the industry supporting it completely in the beginning. Cable companies are so far behind in terms of supplying the necessary bandwidth. What if Apple beats everyone else to the punch and starts offering 2.5K features downloadable via iTunes, viewable on a Retina Apple TV Display? Better quality than Blu-Ray. Sure, most people’s network connection can’t handle it yet, but then again we are talking about the future. Besides with 50 Mbps up/down via FIOS, it remains a possibility.
This is all just a prediction really, but it makes total sense from a marketing standpoint. This prediction also follows the patterns in releases from Apple in the last several years. Retina Displays will work their way into the product line from the iPhone -> iMac / Mac Pro. It was rumored last year that Steve Jobs cracked the design of a revolutionary TV. The seamless distribution of content via FCPX -> iTunes -> Apple TV Display fulfills the requirements for the distribution system, as long as the entertainment industry endorses the workflow. The Cinema Displays of the future will truly live up to their name, offering 2.5K or even 4K resolution that Apple will use as the value added for customers purchasing a new television Display. If the first Apple TV Display doesn’t have a Retina Display and is full 1080p I wouldn’t be totally surprised, but Retina technologies will probably work their way into future iterations of the device.
It may also be possible that Siri works her way into the product line the same way. Dictation first appeared on the new iPad, which will receive the personal assistant in iOS 6. OS X Mountain Lion will soon get Dictation and then possibly Siri in the future. One other characteristic of a revolutionary TV would be the hands-free remote control of the device, or possibly the obvious integration of iOS devices as controllers, but this is all merely conjecture.
If anything is certain for this editor the inclusion of a HDMI port on the Retina Macbook Pro isn’t just there because editors requested it. There are $30 Thunderbolt to HDMI adapters for sale already. The HDMI port is most likely included in the design to allow for editors to easily use Broadcast Displays natively for editing and color correction. What would be better than for Apple to make their own HD Display for editors to natively create content for distribution on the same device? What do you think? Is this just a pipe-dream or a reality we are not far off from witnessing?