For you digg readers out there (hi, Digg readers!) you’ve probably already seen this link to the Cynical IT Guy’s blog where he rants about how iTV came out 11 years ago…and except for the fact that he is completely wrong…I totally agree with him. After doing only a few minutes worth of researching (i.e. – searching Google and reading Wikipedia), I found out enough about the Apple Interactive Television Box to confidently say that it was almost completely different from the upcoming iTV from Apple.
For those of you that may not know, the iPod wasn’t Apple’s first attempt to expand past the consumer PC market…it was just the first really successful attempt. Long before the iPod was changing the music and video worlds, Apple tried tried their hand at Digital Cameras, Video Games, and even Computer/TV hybrid devices. None of them were successful – most of them were released only in limited quantities.
The Apple Interactive Television Box was another product along these same lines. It was only a prototype, and was never mass produced. It was NOT the same as the upcoming iTV in several ways.
The AITB was much closer to a modern day satellite receiver than anything else. In fact, if you have a satellite receiver and you use the interactive content features (such as games, weather, and the like) then you have a pretty good idea of what the AITB was going to offer consumers…and a pretty good idea of why it was cancelled too.
The AITB also played content off of CDs and you could use the AITB remote to fast forward and rewind these interactive “game shows” and “educational programs”. There isn’t much left of the AITB out there, but if anybody out there has one they’d like to get rid of, just let me know…I’d love to get that case and mod the hell out of it.