I'm definitely expecting the next generation Apple TV to be announced at Apple's Sept. 9 media event. I'll be disappointed if it lacks 4K support. In fact, I have a suggestion for Apple for future Apple TVs, Macs and iOS devices: add support for the VIDITY platform.
A one-time purchase and download of a 4K Ultra HD movie to a VIDITY-enabled storage device provides playback without an Internet connection needed, as well as across other a variety of devices. It's complementary to existing digital entertainment platforms.
It shouldn't be difficult for Apple to support the platform and technology. VIDITY spokesperson Chris Saito told Apple World Today that any device that adopts and licenses the company's technology can be VIDITY enabled. If Apple wanted Macs, Apple TVs and iOS devices to be compliant, it could license the technology and implement it via software updates, he said.
When you purchase a digital movie file from an authorized VIDITY retailer onto a VIDITY-enabled device, the technology lets you play the movie immediately on any of your screens in the highest quality format available. You can collect the movie locally on a hard drive or directly on your device and move your movie collection freely between your TV, smartphone, laptop, or tablet.
Of course, you'll have to purchase VIDITY compliant content from an authorized VIDITY retailer. Hmmmm. The iTunes Store could be such a retailer, could it not?A connection to the Internet is required to move content wirelessly — and, naturally, the better the connection, the faster the download.
VIDITY is a joint venture of the Secure Content Storage Association (SCSA) — a consortium of movie studios such as Fox and Warner Bros.) and storage manufacturers such as Western Digital and Sandisk (alas, Apple's not a member). VIDITY General Manager David Huerta told engadget that other than just top-quality audio and video, the main feature of the platform is that it's intended to work across devices, from TVs to PCs to phones and tablets.
Also built in is support for finding any compatible files across a network. If the movie is stored on your NAS, a personal computer, a phone or tethered hard drive, it will pop up in the menu for playback, he said.
In May the SCSA unveiled the completed VIDITY specs. Licensing started in June so compliant consumer products should be arriving soon. Let's hope Apple joins the VIDITY bandwagon.