As 30 Rock says goodbye does Apple TV get ready to say hello?

by Colin McGuire. 0 Comments

Tonight, the best show on television for the last seven years, “30 Rock,” comes to an end. This morning, I waxed poetic on as much, and the following is an excerpt …

The show is thick with jokes, layer upon layer stacking up like an endless mountain of funny. The plot twists are strange and the characters are stranger. In the 22 minutes each episode runs, you can’t leave the room for more than 30 seconds because if you do, you’ll miss three or four genuinely funny quips, not to mention the various B-stories that advance in the same amount of time. Wander into the most normal household in the world with a stack of the program’s DVDs and nine times out of 10, the response will be this: “I don’t know. I don’t really … get it.”

But, you see, that’s precisely what has made this NBC satire the most beloved show of the last seven years (note: “beloved” doesn’t mean “popular”). It’s also precisely what made it the best half-hour on television whenever it took to the airwaves. “30 Rock” was a show made for people who enjoy a side of confusion with their comedic intellect. Virtually everyone who has loved the show has loved it for similar reasons: brainy culture references, wacky plot twists, unbelievable antics, lightning quick jokes, more double entendres than a stand-up comedian’s Twitter feed, and a guest list to die for.

It’s been the “Seinfeld” of a new generation, observational humor for the Pinterest set. We live in a world now obsessed with self-gratification and “30 Rock” was the most instant way we could make ourselves feel smarter for liking something. It embodied sophistication in such a subliminal way that it became a badge of honor to publicly proclaim love for the show, most of us teetering along the line of entitlement each time we obnoxiously went to bat for it. 

Ahhh, cue the tears. For the two-and-a-half of you who A) actually care about “30 Rock” and B) may even be remotely interested in reading the rest of that piece, you can click here. Now, for the other six-and-a-half of you …

How about those Apple TV rumors?!

No, but seriously guys — this stuff just refuses to go away.

After a few tech-y websites took note of The Big White Fruit applying for a new version of the thing with the FCC this week — thus leading all of us TV Without A TV types to begin wondering if a new model is set to be unleashed this year — Forbes noted this morning how likely a quick unveiling may be. Why is that, the disembodied voice ponders?

Well, to try and make it as simple-sounding as possible, let’s just say this: Whatever the company filed for this week is going to have something in it called the A5XR2 chip, which also happens to be a component in the current version of the Apple TV. Some think that this tool is nothing more than a tiny piece of a large pie that will be used to construct the upcoming version of the iPad Mini.

However, as Anthony Wing Kosner pointed out earlier today on Forbes, there are still some who think that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to digesting news of the use of that particular chip …

“Instapaper founder, and all-around smart tech guy Marco Arment, drew an intriguing speculation from this low-visibility move on the Apple TV,” Kosner said. “After reading Klug’s report, Arment wrote, ‘I couldn’t believe that Apple would use the iPad 3’s A5X in anything again since it was huge, hot, power-inefficient, and too slow for CPU-bound operations on Retina iPad pixel volume. A process-shrunk A5X probably won’t contain faster CPUs, but it would be smaller, cooler, and more efficient. It’s obvious, in retrospect, what this is probably for: the Retina iPad Mini.'”

But, but, but: What does this mean in relation to television domination? Let’s turn our attention back to Kosner …

“So he (Arment) sees the chip in the Apple TV refresh not as an end in itself, but ‘a low-volume production trial preceding its deployment in a much higher-volume product.’”

Boom. Apple TVs for everybody!

Meanwhile, in a piece written earlier in the day by the same outlet (it’s Forbes Thursday!), the website speculated on what the future may hold for such an endeavor.

“Some say that it is hard to believe that Apple would simply build a TV with an Apple logo and some nice-looking Apple icons on it,” the fine people at Forbes wrote“That is not Apple’s style. … Apple wants to disrupt the market with everything it does. Think of the iPod, iPhone and iPad. These products were new and innovative, and along with these products came deals with the music and cellular industry that would make it advantageous to Apple not only to sell the product, but profit off the industry. 

“In order to do that with a TV,” the piece continued, Apple will have to strike lucrative deals with cable and satellite providers, content creators and others in the TV business. If history is any guide, coming to any kind of ‘disruptive’ deal like it did with the music and cellular industry will be quite the tall order.”

So … tell us something we don’t already know, right? Yeah, but you can’t ignore this: The longer Apple goes without releasing solid information regarding any proper venture into Web TV, the longer these types of shots-in-the-dark speculative items will continue to emerge. Is it fun? Kind of. But is it also starting to become even the slightest bit grating?

I think so. And more importantly, I think Steve Jobs would think so, too. As Forbes pointed out, the idea that Apple can keep a secret is utterly laughable anymore. It seems like every other day, another tiny fact or development is somehow leaked to some obscure news outlet, and another reason to wonder if anybody is going to actually even care about what’s next for the company creeps its way into tech-obsessed minds. These are things that simply never happened when Jobs was still around. It’s almost remarkable to think about how transparent Apple has become since his death.

Or, in other words, if this entity wants the same type of aura that surrounded the iPod, iPad, iTunes or iStopwiththelowercasei (working title) to surround its shot at Internet television …  well, somebody better learn how to shut up over there, and they better learn how to do it quick. Part of Apple’s success has always been its mystique. Anymore, that seems to be dissolving by the second.

Now, if you will excuse me, I must go continue weeping at the thought that tonight we must all say goodbye to Liz Lemon.

Weep. Weep.


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