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Apple HDTV prototype spotted, blog claims

Cult of Mac says it has a source who has seen Apple's rumored television, which apparently looks like a large Cinema Display, has built-in iSight, and makes use of Siri.

Daniel Terdiman Former Senior Writer / News
Daniel Terdiman is a senior writer at CNET News covering Twitter, Net culture, and everything in between.
Daniel Terdiman
2 min read
A mock-up of a prototype Apple HDTV, as shown on the Cult of Mac blog today. Dan Draper Design for Cult of Mac

If a report from Cult of Mac this morning is true, we may have our first good sense of what Apple's long-rumored and much-hyped HDTV looks like and what features it contains.

In the report, Cult of Mac cites an unnamed source who is said to have seen a prototype of the forthcoming device and who claims that it looks like "Apple's current lineup of LED-backlit Cinema Displays but is 'much bigger.' It [also] has a built-in iSight camera for making free FaceTime video conference calls. And it has Siri, the iPhone 4S' voice-activated virtual assistant."

According to the report, the source said that Apple is readying the new television for market. But other recent reports have suggested that any Apple HDTV might not hit store shelves until 2014. In the interim, a J.P. Morgan analyst has opined, Apple would first enhance its existing Apple TV set-top box -- releasing that in 2013 -- and would wait until 2014 to put out the actual HDTV.

Cult of Mac writes that its source claims to have seen the precise device that late Apple CEO Steve Jobs was talking about when he told biographer Walter Isaacson that he had "cracked" TV.

Almost every recent rumor about any Apple HDTV has posited that the device would incorporate Siri in order to give users wireless voice control. And having built-in iSight seems like a no-brainer so that users can conduct FaceTime video chats over Wi-Fi connections.

On the other hand, Cult of Mac's source said that the camera that's incorporated into the prototype "is sophisticated, with facial recognition and the ability to zoom into the user's face and follow them as they walk around the room. This allows users to make video calls from the couch across the room, rather than having to stand smack in front of the TV."

In addition, the inclusion of Siri would seem to make it possible to initiate a FaceTime call by using a voice command, the report said.

Cult of Mac writes that its source "is well-placed and has provided us with great tips in the past. However, not all of them have panned out, ostensibly due to the fact that our source tends to see products in the prototype or early development stage and Apple doesn't always ultimately choose to release them."