Apple Pippen: the Apple TV Precursor, NOT the Game ConsoleS

Yes, Apple TV officially debuted in 2007. And yes, Pippin was the failed Apple/Bandai gaming console from the early '90s. But did you know there was a set-top box Apple was working on in the late '90s named Pippen?

Back in 1996, when Steve Jobs was still in exile, Apple was partnering with Bell Atlantic (now Verizon) to develop the device.The box never saw the light of day, but according to Rob Gould, a broadcast industry veteran who was involved in the project while at Bell Atlantic, it ran a version of MacOS and was intended to pipe streaming video into your TV.

Gould sent the pics to a colleague, Randall Bennet, who offered the only details about this thing:

When it boots, you see the Mac OS Finder on your TV and the inits start loading on the bottom of the screen. It played video from MPEG1 streams at 1.544 mbps, which actually didn't look bad at all in standard-def.

I'm pretty sure I would have had a Stage 5 Excitement Meltdown if I had known such a device was in the works back then. [Randall Bennet via TheNextWeb]