"During his modest introduction of the device, Jobs called the Apple TV ‘one more hobby.’ But a closer look at the code and the hardware powering the Apple TV reveals that there’s a lot more going on under the hood than the CEO shared."
According to Chen, we weren’t told that the operating system for Apple TV is the same one that runs the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. That’s the iOS operating system.
Furthermore, he says some hidden software may allow users of these products to share.
Thus, says Chen, "These secret ingredients could be the recipe Apple needs to shake up the television industry. For years, Apple executives have labeled the set-top box a "hobby" product because of its mild success compared with blockbuster sellers like the iPhone and iPod. Now that Apple TV has been revamped into a streaming rental service with an arsenal of stealth features, maybe Apple has a chance to change the TV business–if not today, perhaps later."
Furthermore, Chen quotes a Forrester analyst as saying, ""The most important hint of Apple’s real ambitions in the living room come from AirPlay, which puts iPhones and iPads in the driver’s seat and makes the TV just an output device for the Apple ecosystem."
AirPlay, which Jobs has talked about, streams media from your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch to the Apple TV.
Adds Chen, "Now that we know Apple TV runs iOS, it’s likely that third-party apps such as MLB at Bat or ABC Player will be able to stream media to the set-top box, too."