Apple debuted its long-anticipated Vision Pro augmented reality headset at its WWDC conference on Monday, and it's already causing a stir in the AV world. Claims that people will be ditching their TV in favour of this $3500 (around £2800) headset are cropping up on Twitter, however, I'm certain that the Vision Pro isn't the extinction event for TVs.
Frankly speaking, the Vision Pro is a very interesting product conceptually and it looks like it has some clever practical implementations when it comes to productivity and communication. It even has some merit when it comes to the AV experience; even I can't argue against the triumphant return of 3D with that Avatar demo, or how cool it is to have The Avengers spawn in my living room via Marvel's What If...? on Disney Plus. There's of course the ability to create a 100-foot screen in your living room via the power of AR and VR, and the function to dim your surroundings to create a cinema-like environment in any room in your house is impressive too; more on this momentarily.
However, there are undoubtedly a host of practical limitations, namely that unless you want to watch all your movies solo or don't mind sharing and taking turns, then Vision Pro probably isn't for you. Also, who wants to set up a headset every time they want to watch the news or watch a short TV episode? Not me, however, that doesn't undermine the cinematic capabilities by any means, which is why I think we need to ditch the TV comparisons and set our sights a little bigger.
The 100-foot screen in a dimmed room instantly drew comparisons to projectors for me and with the aforementioned immersive cinematic aspects, I feel like the Vision Pro could indeed be a good projector alternative. In terms of practicality, the Vision Pro could actually best the projector experience; as someone who is constantly setting up projectors for a living, the process of constantly repositioning to get the image just right is usually an uphill battle. The ability to instantly cast a 100-foot image that should be perfectly aligned and focused is a dream come true to home cinema enthusiasts and it's certainly the thing I'm most keen to test on the Vision Pro.
Price is also worth considering, as at $3500 the Vision Pro is roughly the same price as the flagship 65-inch LG G3 OLED TV - and I can safely say I'd take the LG over the Vision Pro. However, some of the best projectors I've tested are upwards of £10,000 or $20,000; which makes the Vision Pro's asking price look a little bit more reasonable. Obviously, these are the gold standard of projectors, and there are even projectors that are more expensive again, but with its Micro OLED display, large virtual screen and spatial audio, I'm willing to hear the Vision Pro out as an all-in-one home cinema alternative.
Ultimately, we'll have to wait to see the Vision Pro in action to determine its home cinema capabilities, although I can confirm something now - I won't be replacing my TV with one.
Check out more of our WWDC coverage with the tvOS 17 announcement
As well as the new AirPods feature: Apple Adaptive Audio
Here's an audio perspective too: I love Spatial Audio, but I'm not spending $3500 to get it on the Apple Vision Pro