What’s in your iTV?

So, Ars Technica’s post on the brains of the iTV has got me speculating even further: is this a “thin” version of Mac OS X, or a custom bit of software? The idea that it might be an x86 chip, plus, say, Intel integrated graphics, makes me lean a lot towards a stripped-down Mac OS X.

How small a memory footprint can you fit into with just, say, Darwin, plus Core Foundation, plus QuickTime and Core Animation? The full QuickTime API (i.e., editing) need not be exposed to developers, right? And Core Audio/Image/Video seem implicit in the above choices. Quartz Composer? If we were to be greedy, what about WebKit? On the plus side it could enable a Widget ecosystem on the TV. On the minus side, it’s browsing on the TV: not always the right place for the job. On the plus side, if Apple could nail the user experience, then it could be amazing, and perhaps the killer app for an iTV.

Three more points to consider: my Nokia S60 Browser demonstrates how small WebKit could be made to be, and that web browsing is possible with a four-way remote plus select and back buttons. The Surfin’ Safari blog also had a series of entries about high DPI web sites, which might equally be applied in the opposite direction for standard definition televisions.