By Alex Fitzpatrick
February 13, 2015

Apple TV, a set-top box that turns your television into a smart display, is one of the company’s longest-neglected products — it’s been nearly three years since it got a hardware refresh—eons in the gadget world.

It makes sense, then, that some Apple-watchers are predicting an Apple TV refresh is imminent. Among them is Gene Munster, an Apple analyst with Piper Jaffray. Munster has long argued that Apple is working on a complete television of its own, but for now, Munster says, an updated Apple TV set-top box is the clear next step for the company.

Here’s Munster via Business Insider:

Munster’s point about HomeKit, Apple’s smart home platform, makes his Apple TV update argument especially convincing. HomeKit needs a centralized hub device that can control all the other connected gadgets in your house.

The current Apple TV is already filling that role to a limited extent, but it makes sense for a new version of the Apple TV to be designed and marketed as the brain of an Apple-powered smart home. That would give it a huge advantage over other set-top boxes on the market, like the various Roku models and the Amazon Fire TV.

Write to Alex Fitzpatrick at alex.fitzpatrick@time.com.

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