(Credit: Intermedia Labs)

If there's one aspect of pop culture that never seems to go away, it's the game show. The format's popularity has ebbed and flowed over the decades, peaking in recent years with "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" Among the tech-literate, though, the format is migrating from the television to the mobile phone, as evinced by HQ Trivia, the popular app that runs a live quiz show twice a day on weekdays and once a day on weekends.

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Now HQ Trivia is coming full-circle with an app for the Apple TV, as TechCrunch spotted the developer's one-sentence Twitter press release earlier today. Contestants will use the Apple TV's remote instead of a touchscreen. This input method may prove a little tricky, because the Apple TV remote uses gestures for navigation instead of directional buttons, and that tends to take longer and lack the same level of precision.

Either way, the free app is an interesting value-add for the video streaming box, which is already notable for its aggressive pricing on rentals and purchases of 4K content, plus Dolby Vision support and the ability to download a variety of popular apps and games.

Despite the relatively high $180 price tag for the latest version of the Apple TV, 4K fans should get a sizeable chunk of that back because of Apple's content pricing. However, market analyst IDC reported in March that Amazon had taken the lead in streaming box sales, which they sell for as little as $40 (though that model lacks 4K support).

As TechCrunch notes, HQ Trivia's popularity has been in decline for some time, partly due to competition from News Corp, Trivia Crack, and others. Meanwhile, despite giving away hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money, the app has taken a while to develop a revenue model. Contestants do not pay to play, the audience does not pay to watch, and there are no ads or in-app purchases.

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Instead, HQ Trivia has been leveraging venture capital funding and, more recently, sponsored trivia questions to pay the bills. It made a deal with Warner Bros. earlier this year to promote the "Ready Player One" film, for which the studio bankrolled a $250,000 HQ Trivia jackpot -- a modest expense for a high-profile movie whose marketing department dropped nearly $10 million for just one week of TV ads.

With HQ Trivia crossing a threshold into the land of streaming boxes, one wonders if Roku, Amazon's Fire TV, and other such devices are also on the app developer's shopping list. Given the Amazon sales numbers reported by IDC, maybe CEO Jeff Bezos should be expecting a call.

The takeaways

  1. HQ Trivia, the free app that runs a live quiz show twice a day, has come to the Apple TV family of streaming devices.
  2. The regular Apple TV costs $149, while the 4K model is $180, which puts these devices on the expensive side. But Apple also charges much less for 4K streams than the competition.

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Tom is the senior editor covering Windows at Download.com.