CES: Samsung eyes Smart TV as center of 'digital hub' as it takes on Apple

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  • solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by penchanted View Post


    That's why I think that it makes more sense to bundle the ATV and a universal remote at a higher price. When you consider the pricing for some of the alternative products, this might be workable.



    Another thing is that I think Apple's margins will improve for most their product categories (in spite of whatever they have guided). I think they could afford to eat some margin on a bundled device.



    I can picture that. You have two basic purchase options and three usage options.
    1) Apple sells the AppleTV with the basic remote for $99, but you don?t care about the 3rd-party apps.



    2) Apple sells the AppleTV with the basic remote for $99, and will use your iDevice(s) for advanced functions, much like you can do now with AirPlay and the keyboard.



    3) Apple sells the AppleTV bundled with a super fancy touch-screen universal remote (with IR+WiFi+acceleromete+gyroscope, or a subset) for $149, for advanced functionality.
    While that makes sense to me on one level it?s throwing up red flags on another. addabox is absolutlely right. That doesn?t mean it won?t be done, but it?s uncharted territory and the logistics will make one of the toughest projects Apple has ever tackled. Remember, you?re not just using one display or one device, but an AppleTV+HDTV+advanced remote control of some sort.





    Here are some other things to consider:
    ? Has Apple actually vetted all this already or are they waiting for more sales before committing to it?



    ? If they have started the project was it recently with the new AppleTV or did they start it back when they new iOS was a success and the future AppleTV would be running on ARM?



    ? How long would such a project take to ready?



    ? Would the use developer betas to test all this thoroughly or release after a demo with no prior dev interaction?



    ? Would it be the focus of its own event, an item in the iPad/iPhone event, or part of the iTunes/iPod event in Autumn?



    ? Would they update the AppleTV HW every 12 months to take advantage of new HW for apps and increase sales, or run on an release cycle more inline with HEC equipment?
  • penchantedpenchanted Posts: 1,070member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Here are some other things to consider:
    ? Has Apple actually vetted all this already or are they waiting for more sales before committing to it?



    ? If they have started the project was it recently with the new AppleTV or did they start it back when they new iOS was a success and the future AppleTV would be running on ARM?



    ? How long would such a project take to ready?



    ? Would the use developer betas to test all this thoroughly or release after a demo with no prior dev interaction?



    ? Would it be the focus of its own event, an item in the iPad/iPhone event, or part of the iTunes/iPod event in Autumn?



    ? Would they update the AppleTV HW every 12 months to take advantage of new HW for apps and increase sales, or run on an release cycle more inline with HEC equipment?



    Damn, you ask a lot of questions



    It is, no doubt, a very involved project and the ATV2 is just now proving itself a viable option. But I would think this should have been part of the planning once they committed to doing the ATV2.



    It would definitely be the focus of its own event - "Apple remakes your living room entertainment"



    The cycle question is really good. I am not sure which approach would be better.
  • maccherrymaccherry Posts: 924member
    Digital Humanism?

    The a**hole dancing in the bear hat?

    Sammy is lost.
  • solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Regarding the previous comments of an Apple made universal remote ?and coincidentally bringing the thread back on topic ? here is what Samsung has to offer.



    The new RMC30D has no stated price.
    Look familiar? Engadget says the RC30D is resistive and slow to respond.
    here is the antiquated RMC30C still at $299.
  • penchantedpenchanted Posts: 1,070member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Regarding the previous comments of an Apple made universal remote ?and coincidentally bringing the thread back on topic ? here is what Samsung has to offer.



    The new RMC30D has no stated price.



    Be interesting to know Samsung's price. Remotes probably have insanely high margins for hardware. I still think Apple could be very competitive here by sacrificing some margin and bundling with the ATV.
  • dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 11,724member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TedK View Post


    Hey, Dick A: I must be misunderstanding, but I got Angry Birds for my desktop, a new Mac Mini, and it runs just fine. I use our old HDTV, a Samsung, as my monitor . . . Is yours an older Mini??



    I have 2 Minis -- 1 year old & 2 year old... Still working on making it work on either.
  • addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,667member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by penchanted View Post


    Be interesting to know Samsung's price. Remotes probably have insanely high margins for hardware. I still think Apple could be very competitive here by sacrificing some margin and bundling with the ATV.



    Apparently they're including them with their '11 HDTV lineup, although I imagine it's just with the top of the line models.



    Of course, it's a different matter to throw in a fancy remote with a $1500 HDTV as opposed to a $99 set top box.



    At some point the bill of materials on a decent but not great (doesn't have to be) iPhone sized touch screen with enough hardware to run basic icon animations and WiFi/and or Bluetooth connectivity will fall below, say, $25. At which point Apple probably could bundle it with the ATV without having to charge much more.



    I wish it would happen soon, though, because an Apple designed universal remote at an aggressive price point would sell like hot cakes (in addition to being a huge win for ATV). The fact that horrible, hard to use remotes are a grim fact of modern existence is an idea that most everyone can relate to and if Apple could make an affordable, easy to use touch screen it would garner them tremendous amounts of good will. And if they made it work just that much better with Apple gear, well...
  • dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 11,724member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    At some point the bill of materials on a decent but not great (doesn't have to be) iPhone sized touch screen with enough hardware to run basic icon animations and WiFi/and or Bluetooth connectivity will fall below, say, $25. At which point Apple probably could bundle it with the ATV without having to charge much more.



    I wish it would happen soon, though, because an Apple designed universal remote at an aggressive price point would sell like hot cakes (in addition to being a huge win for ATV). The fact that horrible, hard to use remotes are a grim fact of modern existence is an idea that most everyone can relate to and if Apple could make an affordable, easy to use touch screen it would garner them tremendous amounts of good will. And if they made it work just that much better with Apple gear, well...



    OK!



    I've been doing some playing.



    The Magic Trackpad works just fine with Angry Birds on the iMac. You have to set it to recognize a Tap in system preferences.



    It is a little unwieldy when held, but acceptable.



    The Magic mouse might be an option if the preferences were more robust and allowed side-to-side swipes, tap, and press-release gestures -- I suspect these are programmable by Apple.



    The Magic Mouse is much more natural to hold in the hand.



    With AB, there is no need for a screen on the remote -- it is much more natural to just look at the Mac screen (or TV screen with AppleTV).



    It is interesting that both these devices cost $69-- so your $35 BOM should be doable.



    So, 3 flavors of ATV remotes:

    1) current remote supplied free

    2) Magic "Touch" Remote, say $29 -- or included with ATV in $119 bundle

    3) iDevice acting as a full touch pad (Uses TV Display --remote display not needed for games); or a web surfer (Uses iDevice display -- TV Display not needed or desired)



    So with the iDevice remote you could surf for content on the iDevice display only -- then forward the URL to the ATV for playing on the TV (while the iDevice does something else).



    .
  • digitalclipsdigitalclips Posts: 15,737member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 801 View Post


    Why do all these big electronic companies seem so rudderless? Yea, I know, SJ brings a vision to Apple, but what are the other, paid more then a dollar a year, CEO's doing?



    We always poke fun at Balmer, but the rest of them seem to be in the same boat and of the same breed. Creating a culture that your infrastructure supports seems not to be an easy thing to do, even if they pay you a lot.



    TV as the hub of your business model? This is a first year marketing class case study, not something to expect from the head of an electronic company. Yeesh.



    No Vision. Thats what these companies produce.



    I think the inertia in larger corporations that comes about once they become a certain size makes it hard for them to change direction. CEOs of such companies are like the captains of super tankers that like to go in straight lines or long, slow turns. The entire industry is waking up to a new world where the game is changing too fast for many of them. The statements we hear from the likes of Intel and Microsoft and even RIM that they will make 'come backs' and lead again in certain areas are based on their past and not on the reality of today. The fact is they may not 'come back'.
  • firefly7475firefly7475 Posts: 1,499member
    I actually laughed at this one!!!!



    Can anyone explain to me how Samsung bringing an SDK to their TVs means they are copying Apple?



    Has Apple ever had a TV? Sure they have the Apple TV (an add-on box without an SDK) and you can plug a Mac into your TV if you wanted... but trying to compare those to Samsung building a "smart" TV is like apples and oranges.



    Samsung ship something like 20m+ televisions a year. They are also an UltraViolet alliance member. The concept of allowing your TV to pull content from the cloud, regardless of whom you purchased it from, and without any extra add-on boxes, is a good one.



    I can't see how this can be laughed off and dismissed as simply another direction-less company copying Apple's lead.
  • firefly7475firefly7475 Posts: 1,499member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Apple TV ships with a minimal remote-- menu, select, cursor, play/pause. That's it. Compared to every other remote in your house, it's a miracle of straight-forward ease of use.



    I think the big holdup for apps on the Apple TV is the remote...



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    There is a the chance Apple could simply not include the remote but sell a wicked universal remote with a touch screen that could run all your devices and interact wirelessly with the AppleTV via AirPlay. I wonder if the new OS for the new iPod Nano could do this.



    Every touch remote I've used has been absolutely terrible.



    They are great when queuing up a music playlist or surfing the TV guide and selecting shows to record (i.e. controlling extra functions not displayed on the sceen), but for the day-to-day functions on a TV they suck. A lot.



    Although it's nice to be able to control the TV without pointing ones hand at the screen, constantly switching ones focus between the TV and the touch screen (to see what options are available) is a terrible user experience.



    Apple could probably get around it by displaying an on-screen menu and highlighting when you are pressing on the screen, or by implementing gestures, but at the end of the day they would still be trying to cram a square peg into a round hole.



    Their best bet would be something like the current Apple TV remote with added accelerometer/gyroscope and the ability to treat it like a pointer. See this patent.



    I still think there is a place for iDevice integration with Apple TV, especially if it had access to cable. Browsing the TV guide, setting the recording schedule, gaming, displaying extra show information (like the show website, behind the scenes footage, actor information etc) and "social TV" (stuff like showing what your friends are currently watching or have watched, programs they recommend and if-you-like-this-you-may-also-like information).



    All of this and more could be accessed with a touch screen device sync'd with the Apple TV, but that doesn't mean Apple should try and force the touch screen as the remote.
  • striker_kkstriker_kk Posts: 246member
    Tell me one company that copied Apple successfully?

    While you do that, tell me a company in the same market, that didn't try to copy Apple.
  • dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 11,724member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by striker_kk View Post


    Tell me one company that copied Apple successfully?

    While you do that, tell me a company in the same market, that didn't try to copy Apple.



    Successfully -- if not entirely legally, MS lifted much of the concept and some of the code for early Windows.
  • jonrojonro Posts: 42member
    First of all, when I read phrases like "digital humanism," I know that Samsung is blowing smoke out of their asses. What a totally meaningless phrase. The whole concept of a digital hub is only partially meaningful. Your typical modern home theater system consists of a TV, receiver, DVR, DVD/Blu-ray player, the Cloud (i.e., Netflix, Pandora), a home media server, something to run apps, and a remote control. Will there be "one ring to rule them all"? Doubtful. There are too many conflicting interests between hardware vendors, content vendors and distributors (i.e., Comcast, DirecTV). We can achieve some degree of "hubdom" now, but it really depends upon what you want to do. Personally, if the AppleTV could run Pandora and apps like a Web browser, I'd be a lot happier (and if it had a 1080p output, rather than 720p). My main use for it at the moment, is listen to and watch media stored on my iMac and on my iPhone or iPad.



    Right now, I have three HDMI inputs into my TV and a Digital audio output to my receiver. My receiver has a few inputs and an output to the TV. Between this conglomeration of devices, I can do nearly anything I want to do, media-wise. It's not too kludgy and the quality is pretty good.
  • res08haores08hao Posts: 114member
    I have no respect for Koreans. I can well imagine Yoon struggles every day.



    SENT FROM MY PAD
  • addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,667member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jonro View Post


    First of all, when I read phrases like "digital humanism," I know that Samsung is blowing smoke out of their asses. What a totally meaningless phrase. The whole concept of a digital hub is only partially meaningful. Your typical modern home theater system consists of a TV, receiver, DVR, DVD/Blu-ray player, the Cloud (i.e., Netflix, Pandora), a home media server, something to run apps, and a remote control. Will there be "one ring to rule them all"? Doubtful. There are too many conflicting interests between hardware vendors, content vendors and distributors (i.e., Comcast, DirecTV). We can achieve some degree of "hubdom" now, but it really depends upon what you want to do. Personally, if the AppleTV could run Pandora and apps like a Web browser, I'd be a lot happier (and if it had a 1080p output, rather than 720p). My main use for it at the moment, is listen to and watch media stored on my iMac and on my iPhone or iPad.



    Right now, I have three HDMI inputs into my TV and a Digital audio output to my receiver. My receiver has a few inputs and an output to the TV. Between this conglomeration of devices, I can do nearly anything I want to do, media-wise. It's not too kludgy and the quality is pretty good.



    Well said.



    Even a relatively well crafted TV hub solution (which, again, I don't know why anyone thinks Samsung is up to, their current TV interfaces are terrible) is going to be a patchwork of content deals and rights management limitations. If each TV manufacturer has a different roster of deals to offer, you might as well not have anything at all. What is the consumer supposed to do, shop for TV brands based on which cable companies and streaming media people have agreements with which brands?



    Google TV has already foundered on this problem; for all the complaints about Apple's "walled garden" approach it's at least coherent and decipherable, and any and all iTunes enabled devices will have access to the same content.



    I believe that's why Apple TV is still a hobby and why Jobs has explicitly noted that there's not much opportunity in the set top box market at the moment. There's dozens of players, each of which are clamoring for exclusivity or trying to "monetize" something, and they're not really interested in making everything accessible from everywhere-- which is what the magic super TV is really trying to sell. Samsung can put all the dancing douchebags it wants on stage, they don't have any control over that reality.
  • libertyforalllibertyforall Posts: 1,040member
    Apple really needs to deliver the iOS Apple TV App Store ASAP -- IMHO, it should have been prioritized even over the Mac App Store, since it's an emerging market and time to market is critical...



    Is there much ready via Cydia yet for iOS Apple TV? Anyone have a good website to track jailbroken iOS Apple TV apps? TIA!
  • addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,667member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post


    Apple really needs to deliver the iOS Apple TV App Store ASAP -- IMHO, it should have been prioritized even over the Mac App Store, since it's an emerging market and time to market is critical...



    Is there much ready via Cydia yet for iOS Apple TV? Anyone have a good website to track jailbroken iOS Apple TV apps? TIA!



    But, as we've been discussing, how do you control the apps? Do you make it a requirement that you have to own an iPhone, iPad or Touch? Because Apple won't do that.



    Until there's a remote that is both simple to use and can do a reasonable job of replicating the iOS touch experience, Apple won't be selling Apple TV apps.
  • libertyforalllibertyforall Posts: 1,040member
    Ok, but at least some apps would be Apple TV oriented apps for audio/video purposes, like Boxee -- heck, they have an iPad version almost ready so why not Apple TV?! See:



    http://blog.boxee.tv/2011/01/06/boxe...-our-ipad-app/



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    But, as we've been discussing, how do you control the apps? Do you make it a requirement that you have to own an iPhone, iPad or Touch? Because Apple won't do that.



    Until there's a remote that is both simple to use and can do a reasonable job of replicating the iOS touch experience, Apple won't be selling Apple TV apps.



  • brometheusbrometheus Posts: 83member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sticknick View Post


    Nobody (read: no average consumer) wants anything on their TV's other than shows, movies and sports.



    I don't know what Google, Samsung and the like are smoking to think that crap like this will take off in any way.



    Apple is playing it smart calling ATV a hobby. That way if nothing comes of it, then who cares?



    I totally agree. This notion of TV as a digital hub makes no sense in 2011. TV by its nature is something that is shared between people. Only one channel can be watched at a time, and there's no privacy much of the time. There's clearly a place for TV as a key part of our of entertainment lives at home. However, today's reality is increasingly about customized options. These options are based on devices that are owned by individuals. So the family may gather around the TV to watch a movie, but as soon as the movie has ended, members of the family are off to text their friends, play PS3 games, listen to music, or use an app on their iPads. The TV plays no role in those things.
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