Originally Posted by cmf2
An apple television doesn't make sense, nor does a DVR or live programming in the form we currently get from cable.
What makes sense is Apple TV getting apps, and possibly USB or a dock connector to connect accesories.
Once you add apps, you provide the opportunity to distribute live programming (as well as more on demand streaming).
Apps with external device support can be used for things like TV tuners and DVRs.
The need for live streaming is basically limited to news and sports, we don't need 100's of channels with live streams available all the time. On demand streaming works better for virtually anything else. You don't need a DVR if you can open up an app and play episodes of your favorite TV show.
What is currently done with 100's of channels could be done with just a couple apps, with greater flexibility. A full out Apple Televison with a progamming guide and DVR makes no sense to me at all. A TV with a built in Apple TV could happen, but I don't think Apple really has much interest in that market.
What if the DVR is in the cloud and each show can be "recorded" in 2 flavors: free -- with comercials; pay (or subscription) -- no comercials.
Now, here''s the good part that will bring the content owners on board -- the commercials (let's call them xAds) are determined/provided/localized/targeted
whenever the content is played
, as opposed to when the content was originally aired
(recorded to DVR).
So, everybody's cloud DVR contains a pointer to the single copy of a show. But each can play it when and how he wants.
The user gets the content he wants at the price he wants to pay.
The advertisers get more timely, localized, targeted and productive ads.
The content owners get higher ad revenue and/or "recording" fees.
Actually, there is no "recording" fee -- everything is already recorded, automatically! Instead you have a DVR "playback" fee -- and you can decide at playback if you want xAds, or not.
With this, ATV can wean us from the need for local storage/backup/management of "Live TV" content. Our ATV has our user id, password, credit card info and a local copy of the index of all the shows we've "recorded" on our Cloud DVR.
That leaves the content we create and own: home movies; photos; CDs and DVRs we've ripped. As the volume of these increases, it becomes a costly, exposed-to-loss PITA to manage, share and backup... Off-site copies?
Well, there's a solution for that, too. Apple already sells storage and some personal content with MobileMe. What if MM were used to offload your local media? They could be up there in the Cloud, too. Instead of streaming locally, your personal content could be streamed fron the cloud, and temporarly stored on the devices of choice (computer, iDevices, etc.) Apple would provide access, indexing, backup, syncing and management of your personal content -- similar to your Cloud DVR. Apple could reduce the "subscription" cost for MM through economies of scale.... ... Or Apple could introduce the xAd concept into playback. Hey, if the ads are good and targeted to things that interest me, I would consider "paying for" my MM Personal Cloud storage by watching a few commercials.
There's one more biggie that needs to be addressed: your "acquired" personal iTunes content.
If you are like our family, your iTunes content was "acquired" from almost everywhere: iTunes store purchases; reformatted audio tapes, video tapes, LP records/45s; ripped CDs and DVDs... And, yes a little LimeWire, etc.
The iTunes store purchases are a no-brainer-- Apple already has these, a record that we bought them and a pointer to the content we bought.
What about the other stuff -- simple answer: just upload to MM and be done with it.
But that would take some time and effort-- we could pay someone (or some service) to do that for us...
iTunes can check for duplicates using metadata, it certainly could match local metata with iTunes Cloud metadata-- to see if your content needs to be uploaded or just pointed to.
DRM issues could be resolved by digital comparison of the content... Or an amnesty to legitimize and/or upgrade your content.
So, all the devices and iDevices with access to the Cloud have one-stop access to all your content via home network, hotspot, cell.
Your digital hub is still your digital hub, except it is now in the cloud (with somone else dealing with all the hassle).
... And you can pay as much or as little as you like to access it.