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Jobs vision of the up coming TV

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Sorry if this has been discussed somewhere before.

So jobs said he has finally cracked the tv problem, I believe we are all very eager to know what he really meant.

I personally believe that the up coming apple tv, on top of Internet connection and a very user friendly interface, would have an elegant way to integrate adverts (iAds?) into the usage of the tv.

Steve himself said that people go home to have their brains switched off by watching tvs, and that is the user's main interest. But for the broadcasting companies, it's about making money, mostly making money by selling ads. And the more users who choose to surf the Internet than spend time on watching tv (which is the current trend, at least in the uk), the more revenue those broadcasting companies lost.

Steve also said that the tv industry, unlike mobile phone companies, are very fragmented. To make the future apple tv successful, they will need the support of the broadcasting companies, and I believe that an easy and modern way of showing/pushing (selling) advertisements to the users offers great incentives for the broadcasting companies to offer their support.
post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeasar View Post

...

I personally believe that the up coming apple tv, on top of Internet connection and a very user friendly interface, would have an elegant way to integrate adverts (iAds?) into the usage of the tv.

Ads have been on television since there has been television.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeasar View Post

... But for the broadcasting companies, it's about making money, mostly making money by selling ads. And the more users who choose to surf the Internet than spend time on watching tv (which is the current trend, at least in the uk), the more revenue those broadcasting companies lost.

Certainly in the US, where Apple is headquartered, broadcasters don't make their money mostly by selling ads, they make their money almost exclusively by selling ads. Non-advertising revenue is insignificant. OTOH, public television relies heavily on viewer contributions, foundation grants, government support, and corporate underwriters (ads of a different sort).

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeasar View Post

Steve also said that the tv industry, unlike mobile phone companies, are very fragmented. To make the future apple tv successful, they will need the support of the broadcasting companies, and I believe that an easy and modern way of showing/pushing (selling) advertisements to the users offers great incentives for the broadcasting companies to offer their support.

Again, I will speak about the US and Canada because that is what I know. A television must include an integrated [ATSC] digital tuner as a matter of Federal law. This takes care of broadcast TV support. No agreement with broadcasters is required. The fragmentation is with cable companies, not broadcasters. Under mandate from the US Federal Government, the cable providers developed CableCARD which plugs into a CableCARD slot in your TV, DVR, or other CableCARD-compatible device. Supplied by your cable provider, this PCMCIA card replaces the large set top box. It allows all channels to be selected using the TV's built-in tuner. The downside to CableCARD is that not all TV manufacturers support it and the cable providers drag their feet about supporting it. Like the set top box, a CableCARD is guaranteed to decode only those channels from the company that supplied the card. CableCARD is the industry response to a Federal mandate; it is not mandated by the Federal Government. Other solutions could satisfy the mandate. The great hope of many of us is for Apple to persuade the cable providers to agree on a universal integrated system to descramble cable programming.

Having said that, no special accommodations are necessary for advertisers. Just like commercial broadcast TV, most cable programming is advertiser-supported. It has been ever thus. As for ad-free programming, its lack of ads is a feature worthy of subscriber fees. Subscribers would be very upset at a system that added ads to their ad-free programs.
post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeasar View Post

I believe that an easy and modern way of showing/pushing (selling) advertisements to the users offers great incentives for the broadcasting companies to offer their support.

I think making it financially worthwhile is going to be the biggest hurdle and Apple has the least leverage here compared to the music and book industry. I don't see advertising as the key though. Microsoft seem to but you can see how out of touch they are in this clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSk5DhxQHLo

"I see there's an ad for Coca-Cola so let me hover of the ad to watch it"
"As you know teens are very social creatures so wouldn't it be great if I could take that ad and share it with my friends using a social network"
"I'm watching and ad about Adidas. Wouldn't it be great if it were easy for me to interact with that ad and learn more about the contest. The minute I say 'XBox more', it allows me to get an email from Adidas with more information"

I think it's quite clear that everyone despises advertising, especially obtrusive advertising, with the possible exception of the people who make money from it and it's a very difficult problem to overcome.

Offering free content encourages discoverability but has a requirement for obtrusive advertising. Offering subscriptions or pay-per-view content restricts discoverability but can allow an ad-free viewing experience. The cable industry is in the worst of both worlds right now where you pay both subscriptions and have to watch obtrusive advertising.

The good thing about web-based TV is that it offers the ultimate on-demand service. I personally think pre-programmed entertainment is dead. This should reduce costs as a network isn't required to broadcast 24/7 and fill in time slots, reducing the need for advertising at all.

It may end up not being enough but I like the pay-per-minute model. Adult entertainment networks do this already. You'd buy time so up to 30 minutes or an hour of viewing time. Then it simply depletes based on how much you watch.

The money then goes to the owner of the content you watch. They can offer extra viewing credits or reduce depletion rate based on how much you watch a given network's content.

This system also does a better job of determining the success/failure of good/bad content as the money goes directly to the popular content.

The pre-pay system gets a bit annoying though so Apple can offer a monthly cap e.g allow me to watch content freely but warn me when my time has cost $40 and ask to set a new temporary cap for this month.

There can be an optional portion of advertising added in to reduce costs but at the request of the user.

The content IMO is the most important factor in this, not the simplicity of the device (i.e no need for an actual TV) and this requires a financial model that works for the content providers.
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

Ads have been on television since there has been television.

Certainly in the US, where Apple is headquartered, broadcasters don't make their money mostly by selling ads, they make their money almost exclusively by selling ads. Non-advertising revenue is insignificant. OTOH, public television relies heavily on viewer contributions, foundation grants, government support, and corporate underwriters (ads of a different sort).

Again, I will speak about the US and Canada because that is what I know. A television must include an integrated [ATSC] digital tuner as a matter of Federal law. This takes care of broadcast TV support. No agreement with broadcasters is required. The fragmentation is with cable companies, not broadcasters. Under mandate from the US Federal Government, the cable providers developed CableCARD which plugs into a CableCARD slot in your TV, DVR, or other CableCARD-compatible device. Supplied by your cable provider, this PCMCIA card replaces the large set top box. It allows all channels to be selected using the TV's built-in tuner. The downside to CableCARD is that not all TV manufacturers support it and the cable providers drag their feet about supporting it. Like the set top box, a CableCARD is guaranteed to decode only those channels from the company that supplied the card. CableCARD is the industry response to a Federal mandate; it is not mandated by the Federal Government. Other solutions could satisfy the mandate. The great hope of many of us is for Apple to persuade the cable providers to agree on a universal integrated system to descramble cable programming.

Having said that, no special accommodations are necessary for advertisers. Just like commercial broadcast TV, most cable programming is advertiser-supported. It has been ever thus. As for ad-free programming, its lack of ads is a feature worthy of subscriber fees. Subscribers would be very upset at a system that added ads to their ad-free programs.

some cable systems also need a USB SDV tunner with the cable card.

and that only covers cable NO way that dish or directv will have a smart card that will work with a 3rd party box (there may be some under ground ways to make that work)
post #5 of 14
Understand that the basis of the SDV system is the tuner, not the CableCARD. The CableCARD decodes signals so that the tuner can change channels. As for satellite-based pay TV, it is not even in this conversation. Satellite providers is not governed by the laws that guarantee universal compatibility of broadcast TV. They are not subject to the Federal mandate to eliminate the need for the set top box.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Maybe apple will offer something very close to whats on iTunes now, with tv contents, where there are paid shows and "free" ones that comes with iAd.

I agree that the contents are the most important factor here other that the UI, and to get a good range of contents onto the device the content providers needs to be financially motivated. Hence a rethink of the old ads versus a new interactive ads that people don't mind watching?
post #7 of 14
OK. Apple already has iTunes. There is no need to replicate the movies and TV shows available on the iTunes Music Store. Apple already has the TV. There is no need to develop a whole new delivery system. The flatscreen TV set of 2011 is the center of the home entertainment system. The new smart TVs have a plethora of content--both live and prerecorded--from various sources delivered by cable, over-the-air, and via Internet. They have connections to Blu-ray players, game consoles, DVD players, satellite STBs, cable boxes, TVs, speaker systems, and other devices. Lack of content is simply not the problem. The problem is access. It can be difficult to select among the information and entertainment sources available on the TV. Integrating TV functionality into the TV set is a no-brainer. A universal remote control that transparently provides complete control of all of your devices while simultaneously being much easier to use would be huge. As I have said before, the pie-in-the-sky contribution from Apple would be to develop universal CableCARD functionality and to integrate it into the TV set.

TVs from Sony, Samsung, and possibly other manufacturers run Linux. iOS is a no brainer for a prospective Apple HDTV. I see an iOS-based universal remote control as the solution to the remote control problem. Did I say iCloud-based DVR? Well, iCloud-based DVR could allow the viewer to record programming directly from the source and then stream it to your TV set on demand.
post #8 of 14
I'm fascinated by how Apple will convince a buncha people with new HDTV's that they need to upgrade. TV's aren't smartphones, and they're so low priced in proportion to their costs that it'll be difficult to break through the competition price wise.
post #9 of 14
Ever since I got my top end Sony HDTV a few years back, I felt Sony should have contracted Apple to program the user controls interface.

It's a great TV, and has great function, but the user interface is a POS !
It appears that several groups, who never communicated with one another, set up the user menus.
I can run it, but my wife and friends just can't do more than the basic TV operations.

I know I could do much better myself and I know Apple's designers could do it correctly.
post #10 of 14
I believe by having "cracked" the TV problem (i.e. finding a market) future AppleTVs will have an app model where users can download third-party apps specifically designed for TV. We've already seen some great video content apps on the iPad by broadcasters like BBC with their iPlayer and ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) with iView. This app model has the ability for broadcasters to charge subscription fees. For example, the BBC iPlayer app gives you access to a vast treasure trove of BBC content via an in-app subscription purchase. Similarly, news providers could provide a range of interactive content apps specifically formatted for TV.

Clearly TVs have to move to an internet-based "on demand" model that lets users watch what they want when they want, something that traditional broadcasters either can't do or do extremely poorly. With digital television they have tried to give us more choice but can only do so by polluting our TV guides with hundreds of channels that make trying to find programmes a nightmare and despite promises to move towards a more interactive experience, the possibilities with current broadcast models are very very limited and therefore rarely supported. There's clearly a market for a highly interactive experience that is like the internet on TV but specifically formatted to make it useable for that medium. The popularity of media centre apps like Plex are testament to this.

To some extent digital recorders have promoted themselves as allowing you to watch content on demand, but it takes lots of time to set them up to record the shows you want. They usually have very poorly designed interfaces and you can't browse or view shows on demand if you haven't recorded them nor can they give you access to a massive library of shows in the way that internet delivery of content can. Also, PVRs usually come with small hard drives and can fill up very quickly.

So Apple clearly can't design a system that can work with every broadcaster in every country, it has to let the broadcasters make their apps, which makes it a lot easier for Apple anyway. The amazing interfaces of some of the iPad apps to date are testament that broadcasters not only can but will create apps to suit a new AppleTV app platform. The only potential limitation (and I see it as a relatively minor one) is that unlike the iPad, which has just one resolution currently, TVs have several different resolutions and formats. But still, AppleTV and its current apps are still compatible on a variety of TVs and resolutions.

AppleTV could really become the ideal internet TV experience as soon as Apple open it up to third party applications. I'm somewhat surprised that it hasn't happened yet. It seems kind of obvious. I would love to have access to BBC iPlayer on my TV, but maybe resolution challenges have been a sticking point so far.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by s.metcalf View Post

I believe by having "cracked" the TV problem (i.e. finding a market) future AppleTVs will have an app model where users can download third-party apps specifically designed for TV. ...

This is the definition of a smart TV. Smart TVs have been on the market for a while now.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

This is the definition of a smart TV. Smart TVs have been on the market for a while now.

Really? News to me! I bet the apps aren't as good as iOS ones though...
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by s.metcalf View Post

Really? News to me! I bet the apps aren't as good as iOS ones though...

Wow! You can see smart TVs at almost any consumer electronics store. If you live too far out in the desert or too deep in the jungle, then you can readily view them on their manufacturer websites like those of LG, Samsung and Sharp. To assert your belief that the apps for existing TVs aren't as good as iOS apps is a fairly low bar. We expect Apple's smart TV to be game changer. If Apple enters the smart TV business, then just being better than Samsung and Sharp is not going change the game.
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

If Apple enters the smart TV business, then just being better than Samsung and Sharp is not going change the game.

I agree, the Smart TV UIs shown here do quite a lot of things:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUq8B...eature=related

Having widget overlays and interactive apps is pretty much all an iOS-like UI would offer too. There's another market there for apps certainly but I don't think there's as big a demand for apps on a TV as there is on portable devices unless there's a multi-touch/gesture interaction somewhere.

This type of thing is good for social events like Christmas parties where you might play an interactive game like you'd normally get with an interactive DVD and you can have a much bigger choice of software. In general though, interacting with a standard remote control wouldn't be that appealing. Even Siri integration doesn't make using TV apps pleasant.

When I look at the Smart TV, it looks cluttered and not intuitive. If Apple follows their 'simplicity is the ultimate sophistication' mantra, they'd have to do things entirely differently. Not least because they wouldn't want Samsung making ads saying Apple copied them.

TV needs to be reworked entirely, the Smart TV people are just putting layers on top. Putting a layer on top doesn't for example allow you to Tweet about a show you are watching in a deep way or add Facebook Likes to a show. It's not deep enough having a layer on top because it's not tied to the show in any meaningful way, you just end up creating a random dot of information no different from tweeting from your smartphone.

The TV networks have to get involved in this and rework their content distribution model. Device-agnostic HTML 5 streams, social network integration etc.
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