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iMac with TV functionality seen as stepping stone to Apple television

post #1 of 73
Thread Starter 
Apple's first step toward building a full-fledged television set could be an all-in-one iMac with built in TV functionality, one analyst believes.

Brian Blair of Wedge Partners issued a note to investors on Wednesday in which he said he believes Apple will eventually build a true television set in the future. But before that happens, he thinks the company will take a step in between, and add television functionality to its iMac desktop.

He expects that Apple will redesign its iMac lineup in the first half of 2012, and that TV capabilities will debut in that product before Apple builds a full television set. In this way, Apple could integrate its Apple TV software and iCloud features into a slim all-in-one PC.

"We think this makes sense because while we typically think about the newest TVs hanging on the wall in large form factors," Blair wrote, "Apple could effectively start with what they already have on the manufacturing line and slowly push their offering from 27 inches and scale up from there to 32 inches and then move on to the 42, 50 and 55 inch market."

Blair correctly predicted in September that Apple would introduce just one new iPhone model this year with a design largely the same as the iPhone 4. That forecast came at a time when a number of other analysts were suggesting Apple would release a new low-end iPhone model geared toward emerging markets like China.



Rumors of an Apple television have persisted since the release of the authorized biography of Steve Jobs. To biographer Walter Isaacson, Jobs hinted at a completely new product that would feature "the simplest user interface you could imagine."

That's led to reports claiming Apple plans to release a full television set at some point in 2012 featuring Siri voice recognition technology, allowing users to control their TV set without a remote. Rumors of an Apple television are said to have sent existing TV makers "scrambling" to find out just what Apple's plans are.
post #2 of 73
No combadge, then ? later ....
post #3 of 73
I really hope apple is smart enough to work with cable companies like Cablevision. Cablevision is making its own downloadable securtity systems (the samsung box cablevision uses already has this).

Apple can work with cablevision and make it so that an Imac only needs a coaxial input and nothing else. This would eliminate the need for a cablecard.
post #4 of 73
1) iCloud is already featured in Macs.

2) AppleTV's UI was already featured in Macs as FrontRow. It was the trial the pre-dated the AppleTV. Since then FrontRow wasn't updated and fallen into obscurity. It's not even part of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.

3) What's to gain from this unless you're putting it on all Macs because it's Apple working with networks to become a major distributor of content like the cable/sat companies? If it's just adding a tuner to the iMac then this is pretty tame and go against the speculation that Apple's HDTV will have no tuners or any other inputs whatsoever, just a connection to Apple's distribution network.

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post #5 of 73
In other news, a street sweeper told a reporter he thought Apple would make new products and sell lots of them and that the price of Apple shares would go up as a result.

AI went wild at the news and featured the article claiming it was the most significant news in years and would be remembered for years as a milestone in Apple's history.
post #6 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by majortom1981 View Post

I really hope apple is smart enough to work with cable companies like Cablevision. Cablevision is making its own downloadable securtity systems (the samsung box cablevision uses already has this).

Apple can work with cablevision and make it so that an Imac only needs a coaxial input and nothing else. This would eliminate the need for a cablecard.

I think they have to go beyond the cable/sat companies. They have to ink similar deals that the cable/sat companies did with large upfront payments for large bundles of stations. They will become another competitor to your TV viewing the way satellite slow did against cable.

The downside is for those that have cable for internet. If Apple et al. are mildly successful then you'll be dropping your TV subscriptions and going with internet only plans from your cable company. Since they buy their content from networks in large sums they need to maintain enough TV subscribers to make the purchase worthwhile. As this number drops so will their profit until it becomes a loss. This means a renegotiations with the networks, a raise in internet costs, throttle of internet, and/or capping your usage. This change will happen eventually and it will be the ugliest paradigm shift we've ever seen in technology.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #7 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I think they have to go beyond the cable/sat companies. They have to ink similar deals that the cable/sat companies did with large upfront payments for large bundles of stations. They will become another competitor to your TV viewing the way satellite slow did against cable.

The downside is for those that have cable for internet. If Apple et al. are mildly successful then you'll be dropping your TV subscriptions and going with internet only plans from your cable company. Since they buy their content from networks in large sums they need to maintain enough TV subscribers to make the purchase worthwhile. As this number drops so will their profit until it becomes a loss. This means a renegotiations with the networks, a raise in internet costs, throttle of internet, and/or capping your usage. This change will happen eventually and it will be the ugliest paradigm shift we've ever seen in technology.

Possibly. Or just have cable subscription apps. If you can't beat them join them.
Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster by your side, kid.
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post #8 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I think they have to go beyond the cable/sat companies. They have to ink similar deals that the cable/sat companies did with large upfront payments for large bundles of stations. They will become another competitor to your TV viewing the way satellite slow did against cable.

The downside is for those that have cable for internet. If Apple et al. are mildly successful then you'll be dropping your TV subscriptions and going with internet only plans from your cable company. Since they buy their content from networks in large sums they need to maintain enough TV subscribers to make the purchase worthwhile. As this number drops so will their profit until it becomes a loss. This means a renegotiations with the networks, a raise in internet costs, throttle of internet, and/or capping your usage. This change will happen eventually and it will be the ugliest paradigm shift we've ever seen in technology.

I can not see this in any other way than that Apple works with the cable and sat cos in order to stream their internet based offerings though the Apple interface. You'd still have to pay for access and of course - for internet access. As I have said before, no matter what Apple invents there is no way the Cable and Sat cos are going to lie down and die. They will fight tooth and nail to stay in control. To that end the bigger companies are investing heavily in content providers.

In the end we will just be charged more for our internet connections. I don't foresee an immediate future where tv content will become cheaper. We will still have to pay, one way or the other.
post #9 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post

Possibly. Or just have cable subscription apps. If you can't beat them join them.

That's fine for HBO, Showtime, Starz and their ilk, but what about the majority of cable shows that you aren't going to spend $5-15 per month just for one channel. I watch The History channel, TLC, Comedy Central and others on occasion but I won't pay $5 per month Ã* la carte for each of them.

And then what about the local affiliates. Are they now going to die out or will need an antenna system or will will Apple have a special relay that works by your GPS, WiFI, and/or IP address to get you your local channels.

This is the nut that needs to be cracked.


edit: This is what happened the last time someone tried to crack that nut.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #10 of 73
And yet again its obvious why analysts are analysts.

This analyst is approaching the topic from a bean counter perspective and considering what makes sense dollar wise and what makes sense production wise. How do his suggestions look if you actually consider the end user experience? Or the use case for an iMac that watches TV vs an actual TV? Is an iMac running OS X with TV layered on-top really going to provide an amazing experience? Would the interface finally solve all the usability issues that Steve Jobs complained about? Would it "lick it"? NO!

Its amazing how many analysts comment on Apple without understanding Apple.
post #11 of 73
After image quality, the most important feature of a TV set for many people is the Full Picture-in-Picture (Full PiP), which requires at least two Digital Terrestrial Television (DTTV or DTT) tuners inside the TV set. Which manufacturers/models deliver that?
post #12 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple's first step toward building a full-fledged television set could be an all-in-one iMac with built in TV functionality, one analyst believes.


No way. The Apple T V will be like a big iPod Touch.

If people get used to a full-function device, they will never buy the Apple TV.
post #13 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I think they have to go beyond the cable/sat companies. They have to ink similar deals that the cable/sat companies did with large upfront payments for large bundles of stations. They will become another competitor to your TV viewing the way satellite slow did against cable.

The downside is for those that have cable for internet. If Apple et al. are mildly successful then you'll be dropping your TV subscriptions and going with internet only plans from your cable company. Since they buy their content from networks in large sums they need to maintain enough TV subscribers to make the purchase worthwhile. As this number drops so will their profit until it becomes a loss. This means a renegotiations with the networks, a raise in internet costs, throttle of internet, and/or capping your usage. This change will happen eventually and it will be the ugliest paradigm shift we've ever seen in technology.

Not everybody will want to drop cable. This would cost apple maybe $5 in hardware . They will be able to use their own interface to access the cable companies programming.

I know that unless apple provided a way to watch EVERY show that i watch without a cable subscription i would not drop cable.
post #14 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post

Possibly. Or just have cable subscription apps. If you can't beat them join them.

Maybe they will add TV to imacs as a bonus but real iTV's will use ARM chips. For an all in one solution, the new TV sets will need to include:

Obvious (current Apple TV features)
* wifi internet and Airplay
* Apple content from itunes.
* Apps (TV content from internet like netflix)
Plus :
* Siri
* Apps (games)
* Apps (cable/sat signal decoders provided by cable co)
* Apps (others, like facetime, ...)
* Webcam (1080p)
* ATSC tuner (required by law BTW)
* PVR for tuner and cable signal. (requires a Netdrive or Time Capsule)
* "Fake" surround sound system (like Bose) or 5.1 speakers connection
* basic remote with optionnal revamp iOS remote app
NOT included:
* They probably wont support DvD or blue ray build in because physical media's are dying.

With all that you have your TV + cablebox + game console + home theater in an all in one device that provide a single simple interface and integrates with your other devices like phones, tablet, computers...

imo all the xtras will add about 1000$ compare to current TV sets, but you will have a lot external devices included in the iTV. If they can pull it off with only +500$ extras it will sell like hotcakes.
post #15 of 73
There's no 'hitting yourself in the face with a blunt object' emoticon.

Seems there's a dearth of appropriate emoticons lately…

Apple tried that already.



No one really wants a full computer instead of their television. Or maybe browsing the web via your TV, checking e-mails, and doing normal computer tasks actually has taken off and I've just somehow missed that huge revolution…

I was going to post a picture of that one famous early system that let you buy stuff from your TV and see rudimentary "web sites" from around the world, but for the life of me I can't remember the name or the year it was popular… any old-timers care to fill me in?

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #16 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNSF View Post


Its amazing how many analysts comment on Apple without understanding Apple.



They don't "get it". Apple is magical.
post #17 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

After image quality, the most important feature of a TV set for many people is the Full Picture-in-Picture (Full PiP), which requires at least two Digital Terrestrial Television (DTTV or DTT) tuners inside the TV set. Which manufacturers/models deliver that?

Ah yes, PIP, the feature everyone asks for but no one uses.
post #18 of 73
No thanks.
post #19 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

Maybe they will add TV to imacs as a bonus but real iTV's will use ARM chips. For an all in one solution, the new TV sets will need to include:

Obvious (current Apple TV features)
* wifi internet.
* Apple content from itunes.
* Apps (TV content from internet like netflix)
Plus :
* Siri
* Apps (games)
* Apps (cable/sat signal decoders provided by cable co)

So far, so good.


Quote:
* ATSC tuner
* PVR for tuner and cable signal.

iCloud is your PVR. The tuner is obsolete with the other ingredients you list.





Quote:
* "Fake" surround sound system (like Bose) or 5.1 speakers connection
* basic remote with optionnal revamp iOS remote app
post #20 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

I can not see this in any other way than that Apple works with the cable and sat cos in order to stream their internet based offerings though the Apple interface. You'd still have to pay for access and of course - for internet access. As I have said before, no matter what Apple invents there is no way the Cable and Sat cos are going to lie down and die. They will fight tooth and nail to stay in control. To that end the bigger companies are investing heavily in content providers.

In the end we will just be charged more for our internet connections. I don't foresee an immediate future where tv content will become cheaper. We will still have to pay, one way or the other.

Working with the middle men is another way to go but with so many different cable network designs I'd think this would be harder than trying to be another competitor of cable an sat. Apple and MS have the money to pay the lump sums to the networks.

Plus, if they get Time Warner and Brighthouse, but not Charter there is a huge gap in their business model, but going right to the networks will make them nothing but dub pipes supplying internet access.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #21 of 73
This analyst is an idiot.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #22 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

iCloud is your PVR. The tuner is obsolete with the other ingredients you list.

Yes, since all the TV channels now offer most of the there programming for streaming over the net PvR could indeed be optionnal, but understand not everything is available this way.

But no way you will be able to record a show into the cloud, this would generates WAY to much traffic and storage. Much easier to PvR into a netdrive or time capsule device over wifi.

ATSC tuner is required by law in both the US and Canada. This allows local channels to be received. Let me tell you those laws wont changed anytime soon and you sure dont want to open that can of worms.
post #23 of 73
I'm glad the word "analyst" starts with a particular word, because they have their head firmly inserted up theirs, and possibly others. There is NO WAY Apple would do this for one reason.

SHOCK AND AWE DISRUPTION

They are working on a TV that will disrupt the current craptastic offering by the other TV/electronics companies. Adding TV functionality to your iMac doesn't nothing but erode the iMac brand, confuse the value of the device and doesn't get Apple into the living room. Apple will come to the table with an offering that out thinks and out maneuvers the competition in a way that will make them scramble. They will get rid of the complex remotes and thousands of channels of crap. They will make watching TV fun and easy again.
post #24 of 73

Steve said there was no "go to market" solution...

Later, Steve said he "cracked it"...

Maybe the solution is to cause the "market to come to you"...

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post #25 of 73
Analyst has become a word of scorn and ridicule. We don't want to watch TV on our computers; Microsoft already tried this and it wasn't exactly a hit. Apple even toyed with it with Front Row and it wasn't a hit either.

Apple would be better off extending the capabilities of their AppleTV by either adding media apps like Netflix or just going all out and adding an SDK with app store and turning the AppleTV into a platform.
post #26 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

Ah yes, PIP, the feature everyone asks for but no one uses.

I don't think I've ever used PIP once. Ever.
post #27 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht
An Apple branded TV with no other inputs [meaning: no ports to attach third-party boxes] is just dumb and would be a market failure.

An Apple TV with ports would be pretty much just like any other TV, but with Apple stuff thrown in as an extra.

The Apple TV will instead be revolutionary. It will connect to any allowed optional input and output devices using wireless technologies.

It will work out of the box and connect with your Apple products.

It will also have many, many expensive add-ons from third party licensed companies.

It will work out of the box with your existing Apple ecosystem. You will (finally!) discard all the extra cluttered cruft that used to compose your "home entertainment system". The simulated 5.1 sound will be lauded, and sites like AppleInsider will review the latest external speakers. People will brag about their setups of iCloud, Time Machine and Airport Expess, and how they all are seamlessly integrated into their Macs and iPads and Apple TVs and work computer and everything except those horrible non-Apple machines.

People will ejaculate in their pants when they use their iPad as an integral part of the experience.
post #28 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Object-X View Post

Analyst has become a word of scorn and ridicule. We don't want to watch TV on our computers; Microsoft already tried this and it wasn't exactly a hit. Apple even toyed with it with Front Row and it wasn't a hit either.

Apple would be better off extending the capabilities of their AppleTV by either adding media apps like Netflix or just going all out and adding an SDK with app store and turning the AppleTV into a platform.

Appletv has netflix already.
post #29 of 73
A 32" iMac would be cool. It would bridge the gap. A person could use it as a computer or a TV. I think that they would have to change the base on it though. Maybe a removable base and then it could have wall mountable capabilities. Oh well I guess we will have to wait and see.
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post #30 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


"the simplest user interface you could imagine."


So brain waves, then. That's the simplest thing I can imagine. Just think what you want to watch and presto!
post #31 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Working with the middle men is another way to go but with so many different cable network designs I'd think this would be harder than trying to be another competitor of cable an sat. Apple and MS have the money to pay the lump sums to the networks.

Plus, if they get Time Warner and Brighthouse, but not Charter there is a huge gap in their business model, but going right to the networks will make them nothing but dub pipes supplying internet access.

That certainly would be ideal... I am unsure how easy it will be to bypass the middle men, though.

Oh and ....

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post #32 of 73
One of the themes that Steve has stressed repeatedly is the difference between TV, where you're sitting far back, and PC's were you're sitting up close and how the two are totally different in terms of how engaged your brain is.

So for an analyst to say that Apple will again try to merge TV and PC functions in one machine only reveals an astounding level of ignorance and misunderstanding of the company he is analyzing.
post #33 of 73
I'm looking at a new iMac (my current one is an original G5) and this might move me a bit. Since we are already using 4 TVs in the house the buying decision will not be about a TV, but about new advances in the iMac technology.
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post #34 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

What's to gain from this unless you're putting it on all Macs because it's Apple working with networks to become a major distributor of content like the cable/sat companies? If it's just adding a tuner to the iMac then this is pretty tame and go against the speculation that Apple's HDTV will have no tuners or any other inputs whatsoever, just a connection to Apple's distribution network.

If Apple TV is going to be driven by agreements with cable and satellite providers to handle the set-top box functionality, program guide, DVR, etc. -- and that's probably the way Apple would want to do it -- I think they'd want to work the bugs out with iMac before they launch what they're going to brand as a TV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

One of the themes that Steve has stressed repeatedly is the difference between TV, where you're sitting far back, and PC's were you're sitting up close and how the two are totally different in terms of how engaged your brain is.

So for an analyst to say that Apple will again try to merge TV and PC functions in one machine only reveals an astounding level of ignorance and misunderstanding of the company he is analyzing.

Not necessarily. Apple's larger monitors are the same size as a lot of smaller living room TVs, and a lot of people are watching TV content on iMacs already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

People will ejaculate in their pants when they use their iPad as an integral part of the experience.

Depends on what they're watching, I guess.
post #35 of 73
I don't see apple dealing with all the major networks working out package bundles and becoming essentially a "cable provider". Generally, Apple enters(or creates) a market when they see an opportunity to do something special. While Apple may make a tv, I doubt it. Its already a absurdly competitive market without large margins. If they do, it will be with a product that does something that no one else is doing. Just adding a tuner to front row is not their style. '

I would be interested to see them make a tv(arm or intel low voltage powered)that is compatible with the RVU standard:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RVU_protocol

This would not free us from the cable company, but it would at least get rid of the cable box. If they do allow some control of the interface(or say the interface can be offloaded to an Ipad or Ipod like remote), apple could potentially release TV with an amazing interface if nothing else. Add apps, airplay, and direct streaming of itunes content, and you might just have winner.
post #36 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by JupiterOne View Post

I don't think I've ever used PIP once. Ever.

Yep. Back in the day when I worked in high-end A/V, people asked all the time if the TV we were trying to sell them had PIP. My standard response was to ask them if they had cable or satellite. If they had one or the other, I told them the PIP feature was useless as the TV's internal tuners would be superseded by the cable box or satellite receiver. In my 15 years as a residential A/V integrator, I can count on one hand how many people actually used PIP functionality. The exception was Cablevisions Explorer 8300 DVR. It actually utilized it's dual internal tuners to give you PIP via the set-top box.
post #37 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

A 32" iMac would be cool. It would bridge the gap. A person could use it as a computer or a TV. I think that they would have to change the base on it though. Maybe a removable base and then it could have wall mountable capabilities. Oh well I guess we will have to wait and see.

They have this already. With it, any VESA-100 compatible wall-mount/articulating arm will work.
post #38 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

No one really wants a full computer instead of their television.

I guess I am a "no one". I got rid of my TV long ago and have been using only iMacs and el Gato's eyeTV and good external speakers as my entertainment center. (of course I live in a small house and prefer to spend my money on quality items that give me the most bang for the buck). I would definitely buy an iMacTV.
post #39 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I think they have to go beyond the cable/sat companies. They have to ink similar deals that the cable/sat companies did with large upfront payments for large bundles of stations. They will become another competitor to your TV viewing the way satellite slow did against cable.

The downside is for those that have cable for internet. If Apple et al. are mildly successful then you'll be dropping your TV subscriptions and going with internet only plans from your cable company. Since they buy their content from networks in large sums they need to maintain enough TV subscribers to make the purchase worthwhile. As this number drops so will their profit until it becomes a loss. This means a renegotiations with the networks, a raise in internet costs, throttle of internet, and/or capping your usage. This change will happen eventually and it will be the ugliest paradigm shift we've ever seen in technology.

I agree with you whole heatedly. If you notice it is usually the cable companies that keep trying to push data caps. Is it because their networks can't handle the traffic this creates? No, Dsl providers generally don't give two sh!ts what you are downloading and their networks generally don't have the peak capacity that cable does. The cable companies are petrified of becoming "dumb pipes" and will do (or try) anything to make sure that does not happen. Ugly paradigm shift doesn't even begin to describe what is going to happen.
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post #40 of 73
It's a purely speculative report, sure, but me personally? I would buy such a product.

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MacBook Pro 15" | Intel Core2 Duo 2.66GHz | 320GB HDD | OS X v10.9
Black/Space Grey iPad Air with Wi-Fi & LTE | 128GB | On 4GEE
White iPhone 5 | 64GB | On 3UK

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