Originally Posted by paxman
Yup, I tend to agree, but the concept of a set-top box is clunky. A flat screen with only a power cable is so much more Apple like.
Sure, it's certainly cleaner, but it also raises a lot of issues like cost, profit, market saturation, longevity of the computer parts to the TV parts. It was never a good fit with VHS, DVD or Blu-ray.
The only way that it works is when you plug something into the TV set that can be removed, like with CableCards, but those are completely flawed for other reasons. Outside of partnering with cable companies Apple could partner with TV makers to create a standard for which AppleTV HW can plug into a TV and then become the TV's one and only interface. That too has failed but it's not like HP had a good business model.
As for the clunkiness it's really just one data/video cable and a power cable, both of which plug into cable boxes so you can go your entire life of the TV without ever having to use the TV remote. It's just a dumb monitor. Of course, you have to use it DVD and whatnot if you have other HEC appliances connected but both the cable companies, networks and Apple aren't so concerned with that. The harder it is to go to those the more likely you won't go to those. They know they will be the primary content device in use. If it really came down to it I think Apple could also have a box that had an HDMI passthrough for a Blu-ray player in the back so you could switch to that appliance from the set top box, but I don't' see that happening.
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss
Cost to the cable companies? Do you think they lose money renting these boxes? In fact while you posit this as an advantage, it is more probably the biggest point of resistance from the cable companies.
They lose money when they pay for these boxes up front just like carriers lose money when they pay for iPhones up front. They only make it back after many months of fees.
That's part of the nut to crack; getting the cable companies to beg for Apple despite Apple's history of dominating the market they're in and turning their partners into feeble subordinates. Remember the first AppleTV? They announced that in the Fall of 2006 as iTV. It didn't even have a price, release date, or even a proper name. That was highly unusual for Apple. I think it's because they were trying to show the movie industry how they could protect their content whilst distributing it. I don't think they played ball because they were afraid Apple would do to them what they did to the music industry. Sure, Apple saved it but Apple also controlled it as a result. The AppleTV was finally released with only Disney on board and it was much less important to Apple than it could have been.
Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore
You assume to much in my comment. I never said they'd be the ISP. You get get your own ISP.
They'd use "Internet Protocol" over the internet, encrypted (scrambled) then decrypted in the TV.
Where you have cable TV you have the cable co supplying internet. Sure, there are other fast options in certain areas but you are most likely to going to be using your cable company for internet and TV access.