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Apple moving forward with streaming TV service even as content providers resist - Page 2

post #41 of 67
I'll wait until there's some real information on the table rather than 4th hand rumors from people who aren't even part of the process. Do you really think the NY Post knows what is going on? Or that they could be trusted to report it accurately even if they did?
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post #42 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

I don't buy this story. Apple have known since forever that content holders would oppose any attempt to push them out. I think Apple's plan is to bring them in. The Apple TV should be as attractive to content providers and the iPhone is to developers.

Here's my guess;
Apple will let content holders sell channels, through the Channel Store at any price they want. Apple will take 30%. Apple will deliver all content through the internet from a data center. Recording, previewing is done at the data centre. A building sized TiVO can record everything.

Currently, most content providers have to work hard for each new subscription. They need billing centres, they need cable and dish installers, technical support and they often subsidise PVR equipment. Even with high subscription fees, it might be 18 months before they see any return on a new customer.

Customers are then unwilling to subscribe because of the long contracts.

With the channel store model, the end-user presses "subscribe" and they are connected to that content instantly. The new channel package slots right in alongside the others.

For the user, they get a flat interface, searching, no boxes, infinite recording- and the best thing: Live multi-screen browsing. See all your channels at once.

For the content vendor, they get immediate revenue, can slash installation costs and hand-over technical support to someone else. Apple will let them charge whatever they like.

If there are arguments happening, I bet they are over ownership of customer viewing data, ease of cancellation that sort of thing.

C.

I think you are on the money on this one. The simple truth is that Apple can't do anything without the studios. They can make the greatest TV in the world, but the only way to improve on the current model/make it worth a premium over other companies is to do something like you mentioned above.

Apple isn't going to buy one of the content providers. At best you have 1 'channel' at that point & it won't work, as people would still have to subscribe to cable to get anything else. Apple TV rentals dind't work because only 2 channels ABC & Fox (in the US) were on board. You couldn't watch any CBS or NBC shows at all on the Apple TV withouth buying them on your computer & then streaming them that way. It was too many steps. Apple wants simple (& 30%).
post #43 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunbow View Post

Market cap of Time Warner is $37bn; Apple could buy them and have lots of content to start the ball rolling!

Yes, but would they shoot themselves in the foot if they did that? The other studios may be less likely to sign up in that scenario. One thing they certainly should do is buy the rights to Sky Sports when they come up on the chopping block. No question. Owning the rights to Sky Sports in Europe would give them huge leverage here. iTunes Sports? : )
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post #44 of 67
I see Apple releasing streaming stuff for iTunes, yeah.

That in no way implies a television.

It DOES imply that every ISP on the planet will start throttling and capping people. Apple doing this will kill the Internet as we know it right now. Home Internet access will become like AT&T's data.

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post #45 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

That's only one county though, Apple are very global now and buying major networks and or cable companies in every country would be a mind boggling and complex mess. Steve always preached that keeping it simple and sticking with what you do works best and so far that seems to be working. They didn't have to buy any music labels to shift the earth under the music industry. However, I agree with others here that the film industry is terrified of losing control and probably see the music industry as a model they don't want for them. I don't really understand that as it is universally accepted the music industry was saved by Apple. Somehow the film industry need to realize they might actually be beter off moving in to a new, 21st century distribution model and Apple are the best company to deliver that.

As I under stand it, some of the "music industry" rights affect the "movie" and maybe "TV" industry rights. Isn't it true that a movie DVD will often have different sound tracks for different countries -- because the background songs are licensed separately for different countries.
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post #46 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

Sports programming might well be the key. If they could get content from those you listed plus NASCAR, that would be a viable offering in the US. Add in soccer and they have a world offering.

I expect Apple to strike a deal with the PAC 12 for their college sports content. It isn't national but they have been forward thinking with their distribution strategy, have mentioned the potential of working with Apple and Google, and most importantly have not sold off the rights to all of their content. Although Fox and ESPN hold some rights the PAC 12 retained good content for their own uses.

I'd sign up for it to watch USC, Stanford, Oregon, and Utah football. It may not be a coup like an ESPN agreement but it would be a good foot in the door. Plus a good way to use the PAC 12 global expansion plans for some Asian markets.
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post #47 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

As I under stand it, some of the "music industry" rights affect the "movie" and maybe "TV" industry rights. Isn't it true that a movie DVD will often have different sound tracks for different countries -- because the background songs are licensed separately for different countries.

I would not doubt that for a moment ... it's not hard to see why this is such a hard mess to try to wrap arms around.
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post #48 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Yes, but would they shoot themselves in the foot if they did that? The other studios may be less likely to sign up in that scenario. One thing they certainly should do is buy the rights to Sky Sports when they come up on the chopping block. No question. Owning the rights to Sky Sports in Europe would give them huge leverage here. iTunes Sports? : )

Seems to me your first point would apply to your second point.
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post #49 of 67
Television's old business model of ad-supported broadcasts is fading and Apple is making a good move. For several years, I've suspected that television watchers expectations are changing. Increasingly, they want to watch shows when convenient for them and without ads. Even more important, they're willing to pay for that convenience now that the technology makes the cost reasonable. Apple is willing to provide the channel and hardware. We now have to wait for the content providers to adapt. This is an industry that's been around, fat and comfortable, since the 1950s. They won't turn on a dime.
post #50 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfiejr View Post

the only way Apple is going to break these guys' stranglehold over content is ... buy an independent distribution net. like buy DISH, and even better, Echo Star's global satellites too. the key choke point is bandwidth. plus the $'s to back up the threat. get them by the balls.

once Apple can threaten global cheap distribution of competing content, the medicos will finally cave in. pick them off one by one.

Apple has the cash. for chrissake, pull the trigger.

I've been thinking the same for a while now. The only way to bypass the cable companies is through satellite. Apple could easily buy a satellite company and beam TV & Broadband via a dish direct to your Apple TV bypassing the cable companies altogether. Broadband via satellite is still a minor player compared to cable but it has potential and they are expanding the bandwidth and upload/download speeds all the time.
post #51 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

I don't buy this story. Apple have known since forever that content holders would oppose any attempt to push them out. I think Apple's plan is to bring them in. The Apple TV should be as attractive to content providers and the iPhone is to developers.

Here's my guess;
Apple will let content holders sell channels, through the Channel Store at any price they want. Apple will take 30%. Apple will deliver all content through the internet from a data center. Recording, previewing is done at the data centre. A building sized TiVO can record everything.

Currently, most content providers have to work hard for each new subscription. They need billing centres, they need cable and dish installers, technical support and they often subsidise PVR equipment. Even with high subscription fees, it might be 18 months before they see any return on a new customer.

Customers are then unwilling to subscribe because of the long contracts.

With the channel store model, the end-user presses "subscribe" and they are connected to that content instantly. The new channel package slots right in alongside the others.

For the user, they get a flat interface, searching, no boxes, infinite recording- and the best thing: Live multi-screen browsing. See all your channels at once.

For the content vendor, they get immediate revenue, can slash installation costs and hand-over technical support to someone else. Apple will let them charge whatever they like.

If there are arguments happening, I bet they are over ownership of customer viewing data, ease of cancellation that sort of thing.

C.

Bingo. I think this is the "I cracked it" idea Steve had. Steve was all about the best products with the best options for users; the antithesis of the cable companies. I have an HDTV on my wall that is seldom on. I simply refuse to pay the absurd rates for anything but basic HD. I wanted to add the NBC Universal content, as occasionally they have a few things I might put on. Comcast wanted like $50/mo to get access to that. I will not pay that price. But consider how live streaming of many sports events would be done - many have built TV timeouts into the very games themselves, so the networks can run commercials.

Instant pay per view access to the stuff people actually want is the nuts.
post #52 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

It's really hard to see how Apple moves forward.

Even if they bought an independent distributor, they may well need reapproval for licensing of any content distributed through that entity. This is much like the Netflix deal which makes Netflix less attractive because the content licensing does not automatically follow to the new ownership.

I had thought Apple might create a small production company to fund indie filmmakers but this would just antagonize the major studios and probably wouldn't buy them much clout.

My other thought was Apple convincing cable companies that they could build a better set-top box (and I am sure they could). But the cable companies are loath to give Apple control of the interface because they lose the ability to promote what they wish (are paid for) in their programming guides and such.

I personally would like to see them tie up with PBS in the US - PBS needs the funding and they produce and distribute good content.

The killer is live sports. That's the pitch the satellite carriers always make in claiming their superiority over cable. Since ESPN is owned by Disney, there is maybe a chance of a deal here.

Apple has been working on this for quite some time with little to show. If they cannot get Disney on board, the rest will be even more difficult. Getting Disney would provide them with feature film, TV and sports programming. Maybe we see some movement here soon (Iger on Apple's board).

In the end I think Apple will probably simply allow the content providers to sell their content directly through Apps like they do with MLB. It doesn't make sense for Apple to act as a broadcaster or a distributor of content. Look how much Netflix is having to pay out to the studios to stream their content. Those deals are going to bankrupt Netflix in the end. Better to let all the networks have their own apps and sell the content directly IMHO. That way users can pick and chose what networks/channels they want.

Eventually every TV station/network will have their own app so users can pick and chose. It might not work out any cheaper but at least we get to watch the content on our iPad.
post #53 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljocampo View Post

I was thinking sports too, was the key to the front door, as @penchanted suggest. If Apple could get MLB, NFL, ESPN, and world soccer, they wouldn't even need Hollywood. When Hollywood sees the massive sports profits, they'll come begging for a piece of the action. Apple has plenty of cash and IMO they should sponsor World Sports Events.

Exactly. Think about - what do most people get cable for? Sports and Movies.

Movies: You can already rent or buy all the movies now on the AppleTV via iTunes generally before they are shown on the cable movie channels.

Sports: You can already buy an App to watch live MLB. All they have to do is roll that out to other sports like soccer, tennis, cricket (hey come on I am English lol), etc.

Then what's left? The networks - that's not a problem just put a local OTA TV receiver in the AppleTV - bit like a Freeview box here in the UK.

Finally the few good channels on cable with original programming like HBO, Discovery, National Geographic, Eurosport, ESPN, Sky in the UK, etc - if they agree let them sell their channels as Apps for a monthly fee. Whatever they want to charge - Apple just gets its usual 30% cut.
post #54 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

Exactly. Think about - what do most people get cable for? Sports and Movies.

Movies: You can already rent or buy all the movies now on the AppleTV via iTunes generally before they are shown on the cable movie channels.

Sports: You can already buy an App to watch live MLB. All they have to do is roll that out to other sports like soccer, tennis, cricket (hey come on I am English lol), etc.

Then what's left? The networks - that's not a problem just put a local OTA TV receiver in the AppleTV - bit like a Freeview box here in the UK.

Finally the few good channels on cable with original programming like HBO, Discovery, National Geographic, Eurosport, ESPN, Sky in the UK, etc - if they agree let them sell their channels as Apps for a monthly fee. Whatever they want to charge - Apple just gets its usual 30% cut.

I can access NHL on Apple TV, but it requires a season pass from the league. At like $150, its a bit spendy, and...there is no preview period. I gotta plop down $150 before I see if it is really any good. Still, I would do this if I didn't have access to CBC HNIC via the cable provider at a elevated, but acceptable, price. I do like HNIC.

Gotta say...if the AAPL dudes can make live sports PPV happen, they'll change the world. Here's to the crazy ones.
post #55 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

Your reasoning is very convincing.

As much as I hate most TV- broadcasting, to see Apple getting a foothold in this buissnes the way you suggest, would be most pleasant. And if they could put a little pressure on the TV producers to improve the quality of their content, everybody will gain a lot.

The only way to improve content would be to have new content written.

That would mean hiring WRITERS for heavens sakes.

The studio execs, all of them, are allergic to artistic talent. They are low rise obstacles.

Whether Apple does anything or nothing--
there will ultimately come a day when we have freelance blogger journalists, and lots of kids writing and filming all kinds of content that WILL find its way out. The cream will rise to the top. That day just cannot get here soon enough for me. I am so bored with TV, movies and news.

With Final Cut and all the motion graphics software available now, we are at the jumping off place. Correction, we have just now jumped off the cliff, time to spread wings and fly!
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post #56 of 67
I would just like to have a better version of Netflix with higher quality video at the same price. Netflix doesn't have a great library of newer TV shows or movies. That needs to change. Hulu+ just isn't good enough yet for me to spend money with them.

On Netflix one can select movies and TV shows and put them in a list. I've got over 100 in my list and none of them are compelling enough for me to want to watch them immediately. It's as if I'm putting them in a line for watching sometime in the future when the mood hits me.

There are some broadcast TV shows that I eagerly await each week. As soon as they are available on their network web sites I watch them. That type of anticipation is lacking for me with the Netflix library.

It would make sense for the TV networks and movie studios to attach themselves to the most valuable company in the world. If Apple ever gets a foothold into this industry they would be able to put a lot of hurt on media companies. Apple has a good thing going and it could be better. I hope they do improve and come up with a streaming service with the additional pay per view service too.
post #57 of 67
Could Apple (behind the scenes) convince some big content providers to sign long term contracts with the studios (say 10 years with fixed price payment for content over those years.), lock-it in.... THEN while the ink is still wet, swoop in and buy the provider(s) with contracts in place and full reign to redo the interface and service/price to end-user.

?

Probably not possible. But it would make a good movie.
post #58 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

[...] Tipsters indicated, however, that Apple is prioritizing bringing a streaming TV service to market first before launching its own TV set. [...]]

That's the logical and prudent way to go. Roll out the streaming TV service on Apple TV 3 boxes (and possibly on the Apple TV 2 boxes as well.) That would let Apple refine the technology and get empirical marketing data before rolling out their Apple-branded TV set. They could perfect the content delivery solution while still hiding the real Apple television set's features until it is announced.

So we probably won't be seeing any Apple television set until at least 2013. That gives Sharp time to perfect their advanced OLED manufacturing technology. Apple and Sharp are supposedly working on advanced OLED production methods as well as IGZO-based LCD panel technology. And apparently that technology wasn't ready in time for iPad 3. But in a year or so, it could be ready for Apple's HDTV solution.

But even then, we won't be seeing all of what Apple could do in the TV space. Sure, an Apple TV in your living room will likely be a game-changer in consumer electronics. But to really change TV forever, Apple needs to deliver content to all Apple devices. And that will require "the real 4G," which won't be ready for years. LTE is just a halfway technology. It bridges the gap between 3G and 4G, but it still requires separate voice and data connections and is far slower than the minimum 4G speeds as recommended in the ITU 4G guideline document.

So even if Apple ships a television set next year, we'll still have to wait until at least 2016 before we see Apple completely recreate the TV industry in its own image. Should be worth the wait.

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post #59 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

That's the logical and prudent way to go. Roll out the streaming TV service on Apple TV 3 boxes (and possibly on the Apple TV 2 boxes as well.) That would let Apple refine the technology and get empirical marketing data before rolling out their Apple-branded TV set. They could perfect the content delivery solution while still hiding the real Apple television set's features until it is announced.

So we probably won't be seeing any Apple television set until at least 2013. That gives Sharp time to perfect their advanced OLED manufacturing technology. Apple and Sharp are supposedly working on advanced OLED production methods as well as IGZO-based LCD panel technology. And apparently that technology wasn't ready in time for iPad 3. But in a year or so, it could be ready for Apple's HDTV solution.

But even then, we won't be seeing all of what Apple could do in the TV space. Sure, an Apple TV in your living room will likely be a game-changer in consumer electronics. But to really change TV forever, Apple needs to deliver content to all Apple devices. And that will require "the real 4G," which won't be ready for years. LTE is just a halfway technology. It bridges the gap between 3G and 4G, but it still requires separate voice and data connections and is far slower than the minimum 4G speeds as recommended in the ITU 4G guideline document.

So even if Apple ships a television set next year, we'll still have to wait until at least 2016 before we see Apple completely recreate the TV industry in its own image. Should be worth the wait.

Sharp are predicting a rapid rise in sales of their IGZO panels through 2012. Will be very interesting to see what screen is on the iPad 3.
post #60 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


An earlier poster made the point that bandwidth is the choking point for streamed Internet TV...

.....

Very interesting hypothesis and it certainly sounds like the type of thing about which Steve would have said "I've finally cracked it." Apple is no longer the enemy but the enabler, inducing the distributors to buy in.

This would actually be a good opportunity for Apple because it would provide a non-retail channel (I'm assuming Apple sells the STB to the cable companies) to monetize their hard work. I've been thinking the same about in-car systems: Microsoft has their Sync technology which they sell to car manufacturers and Apple needs to have something similar (Siri) to sell at this level.
post #61 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

Very interesting hypothesis and it certainly sounds like the type of thing about which Steve would have said "I've finally cracked it." Apple is no longer the enemy but the enabler, inducing the distributors to buy in.

This would actually be a good opportunity for Apple because it would provide a non-retail channel (I'm assuming Apple sells the STB to the cable companies) to monetize their hard work. I've been thinking the same about in-car systems: Microsoft has their Sync technology which they sell to car manufacturers and Apple needs to have something similar (Siri) to sell at this level.

'Steve would have said "I've finally cracked it." Apple is no longer the enemy but the enabler, inducing the distributors to buy in.'

Ohh... what an elegant way you describe it -- wish I'd said that!

As to the STBs...

At our home there are the following boxes where the u-vers cable enters the family room:

1) Cable Modem

2) Cable STB

3) AirPort Extreme WiFi

4) Apple TV

I believe that these 4 boxes could be combined into 1 box -- that could broadcast or receive (AirPlay) to/from any Mac or iDevice within range.
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post #62 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

As to the STBs...

At our home there are the following boxes where the u-vers cable enters the family room:

1) Cable Modem

2) Cable STB

The current balkanised TV hardware mess has multiple services being amalgamated at the back of the television itself. This requires numerous external boxes, each with their own UI. All doing pretty much the same thing. Duplicating the hardware, driving up the cost while confounding the user.

The smart place to do this service amalgamation is in a data center.

All the channels, and all the recording are done in one place.
And then a single content stream is sent to each device.

C.
post #63 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

The current balkanised TV hardware mess has multiple services being amalgamated at the back of the television itself. This requires numerous external boxes, each with their own UI. All doing pretty much the same thing. Duplicating the hardware, driving up the cost while confounding the user.

The smart place to do this service amalgamation is in a data center.

All the channels, and all the recording are done in one place.
And then a single content stream is sent to each device.

C.

This approach could solve several issues for cable providers who currently multicast highly-compressed video for multiple channels to each customer. Your approach would allow a single uncompressed stream of much higher quality likely with much lower bandwidth cost.
post #64 of 67
What would be awesome would be the ability to subscribe to a channel that you actually want and not be tied in and paying for other channels that you don't care. Imagine each subscription per channel is 2 dollars per month. And if the major television companies want to start a new channel, they should offer a free preview and see if people are willing to subscribe for the content that the channel is offering. Like many people have said in this board, this change will make tv companies provide better programming for the viewer. I am really excited in possibilities Apple could change in the television industry.
post #65 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by mexkhmer View Post

What would be awesome would be the ability to subscribe to a channel that you actually want and not be tied in and paying for other channels that you don't care. Imagine each subscription per channel is 2 dollars per month.

I've heard that number tossed around recently

The cost per channel now is already under a dollar. If they're still going to force-feed us ads and all the other shows on the channel that we wouldn't watch, I'd like to see $0.99 a month.

Do you have ANY idea how many people would sign up for individual channels at $0.99 per month?! Even though they're already paying less per channel through traditional means, they'd completely ignore that they're paying more if they could have JUST the channels they wanted (and more if they could have just the SHOWS they wanted, but).

Quote:
this change will make tv companies provide better programming for the viewer.

Which is why they don't want to do it. Apple's model will force television channels to actually make shows that people want to watch instead of the drivel that exists now. They won't have the luxury of contractual obligations and multi-channel packages.

Quote:
I am really excited in possibilities Apple could change in the television industry.

And they're the only ones who can.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #66 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

That's only one county though, Apple are very global now and buying major networks and or cable companies in every country would be a mind boggling and complex mess. Steve always preached that keeping it simple and sticking with what you do works best and so far that seems to be working. They didn't have to buy any music labels to shift the earth under the music industry. However, I agree with others here that the film industry is terrified of losing control and probably see the music industry as a model they don't want for them. I don't really understand that as it is universally accepted the music industry was saved by Apple. Somehow the film industry need to realize they might actually be beter off moving in to a new, 21st century distribution model and Apple are the best company to deliver that.

If the content is supplied through the cloud then surely having Warner would enable all Warner material to be provided in any country?

Having one big one like this along with say, Disney, would be enough to show people want it and money can be made throught this 21st century approach.

I agree with you on keeping things simple; Apple could leave Time Warner to be run as a wholly-owned subsidiary like FileMaker, so Apple does not have to become directly expert in managing this kind of industry but has access to all the content. Or, apple could buy 51% of the stock and simply vote in shareholder arrangements that they should be supplied with all relevant content!

Evidently Sony, having been burned on the Betamax thing by not being able to ensure content was available, moved to buy a studio (although obviously they put their own name on it) in order to ensure content for future ventures.
post #67 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I think you have a good point. All the cable cos I know of still push MPEG-2. An Apple box that could decode H.264/AAC would be easy for Apple to make and would reduce their bandwidth costs tremendously.

The one caveat might be to encode the content at the source. How does it get sent to the cable cos? What kind of cost is involved for changing out equipment for using a better codec? How long would you need to support both systems at the same time until your entire system is converted? Is this even feasible?



PS: That image is huge. A smaller version for the forum would still clearly show the ratio differences.

Considering how many are still broadcasting HD recorded shows in SD, I have my doubts this will ever happen. Cable is especially bad, but then they'd benefit most from a changed approach to the content delivery. Not holding my breath.
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