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Full-fledged television considered 'more in tune' with Apple than simple set-top box

post #1 of 191
Thread Starter 
With Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook admitting that television is an area of "intense interest" for his company, pundits have debated whether Apple would build a full television set or simply enhance upon the existing Apple TV accessory.

Maynard Um of Wells Fargo Securities said on Friday in a research note provided to AppleInsider that he believes a full television set would be "more in tune with Apple's strategy" than an enhanced set-top box. He said he believes Apple would "relish" the opportunity to place the company's logo as "the centerpiece of the living room."

"While CEO Tim Cook did not outright state it would release a television set, his indication that it was 'an area of intense interest' suggests, to us, that Apple will eventually enter this market and round out the fourth and only missing screen in its ecosystem," Um wrote.

He believes that a key part of the Apple television will be Siri, the company's voice-driven personal assistant software currently found on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. He believes that Apple's functionality will help to differentiate its product from other existing television sets on the market.

The main obstacle, in Um's view, is content. While Apple may be able to build a television set quickly, the company will need to secure deals for live television and more before it could launch a product. As a result, he doesn't see an Apple television launching until the second half of 2013, or perhaps even 2014.

iMac


Rumors have an Apple television set have persisted for years, but the possibility of a greatly enhanced Apple TV set-top box as an accessory for third-party televisions was raised this August. A report from The Wall Street Journal revealed that Apple was considering building its own cable box that would include an iOS-like user interface and advanced cloud-based DVR functionality that would blur the line between live and on-demand content.

Whether Apple is working on a television, a cable box, or nothing at all, Cook has helped to fuel speculation with comments he made in an interview that aired this week on NBC's Rock Center.

"When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years," Cook told journalist Brian Williams. "It's an area of intense interest. I can't say more than that."

Of course, Cook said nothing that would confirm or deny any potential plans for an Apple television, instead opting to refer to his fondness for visions of the future from the animated show "The Jetsons." Williams himself admitted it was "frustrating" trying to pry answers from Apple's elusive CEO.
post #2 of 191

Everyone's whining about hardware, no one's talking about content. 


It's just the same old frigging TV box unless there's a service designed specifically for it.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #3 of 191
The set-top box idea is dead. Not going to happen.

They just fall right off of modern TVs.
post #4 of 191
i've held out on buying a new tv for more than a year now.

if this thing isn't announced in January, i'm buying the [ugh] samsung tv and hoping whatever apple comes up with can be implemented as a new apple tv box as well.
post #5 of 191
I agree that Apple doesn't want some new wow product on your screen while you're looking at an LG or Samsung logo. But I don't see them doing anything until they have something figured out on the content side. Maybe they'll do both TV set and something with ATV for those who aren't in the market for a new TV set. Still I think the notion that nobody would buy an Apple branded TV is silly.
post #6 of 191
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post
The set-top box idea is dead. Not going to happen.
They just fall right off of modern TVs.

 

1000

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #7 of 191
Expect full fledged TV with Loewe designs...
http://www.loewe.tv/int

Time will tell.
post #8 of 191

Why stick with a set-top box when even in *this* segment, Apple can design and release a complete turn-key solution - hardware AND software?

 

Apple software running on someone else's non-Apple branded and non-Apple designed hardware makes no sense as a long-term strategy. It is not a solution. Treat the TV like any other device to be re-imagined. The "computer" itself, MP3 players, phones, tablets, and now TVs. Same deal. Just another device to re-make. 

post #9 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

I agree that Apple doesn't want some new wow product on your screen while you're looking at an LG or Samsung logo. But I don't see them doing anything until they have something figured out on the content side. Maybe they'll do both TV set and something with ATV for those who aren't in the market for a new TV set. Still I think the notion that nobody would buy an Apple branded TV is silly.

An Apple branded TV makes a lot of sense to me - but Apple likes to disrupt and a new set doesn't disrupt anything. A new Apple television set will come when the content side is work out. Hardware / content / user experience - when those element are all under Apple's control, it will be announced. I suspect that the HW and SW is waiting in the wings as we speak. And I totally agree with the headline - a set is 'more in tune' with Apple than a set-top box, no matter how much most people on AI rationalise otherwise.

post #10 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Everyone's whining about hardware, no one's talking about content. 

It's just the same old frigging TV box unless there's a service designed specifically for it.

This is what I don't think others are getting. Sure, we know Apple for making the AIO units and having control of the entire process but it's that current TV sets aren't good (and they certainly haven't been profitable in and of themselves) but it's about how to access content and what content you access that is important.

I think Apple could make a lot more money by selling a digibox that 100 million people buy in 2 years than selling 10 million TVs over 2 years. The TV is, after all, just a display whose one big difference is the number of sizes that are needed to suit the HECs, bedrooms, boardrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, etc. they sit in.

I'd much rather be able to have all the TVs in the house connected to boxes I bought from Apple without having to replace any TVs, than have to buy a new TV for each room just to get a useful UI, services, and content. I'm simply not going to put a large HDTV in the guest bedroom but I'd be fine if I could spend a couple hundred on a box for it.

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post #11 of 191
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
I'd much rather be able to have all the TVs in the house connected to boxes I bought from Apple without having to replace any TVs, than have to buy a new TV for each room just to get a useful UI, services, and content. I'm simply not going to put a large HDTV in the guest bedroom but I'd be fine if I could spend a couple hundred on a box for it.

 

Exactly. Completely crazy.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #12 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Why stick with a set-top box when even in *this* segment, Apple can design and release a complete turn-key solution - hardware AND software?

Apple software running on someone else's non-Apple branded and non-Apple designed hardware makes no sense as a long-term strategy. It is not a solution. Treat the TV like any other device to be re-imagined. The "computer" itself, MP3 players, phones, tablets, and now TVs. Same deal. Just another device to re-make. 

A digibox is a HW and SW solution.

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

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post #13 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Why stick with a set-top box when even in *this* segment, Apple can design and release a complete turn-key solution - hardware AND software?

 

Apple software running on someone else's non-Apple branded and non-Apple designed hardware makes no sense as a long-term strategy. It is not a solution. Treat the TV like any other device to be re-imagined. The "computer" itself, MP3 players, phones, tablets, and now TVs. Same deal. Just another device to re-make. 

slow down....  take a breath, and understand that AppleTV is a Set Top box where Apple controls the HW and the SW.

 

Apple 'iMac' solution to TV the end game, but until then, AppleTV  is the transition tool. 

post #14 of 191
I'll bet Apple had the TV designed already. Just waiting for the technology to be ready and for the media contracts to fall into place.
post #15 of 191
Dear Appl Insider. Have you TRIED entering comments from an iPhone?

It's ghastly.
post #16 of 191

I actually think we will see both. The core product as a standalone that will integrate with say 75% of the content delivery features, and a premium screen package that's an all in one complete Apple TV product. 

 

Apple isn't stupid, TVs are not $200 iPods and iPhones. They're still major appliances that people update when broken or maybe every 5-10 years. The majority of people are not going to toss a $1000 product for a more expensive product $1000+ product to watch the same Walking Dead or Monday Night Football overnight.  Regardless of the unicorns, Apple pixie dust involved, the content is still the content, and the big dollars are still real money. In fact I see more people interested in getting their content on portable devices (iPads and laptops) than on big screens these days anyway, but that's a whole other story. 

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post #17 of 191

The only way that Apple is coming out with an actual "TV set" (and by the way, they're not), is if it is simply the next iteration (or replacement) of the iMac.

post #18 of 191
They were just talking about this on CNBC and all the guys who think they're so smart said Apple would come out with a TV set. Of course these same yahoos whined that Apple released too many products this year and people are going to think twice now about buying Apple stuff because of concerns over shelf life. 1rolleyes.gif let's not forget the people complaining now were the same ones saying Apple has to release a smaller iPad to compete with the Kindle Fire. Now they're complaining that Apple released too many products with not enough differentiation. And even iPhone and iPad mini supplies were a negative with one clown suggesting because iPhone shipping times have decreased that means fewer people are buying the product. Of course if iPhone shipping times were still 2-3 weeks then they'd be complaining about Apple not managing their supply chain effectively. It's basically heads I win tails you lose. Even though they're all hating on Apple they've upped their target on iPhone sales to 50M so if Apple doesn't sell at least 50M this quarter it will be a failure. 1rolleyes.gif
post #19 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

The only way that Apple is coming out with an actual "TV set" (and by the way, they're not), is if it is simply the next iteration (or replacement) of the iMac.
just curious how you know what Apple is or isn't going to do?
post #20 of 191
Originally Posted by blackfrog View Post
Dear Appl Insider. Have you TRIED entering comments from an iPhone?
It's ghastly.

 

Did you switch to the mobile site?

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #21 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


This is what I don't think others are getting. Sure, we know Apple for making the AIO units and having control of the entire process but it's that current TV sets aren't good (and they certainly haven't been profitable in and of themselves) but it's about how to access content and what content you access that is important.
 

And a box in the 'middle' will confuse people.

 

 

 

Quote:
I think Apple could make a lot more money by selling a digibox that 100 million people buy in 2 years than selling 10 million TVs over 2 years. The TV is, after all, just a display whose one big difference is the number of sizes that are needed to suit the HECs, bedrooms, boardrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, etc. they sit in.
I'd much rather be able to have all the TVs in the house connected to boxes I bought from Apple without having to replace any TVs, than have to buy a new TV for each room just to get a useful UI, services, and content. I'm simply not going to put a large HDTV in the guest bedroom but I'd be fine if I could spend a couple hundred on a box for it.

 

Apple's solution for this:  iPad 4 with AirPlay sold to 200Million People (not 1 per house, but 1 per person), and AppleTV on the TVs you haven't converted (at $99, it's cheaper than the Monster Cables you connected your TV to your HT system).

 

I really dont' think 1 box per house works well in Apple's model.  Apple is about 'personal' service (you iPad doesn't even have multi-profiles for different users).  A central digibox is more complex than your average household head wants to spend time with. 

 

Really think about it.  It's Apple's DNA to 

1) manage your content at the iOS device/AppleID

2) eliminate all 'intermediate boxes [hard and soft and corporate] between you and your content

 

Apple's ideal model is to move everything into an

1) aTV/iTunes ordering model

2) deliver content over the Internet bandwidth

3) control all of this through a single interface (AirPlay or Apple Remote...Siri Enabled)

 

The gotcha in all this is the 'OTA/Live' stuff.   Can I get HDTV quality feeds of live NFL,NBA, NCAA competitions?  How will this be monetized?  What about Local News (some people do watch it... and I did like to watch my kid on TV when she was on the sports highlights or the Edu Cable Access Channel).

 

This and the recalcitrance of the Cable corps makes me think that a True Apple TV (TV with iOS) and the Apple TV box, will be 'cable aware' and will Siri enable your cable/OTA watching experience.  It's a long game position (much like DRM was needed to get music into iTunes), that eventually will die out as Apple strikes disintermediation deals with Content Creators who then bypass the cable companies and sell direct to the Internet using Apple/Amazon/Google/Netflix methods of steerage.  This bypasses Classic Advertising, Networks, Cable companies, which will take a lot of time to disintermediate.

post #22 of 191
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post
And a box in the 'middle' will confuse people.

 

Eh? Stupid panel. Plug it in. Only control that. Nothing else. TV is a screen. Period. Everything's on the box. Pure profit, easy upgrades, sell more than one per household.


will be 'cable aware' and will Siri enable your cable/OTA watching experience.

 

Apple's in the revolution game.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #23 of 191
In my view, the main point of a "whole" TV would be to be able to offer a simple user interface with a small and simple remote instead of the multiple remotes and configurations that people are still tolerating.

I imagine turning on said TV and being presented with an interface something like the current AppleTV box provides. That would be the "main" interface as opposed to the current tv interfaces where you start with the tv remote, chose your input channel, switch to respective remote and continue. Apple's content would now be at the forefront instead of behind the usual TV functions.

Ideally Apple would provide within that new interface a bunch of content but they don't need to start with a full package. Within that new slick interface and simple remote they can have submenu's that connect you to your regular set-top box or whatever else. Again, the difference is those things are in the backseat and with time they will just fade away.

Lastly, I don't see why Siri would be so important in all of this.
post #24 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I'd much rather be able to have all the TVs in the house connected to boxes I bought from Apple without having to replace any TVs, than have to buy a new TV for each room just to get a useful UI, services, and content. I'm simply not going to put a large HDTV in the guest bedroom but I'd be fine if I could spend a couple hundred on a box for it.
Apple would never be stupid enough to go down the route of forcing people to buy a television in order to get their solution. But I do see them offering two solutions. One would be something like the current ATV, the other would be a fully integrated television set. Whatever they do I don't see them coming out with anything until they can really do something different.
post #25 of 191
I expect that Apple will to release a TV and update the set top box. Similar to the way you can buy an iMac or go with the Mac mini and your own display.

I think the game changer will be updating the Apple TV OS to be more like iOS and incorporate third-party apps. Of course they need more content, but third-pary apps could lead to using apps as channels.
post #26 of 191
Originally Posted by Dr. Phil View Post
I expect that Apple will to release a TV and update the set top box.


Please tell me why I would purchase a $2,000 product that does the exact same thing as a $99 product, and I don't have to dispose of my old television with the latter.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #27 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

And a box in the 'middle' will confuse people.

How have people used digiboxes since the 1980s if they are too confusing to use?

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post #28 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by winstein2010 View Post

I'll bet Apple had the TV designed already. Just waiting for the technology to be ready and for the media contracts to fall into place.

the technology is ready  (Siri plus AppleTV guts stuck inside TV, audio out to your HT system)... the issue is the contracts, and with whom.

 

Look at iTunes and iPhone.  The former it went to the equivalent of the networks (labels), not the cable companies (stores).  However, the Cable Companies are the Internet in most houses, like wireless carriers delivered phone service  However, the difference is that there was competition in phone carriers, where as Cable companies have local monopolies.   

 

Netflix's win of Disney (I can't imagine Apple NOT in that Bid) Content is a big big big chink in the armor of the middle tier cable networks.  And Disney may be 'testing' it's capabilities (remember Disney  Huger than Huge in Content. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assets_owned_by_Disney ), and Mrs Jobs is 'the' significant shareholder.   If it works (Disney makes money, Netflix makes money), then Disney can start disintermediating all the Cable Cos (Remember when ESPN wanted to raise it's price on ComCast?  Think about ESPN properties being a $10/month subscription on iTunes 'Live').... Until then... Disney makes it's money just like the cable companies do... charges the distributors as if EVERYONE is watching their content.  Why would they want to give that up?  Only if they can make more money.

post #29 of 191
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
How have people used digiboxes since the 1980s if they are too confusing to use?

 

"No one was ever able to program their VCR. Tens of millions of boxes flashing '12:00' from creation to destruction. Therefore, a box in between is too confusing."

 

Never mind that the same tens of millions now successfully use telecom-provided DVRs whose interfaces are both slow and hideous as sin…

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #30 of 191
There is no reason Apple cannot do both. A great TV and linking boxes seems logical to me, I would by the TV and four boxes.
post #31 of 191
I'm not sure there is money to be made building a tv screen when the prices for all but the super high end have been falling along with profit margins. I don't think Siri would work either since it barely works on an iPhone. I think the key is the delivery of content more the way iTunes pretty much eliminated the CD and stores that sold them. Apple may be making a deal with networks to distribute show and other content in favor of an a la carte style contract replacing the tiered system cable companies use now. I watch content on about 6 networks yet there are hundreds in my plan that I must pay for yet never use. Unfortunately we may still need multiple components for BD, DVD players going through a home theatre system for some time to come.
post #32 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Everyone's whining about hardware, no one's talking about content. 


It's just the same old frigging TV box unless there's a service designed specifically for it.

 

Exactly.  You can't disrupt the TV industry with updated hardware.

Just ask Sony.

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post #33 of 191
Pros: Apple's TV would be simpler than most set-top boxes and their ridiculously busy remotes.

Cons: You'll want to buy a new TV very year, once the upgrade treadmill begins.

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post #34 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


Please tell me why I would purchase a $2,000 product that does the exact same thing as a $99 product, and I don't have to dispose of my old television with the latter.

Then you would be stupid, I guess - but if you are looking for a new set and you have a choice between an Apple set without the box... The set will no doubt offer premium features ... you know, added value, you might go for the Apple set. It will undoubtedly look awesome, though some of the Samsungs look awesome, too.

 

$2,000.- ? Did Tim tell you or is this pure speculation? 

 

I am still waiting for the - 'it'll just be a giant iPod' criticism. 

post #35 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

Expect full fledged TV with Loewe designs...
http://www.loewe.tv/int
Time will tell.

 

That would be a complete fail IMO.  

 

Loewe TV sets are a classic example of what people *think* Apple design is all about while actually being almost the *opposite* of what Apple design is really all about.  Aside from the smooth lines and sexy materials there is absolutely nothing a Loewe TV does or is that is any different from any other TV.  An Apple branded TV would instead (hopefully) re-define the category like all their other products.  Despite the smooth looks of their products, Apple is about design, not just sexy materials and cool looking photography.  

 

At the very least, I would hope that Apple goes beyond this crappy 1980's idea that to get decent sound quality you have to have a separate amplifier, 5 speakers cluttering up your living room and all the associated tangle of wires leading from each to each.  Any audio engineer could tell you that it's not true at all that this kind of gear is necessary to get good quality sound.  They do it that way because it means you have to buy more crap.  It's fins on Cadillacs all over again.

 

If they don't do at least that, then (like the Loewe products) you can bet it's just going to be "just another TV" with basically zero innovation.  All this stuff about Siri being the main innovation, or some kind of f*cked up idea that we will be using our iPads as the remote and that will be the main innovation is just nonsense.  That's not innovation at all, that's just replacing a working product with a half-baked, not-quite-functional one.  

 

IMO the simplest answer to the "problem" of bringing TV into the modern era was thought of many years ago although it was so far ahead of it's time it never really caught on.  Podcasts.  

post #36 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


How have people used digiboxes since the 1980s if they are too confusing to use?

What percentage of the current 6.1Billion people on earth use digiboxes, how many know how to DVR with them, do   I'm not saying it's hard, I'm saying most people haven't invested in the tech, or they hate the 2 remote problem (or programming the universal remote).  It's not confusion, it's 'how much easier must it be for me to pay Apple to do it for me?' (See Tablet computing.)

 

I'm just saying Apple is trying to get out of the 'device in the middle.'   Why iCloud vs a smart TimeCapsule that serves your files all over the internet... because that's complex and hard.   Apple wants no more than 3 devices between you and your content:  The Cloud... your iOS device, and either your computer or your AppleTV.  All tactile, and quantifiable (well, the cloud may not be... but that's the source, and it's ITMS). The DigiBox (and I really wanted Apple to build a component home server of mac Mini's that did file service, backup, compute service, and to your point, content caching and management), just doesn't fit their model.

post #37 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Never mind that the same tens of millions now successfully use telecom-provided DVRs whose interfaces are both slow and hideous as sin…

This is where I think Apple has the best chance of making an impact. If they can get some major telecoms to agree to rent their Apple made digiboxes they can offer a much better solution than Motorola, Scientific Atlantic, TiVo, or any other company can offer. They can get a high price for their box (cable companies pay a lot for them) and yet it will be an attractive option that customers can rent from their cable company.

This isn't a subsidy, but it's not too far off from the model the iPhone uses in the US; a model that hides the actual price of the product in with the services; a model that has made the iPhone the most profitable product Apple sells and the most successful CE in the world in record time.

That said, this is not an easy nut to crack because there is no one-size-fits-alk digibox model in the US. Even Steve Jobs has stated this as an issue to Mossberg several years ago. However, this issue does not vanish if they simply make their own TV unless they want to also eschew all connectivity with cable television providers... which I just don't see happening.

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post #38 of 191
Here are the three choices Apple can make. They can do any one or combination.

1. Set top box a la the existing Apple TV, but with more capabilities. Maybe two different models. Adding DVR capabilities, etc. They may just keep the existing architecture with slight modifications for a specific market.

2. Come out with a OEM hardware/software product that can be implemented in a variety of TV makers product so the actual product is a co-branded line of "Apple TVs" that they can sign just about anyone (except Samsung, of course). There are brands like Loewe, B&O, Sharp, Sony, LG, Elite, etc., etc. that could potentially market TVs with an Apple solution built inside.

3. Design and brand their own TV with the whatever software/hardware solution which adds functionality like WiFi, Video Conferencing, DVR, browsing, add apps, games, whatever additional functionality they see fit. The guts could be potentially similar to an iPad on some steroids since it might have more SSD storage or maybe something like a Fusion drive to handle large amounts of video content that has fast access, God knows what else.

Tivo charges a fair amount of money for their top end DVRs and Apple could probably do the same thing with other functionality cheaper and with a better GUI.
post #39 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


Please tell me why I would purchase a $2,000 product that does the exact same thing as a $99 product, and I don't have to dispose of my old television with the latter.

He told you why - because they will also offer a box.

 

If apple offered a high-quality TV with built in AppleTV functionality I would rather buy that than a new Samsung + Apple TV. However, I don't need a new tv so I'll buy the box. But people who DO need a new tv, could buy Apple's. (and when I replace my TV in 5 years or buy a 2nd one when I finish the basement, etc. I could buy Apples TV instead of another Samsung+ATV combo)

 

Not that I'm thinking apple is or should build a tv set, but the logic behind does make perfect sense.

post #40 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


Please tell me why I would purchase a $2,000 product that does the exact same thing as a $99 product, and I don't have to dispose of my old television with the latter.

2 remotes.

 

Apple is a one (zero) button shop.   For those people (and you may not be one of them), it it requires two remotes (my former wife was one of them), she would get frustrated.  Yes, College educated, 3 college educated children, but I had buy her 'content on demand), because it wasn't an 'up channel/down channel/volume' operation on the STB.

 

And I don't think an Apple TV will be $2000 dollars.  My guess is $499/699/999  (37 45 50 inch diags).   Remember the Apple TV will be 

TV glass

Cable in

Audio Out (SPDIF only)

Ethernet/Wireless

AppleTV guts with additional smarts to handle OTA and Cable Signals

USB (for diagnostics)

Power Cord

Apple Remote.

Less ports than any $300 TV (no PC in, no COMP in, no SVid, No VGA, no VGA no 4 HDMIs in).  (VCR/DVD inputs  HA!  This is Apple!!!!)

 

Plug it in. Plug in Cable and Ethernet (or assume 802.11n wireless),  Press Menu on the Remote.  Starts. displays last content.  if in TV mode, left/right are channels, up down volume.  Play/Pause to... Play or Pause (or select if in a menu) . Press Menu again to select a different mode.

 

That's it.

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