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Time Warner working to deliver live & on-demand shows to Apple TV

post #1 of 84
Thread Starter 
Time Warner Cable is reportedly working on an application for the Apple TV set-top box that will allow cable subscribers to stream both live and on-demand shows without the need to have a dedicated cable box.

AppleTV7182013.jpeg


The new software in the works will "effectively add an Apple layer on top of the TV screen," according to a report published Thursday by The New York Times. Apple's own programming guide will allegedly offer an experience "far superior" to anything Time Warner can offer customers on its own.

The fact that Time Warner Cable is willing to hand over so much control to Apple should not be a surprise: The company's chief operating officer, Rob Marcus, signaled last year that he would be willing to give up user interface control to Apple if it were to offer customers a better experience and earn more subscribers.

Thursday's report explains that Apple has apparently switched its approach with content providers and is allegedly looking to cooperate cable providers, rather than sign exclusive deals with individual channels. It's said that Apple intends to collect a fee from distributors like Time Warner in exchange for enhancing their television service.

The Time Warner Cable app said to be in the works would join the likes of WatchESPN, HBO Go, and Sky News, which were given their own dedicated applications on the Apple TV in an update pushed out to users in June. Users who access WatchESPN on the Apple TV must have an active cable subscription, while HBO Go can only be streamed to customers who subscribe to HBO through their cable provider.

Word of a content deal with Time Warner first surfaced earlier this month, but few specifics were given. It was then said that Apple's agreement could be similar to Time Warner's current content deals with Roku and Microsoft's Xbox 360.

Apple is also said to be considering a "premium" service for Apple TV that could allow users to skip through commercials. Rumors claim that customers would pay for such functionality, and a cut of that fee would then be given to cable providers.
post #2 of 84
This is the last piece of the puzzle, as I see it. If the cable companies would control their content with software rather than with their ugly, useless set-top boxes and equally pathetic remotes, we could finally have the AppleTV (the one with the screen) we all dream of (and I think that Steve Jobs dreamed of.)

With cable content being an app, just like any other, we can finally have that consistent, intuitive user experience that could have easily been envisioned if the cable companies weren't so stupid and paranoid.
post #3 of 84
Sounds good to me. I already subscribe to Time Warner (don't have any other choice), and I just bought an Apple TV recently, so bring it on!

I have two cable boxes, and they work ok, but I don't like that they're both Samsung! I can at least control both boxes from my iOS devices.
post #4 of 84
I am confused why Apple gets in trouble for anti-competitive behaviour when Cable companies are allowed to preserve their monopoly by forcing Apple to adopt to their wishes. Ala Carte programming is what I want.
post #5 of 84

I would love to toss my cable box & would certainly be willing to pay extra for life without commercials!

post #6 of 84
This is awesome! Just a matter of time before Apple TV has apps for local TV based on area - and boom good bye cable cord! Very exciting news!
post #7 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post

This is the last piece of the puzzle, as I see it. If the cable companies would control their content with software rather than with their ugly, useless set-top boxes and equally pathetic remotes, we could finally have the AppleTV (the one with the screen) we all dream of (and I think that Steve Jobs dreamed of.)

With cable content being an app, just like any other, we can finally have that consistent, intuitive user experience that could have easily been envisioned if the cable companies weren't so stupid and paranoid.

when those cable boxes first came out, they were very powerful for their day. i've read TWC paid hundreds of $$$ each for them.

post #8 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

I am confused why Apple gets in trouble for anti-competitive behaviour when Cable companies are allowed to preserve their monopoly by forcing Apple to adopt to their wishes. Ala Carte programming is what I want.

Time Warner, Comcast, etc. have paid off more people in power?

post #9 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by neckra View Post

This is awesome! Just a matter of time before Apple TV has apps for local TV based on area - and boom good bye cable cord! Very exciting news!

you will still need a cable subscrition

 

time warner is just getting out of the box and tv guide business

post #10 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

I am confused why Apple gets in trouble for anti-competitive behaviour when Cable companies are allowed to preserve their monopoly by forcing Apple to adopt to their wishes. Ala Carte programming is what I want.

tell that to disney, CBS and others who control the content and sell the channels in bundles

 

take it or leave it

post #11 of 84
The long rumored TiVo killer from Apple may soon appear.
post #12 of 84
Modern cable is driving me to rather watch stream content on a 15 retina MacBook Pro,
Advantages:on demand, portable throughout house,can set it at any size (for the dreamer 2 at once), higher quality display, better stereo.

Disadvantages: worse for multiple people viewing, can display content at lower quality, limited content.

This is sorta sad in comparisons.
post #13 of 84
I have Time-Warner, but use cable card in my TiVo instead of cable box. I also have ATV connected directly to my TV. If TW goes directly to ATV and includes all the channels I want that's fine. But it seems like I may lose some of the functionality TiVo hard disk affords such as immediate fast forward and rewind. I've noticed that such features when streaming have delays, skipping, etc. due to buffering, latency, etc. Also, the TiVo remote is the best in the business. Touch screen based remotes suck. Even dedicated ones like the Harmony One I own to control this mess. I want tactile buttons I can operate without looking in the dark.
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post #14 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayfizzle View Post

I would love to toss my cable box & would certainly be willing to pay extra for life without commercials!

That commercial-free rumor is not going to happen.   It's not the MSOs (Comcast, Time-Warner, Verizon) who make money from those commercials (except for a few) - it's the cable networks (Discovery, Turner, MTV, AMC, etc.)   They are not going to let their channels out there without spots - it would destroy their entire economic model.   Besides, you can't skip a commercial on live programming.   

 

I also have to wonder about picture and sound quality - whether it's going to be as good coming down the net and into the Apple box as it is off the fibre and coax that feeds the cable box.     When I watch Vudu movies, I almost always have caching problems at least once or twice during the movie - it's very annoying.  In spite of the mantra that cable companies suck, I have a technical problem on cable maybe once a year and when it happens, it's only on one channel, which implies that it's a cable channel issue, not an MSO issue.  

 

Like everyone else, I would like an ala-carte cable plan.   I think that the MSOs should assign points to each channel and you get so many points for so many dollars.   The more points you buy, the cheaper each point becomes.    This way, each customer could create their own package.    But that's unlikely to happen either, because the cable networks force the MSOs to take packages of cable channels and they also force them,for the most desired channels like the sports channels, to pay a fee for each subscriber, even if that subscriber never watches the channel.     That's why your cable bill goes up every year.    The only way this happens is if Congress passes a law forcing it, therefore, it's never going to happen.   The only way I could see it happening is if a market disrupter comes in, but it's hard to imagine who could disrupt the market since the cable networks won't permit that disruption and even if one caved, no one dominates the market.

 

But maybe the answer is not to try and emulate what cable does today.   Maybe Apple should simply (or not so simply) get the VOD rights to all the shows via a deal with an MSO.   You'd still have to be a cable subscriber in that model, but the shows are there for you to watch whenever, via Apple's supposedly superior UI and on whatever device you want.      The exceptions would be sports and news, which would still be live.       

post #15 of 84

And tell it to the TV set manufacturers!

First wave of TV was to sell one TV per household, next (disregarding swapping out the B&W with color) was more than one TV per household and so on until they now want to sell us TVs to be discarded every time they are not kind enough to allow a SW update, like with the Android scam, while the HW part of the TV may have a life expectancy of ten times as much before it is technologically of physically at the end of life.

I still have a 22 inch cinema display that is in regular use, it costed significantly more than my current 27 inch iMac, and has been in on a succession of secondary uses while associated HW has come and gone.

In my opinion the only thing that makes sense is a TV that is just a monitor used in combination with one single inexpensive ATV or similar that can be changed out frequently as tech advances. The one thing I miss though is a built in hard disk like in my set top box, but I guess that would be a hard one to swallow for the content providers.

post #16 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post

This is the last piece of the puzzle, as I see it.

Nope. The last piece is taking cable companies out of the system. Net apps and direct subscribing. No cable TV plan needed

Or even get the season passes down to a better price and add a premium pricing where you get to stream at time of OTA until the download is available. Can do it in Apple TV and iOS devices only (AirPlay turned off), no computers until 'home video' kicks in.

All shows up right off, no more of this two years later crap. Missing seasons filled in, etc
post #17 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

you will still need a cable subscrition

time warner is just getting out of the box and tv guide business

That was my reaction.

At some point in the future, when all the cable companies, Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner etc. have apps on the Apple TV, will one of them release the dogs and allow watching with just a payment via iTunes to someone with no cable contract? At that point, if there is an à la carte option too, we will have reached a paradigm shift
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post #18 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Mark View Post

The long rumored TiVo killer from Apple may soon appear.

 

Only way I can see it would be unlimited show storage in iCloud. iCloud would just need to store one copy of the show for multiple people to use, then stream it down (like Tivo to Tivo style). Apple TV just add's a small flash chip to hold 30-60 minutes of live TV so you can pause and go back and forth like Tivo. Then add additional chip for holding 20 or so hours worth HD shows that can be transfered down and store rest in cloud. Show's could be automatically stored with or without ad's depending on your "plan" and boom, no trying to find older eps of shows you start in middle of season, all would be there for you to catch up on. And the other perk of commercial removal. Then I don't mind dropping my two Tivo boxes.

 

Been with Tivo since they started with DirecTV, and just got another new box to replace a silly big grey TW one. I be happy to stop having 6-12 appointments with TW when I need to move or change something because these tech's don't deal with Cable Cards or know anything about them.

 

I say bring it on Apple, with the TWC and Tivo (if true) ... let's really start making pay/cable TV what it should have been years ago.

 

PS - I be happy to pay TW and Apple to have ad free shows. TW for the access, and Apple for removing the ad's and channel guide ... (already paying 15 bucks each Tivo box per month)

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post #19 of 84
Would this model allow me to subscribe to Time Warner even though it is not offered in my market? If so this would give users choice which would be welcome since I am in a market that has only 2 choices. Local crappy provider or Satellite TV.
post #20 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post

This is the last piece of the puzzle, as I see it. If the cable companies would control their content with software rather than with their ugly, useless set-top boxes and equally pathetic remotes, we could finally have the AppleTV

I agree.  There is no downside to using Apple to be the UI and the box.  I still don't understand why the cable boxes today consume so much freaking energy and run so hot- even the non-hard drive models.  They could even get crazy and share Rental revenue with Apple.  Right now renting a movie on cable is a painful process- iTunes on the ATV is beyond easy.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Ala Carte programming is what I want.

Not going to happen.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Mark View Post

The long rumored TiVo killer from Apple may soon appear.

 

Already done.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RPT View Post

The one thing I miss though is a built in hard disk like in my set top box, but I guess that would be a hard one to swallow for the content providers.

Not sure why- it'd be just like the current boxes.  I don't even mind paying the cable companies a "fee" like I do for DVR & HD Services if it can all go to my ATV w/ a hard drive.

 

 

An ATV/Time Capsule combo would be amazing.  Shared Hard drive for DVR and Backups, Router, and ATV all built in one unit.  Even at $399, and $99 for the other non-hard drive versions... that'd be a dream.  Heck, could you imagine an ATV/Airport Express combo that sold for $199 and could be used as a wifi extender?

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post #21 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

I agree.  There is no downside to using Apple to be the UI and the box.  I still don't understand why the cable boxes today consume so much freaking energy and run so hot- even the non-hard drive models.  They could even get crazy and share Rental revenue with Apple.  Right now renting a movie on cable is a painful process- iTunes on the ATV is beyond easy.

Not going to happen.




Already done.

Not sure why- it'd be just like the current boxes.  I don't even mind paying the cable companies a "fee" like I do for DVR & HD Services if it can all go to my ATV w/ a hard drive.


An ATV/Time Capsule combo would be amazing.  Shared Hard drive for DVR and Backups, Router, and ATV all built in one unit.  Even at $399, and $99 for the other non-hard drive versions... that'd be a dream.  Heck, could you imagine an ATV/Airport Express combo that sold for $199 and could be used as a wifi extender?

I'm curious, with the availability of on demand HD why do you see a need to record / store anything?
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post #22 of 84
I had Charter installed at my house a couple of weeks ago. I had been on Dish but decided to save a few bucks when I moved into this house. We only watch a few channels (4 main channels - old movies and shows plus the Big Bang theory).

Honestly, the Charter user interface is awefu. The program descriptions are very uninformative and too small to read. Finding a station is painful to say the least. But most of all, what I really miss is the skip forward button we had on dish so I could easily hop over commercials. Surely it had to be debated when they designed the system.

Ideally, I would like Apple to negotiate with the content providers so I would only need a broadband connection and buy the channels I want but I realize that the big content providers will only bunde their offerings so I will have to live in that world.though not ideal, ill bite the cable system bullet but it would be nice to at least have it operate as such:

1). I'm stuck with buying a cable subscription and a broadband subscription.
2). The cable system terminates in a single location in my house as a network connection with wifi where I setup as my own network.
3). Each TV in the house has its own Apple TV and are connected to the network either via wifi or hard wired.
4) the Apple TV box provides the interface for the entire cable offering plus Netflix, Hulu, and Apple's other offerings.

This saves the cable company a lot in installation costs and system maintenance and I get a better interface than I now have. Since the content is stored in the cloud but buffered on the Apple TV, I can have my skip commercial option and 'record' movies for later viewing.
post #23 of 84
Somehow I feel that the overwhelming desire for a la carte pricing will not result in a net savings for the subscriber. I have always felt that. I just think that there will be minor savings if any at all even after you pare down to "only" the channels that you watch and pay for each one individually. I hope I am wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

I am confused why Apple gets in trouble for anti-competitive behaviour when Cable companies are allowed to preserve their monopoly by forcing Apple to adopt to their wishes. Ala Carte programming is what I want.
post #24 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJones View Post

Time Warner, Comcast, etc. have paid off more people in power?

This topic needs a review. Careful, it's a bit NSFW

http://youtu.be/0ilMx7k7mso
post #25 of 84

Without DVR it will be of limited interest unless they can figure out some way of providing DVR-like functionality without adding a pay per play cost. I believe DVR box rental is about $12/month. I suppose I would pay that per month plus whatever the Lineup costs to have this functionality on an ATV. However, I would expect some sort of discount if this is all streaming over my Time Warner Cable Modem service that I pay separately for.

post #26 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


I'm curious, with the availability of on demand HD why do you see a need to record / store anything?

 

Doesn't OnDemand HD have a pay per play cost? On My DVR, I record once watch many times at no extra cost.

post #27 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

I am confused why Apple gets in trouble for anti-competitive behaviour when Cable companies are allowed to preserve their monopoly by forcing Apple to adopt to their wishes. Ala Carte programming is what I want.

 

I'd think this would only be anti-competitive if they ALSO require you to subscribe to their internet service (i.e. you can only access it if you have TW internet and cable).

 

Unfortunately, because it's a utility, there are defacto regional monopolies in the U.S. In my area, I can only get Comcast (or satellite, which is ish for internet). The problem is that the U.S. doesn't seem keen on enforcing the "dumb pipe" rule. 

post #28 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJones View Post

Time Warner, Comcast, etc. have paid off more people in power?

One has to consider the huge capital expenditure it takes to build and maintain a cable network, if these companies aren't given some type of monopoly that'll ensure that the infrastructure investment doesn't pay dividends then nobody would ever bother to build a network.
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post #29 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

I'd think this would only be anti-competitive if they ALSO require you to subscribe to their internet service (i.e. you can only access it if you have TW internet and cable).

Unfortunately, because it's a utility, there are defacto regional monopolies in the U.S. In my area, I can only get Comcast (or satellite, which is ish for internet). The problem is that the U.S. doesn't seem keen on enforcing the "dumb pipe" rule. 

Cable and telcos aren't utilities. To be a utility one has to bill by usage (like gas and electric) and not by a flat monthly rate, the telcos stop being a utility when they went with monthly plans.
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post #30 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post

This is the last piece of the puzzle, as I see it. If the cable companies would control their content with software rather than with their ugly, useless set-top boxes and equally pathetic remotes, we could finally have the AppleTV (the one with the screen) we all dream of (and I think that Steve Jobs dreamed of.)

With cable content being an app, just like any other, we can finally have that consistent, intuitive user experience that could have easily been envisioned if the cable companies weren't so stupid and paranoid.

 

I'd say the "last piece" would be allowing subscriptions directly through iTunes, as in not requiring me to contact TW at all, or have them run cable to my house. Then I could get TW in a "Comcast-only" zone for instance.

 

You know other cable companies would rush in to make sure they have a competing option. This would drive prices down, as now there's open competition (which rarely exists currently).

 

Th real "last piece" though would be when AppleTV has a big enough user base (or this is also allowed on iPads) to have a stronger negotiating position.

post #31 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Cable and telcos aren't utilities. To be a utility one has to bill by usage (like gas and electric) and not by a flat monthly rate, the telcos stop being a utility when they went with monthly plans.

 

I'm saying they're essentially a utility, and in practice they act like one. Usually there's only one or two choices for utilities in an area. In my area, for cable there is ONLY Comcast. That's it. No competition, besides satellite — which is only good for TV, not internet. 

 

Don't actual utilities have regulations on the amount they charge? 

post #32 of 84
This isn't the panacea claimed:

"Users who access WatchESPN on the Apple TV must have an active cable subscription, while HBO Go can only be streamed to customers who subscribe to HBO through their cable provider."

IOW, you still have to subscribe to the whole package of crap from your cable provider to access the channel you want on the ATV.

The Holy Grail consumers want is to be able to choose and pay for ONLY the content they want. This news item is a long way short of that, as consumers are still stuck with whatever bundling is demanded by the cable provider.

Some options have begun to appear: NHL and MLB have separate season passes, but this is a long way from offering content ala carte.

FWIW, I would pay a reasonable one day fee for sports. HNIC, NFL Sunday, TdF, Olympics. $5 for the day? A commercial free option would be interesting, but most sports productions are designed around TV timeouts anyway, so I'm not sure if it's viable.
post #33 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

I'm saying they're essentially a utility, and in practice they act like one. Usually there's only one or two choices for utilities in an area. In my area, for cable there is ONLY Comcast. That's it. No competition, besides satellite — which is only good for TV, not internet. 

Don't actual utilities have regulations on the amount they charge? 

Yes utilities must get permission to raise rates and also have to post their intentions to raise rates in the local periodicals.
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post #34 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


I'm curious, with the availability of on demand HD why do you see a need to record / store anything?

For me- sports.  Particularly football- I don't start a game until about 45 minutes into it so I can fly through the commercials.

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post #35 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


That was my reaction.

At some point in the future, when all the cable companies, Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner etc. have apps on the Apple TV, will one of them release the dogs and allow watching with just a payment via iTunes to someone with no cable contract? At that point, if there is an à la carte option too, we will have reached a paradigm shift

FIOS and att uverse already do this on the xbox. you don't need a cable box to watch cable TV

 

no need for itunes

post #36 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

For me- sports.  Particularly football- I don't start a game until about 45 minutes into it so I can fly through the commercials.

wouldn't watchESPN give you access to played games?

post #37 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Yes utilities must get permission to raise rates and also have to post their intentions to raise rates in the local periodicals.

 

Do cable companies have to do anything similar? That pretty similar monopolistic positions.

post #38 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by eightzero View Post

The Holy Grail consumers want is to be able to choose and pay for ONLY the content they want. This news item is a long way short of that, as consumers are still stuck with whatever bundling is demanded by the cable provider.

Some options have begun to appear: NHL and MLB have separate season passes, but this is a long way from offering content ala carte.

 

It's not going to happen.  At least not for 10+ years.  This boat isn't going to turn around easily- so you might as well tuck that dream away along with hover cars and teleport machines.

 

NHL and MLB (and NBA) aren't feasible options for the majority of the public, because they still black out your local team- so that doesn't help local fans in the slightest.  And every single exclusive local deal professional teams are getting are at a minimum 10 years- with several 20+.  So why would Fox sports hand over the Rangers broadcast rights for a single fee for one channel, when they can package that up with their dozens of other channels and force the cable company to buy it as a package?

 

Again, great idea- love it... but it ain't gonna happen.

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post #39 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by eightzero View Post

This isn't the panacea claimed:

"Users who access WatchESPN on the Apple TV must have an active cable subscription, while HBO Go can only be streamed to customers who subscribe to HBO through their cable provider."

IOW, you still have to subscribe to the whole package of crap from your cable provider to access the channel you want on the ATV.

The Holy Grail consumers want is to be able to choose and pay for ONLY the content they want. This news item is a long way short of that, as consumers are still stuck with whatever bundling is demanded by the cable provider.

Some options have begun to appear: NHL and MLB have separate season passes, but this is a long way from offering content ala carte.

FWIW, I would pay a reasonable one day fee for sports. HNIC, NFL Sunday, TdF, Olympics. $5 for the day? A commercial free option would be interesting, but most sports productions are designed around TV timeouts anyway, so I'm not sure if it's viable.

 

 

This is just one step. It's a slow dance.

 

If Apple ever gets TW or someone else to allow direct on-device subscriptions (i.e. Comcast could be my ISP, but I can use ATV to subscribe to TW television), that will really open the floodgates, what with actual competition and all. 

 

Of course, then they'll conspire to raise internet rates, or throttle traffic, or impose harsh data caps (unless you subscribe to both TV and Internet through on provider of course), because the FTC and DOJ look the other way.

post #40 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

wouldn't watchESPN give you access to played games?

 

Do they currently do this?

 

Everything that seems to "make sense" in this discussion is likely encumbered by onerous licensing deals with outdated terms that make everything a murky grey area and invite lawsuits whenever someone wants to be trailblazer.

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