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Report: DVR could turn Apple TV into multi-billion dollar business - Page 4

post #121 of 158
Bit confused by that response.

You're saying Apple has a box which is kind of like a DVR in that it can play a show that was on TV an hour ago, but to do that they download the show off servers rather than record FTA. Then they have ads added?
post #122 of 158
So will I be able to record Sky with Apple TV - then push content over to my iPod? Sounds cool - I'll buy that.
post #123 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

And there you have it. Blu-ray to all Macs- esp the next gen laptops and iMacs. Finally no more discussion on whether there will or why there should not be.

People have always acknowledged that macs would get whatever format won the hd disc war, it was just a matter of time, cost, form factor, DRM issues, etc.

Of course it will happen. It's just a question of how fast, which models first, whether it will be standard on any machine or all BTO (I'd hope BTO until the price comes down significantly). I doubt we'll see it standard for a long long time. I wouldn't be surprised if it's a year or more before it's even offered as an option on all macs.

Right now, I think they need to get software (and hardware?) support for playing movies, and make it an option for mac pros. Maybe MBP when there's a drive in the right form factor. iMac? I don't see much reason to be in a hurry for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Netflix is the undisputed leader of through the mail DVD rentals, but they also have slim pickings for video on demand. The bottleneck is the studios. Apple clearly needs to step up and offer to digitize movies for the studios on their dime, otherwise this will stretch out for an eternity.

That's not the holdup, the thing that is making it so slow is the studios getting all the proper rights clearances for digital download release.

I totally agree that aTV should make an effort to support many other streaming solutions, especially the free ones like TV shows with commercials. That would be a huge selling point for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rtdunham View Post

In what ways do the rules differ for Apple compared to Tivo or the various ISPs' DVRs? The devices would record the same content, for the same replay purposes.

Tivo doesn't have a movie download store, do they? The studios can't stop Apple from making a DVR...but they CAN offer their sale/rental content conditionally on apple not doing it. "No DVR, or we pull all our content from iTunes."

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Originally Posted by mbene12 View Post

Who is going to buy South Park episodes when the same interface can just snag it for free using DVR?

People without cable.
post #124 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

It may be my lack of imagination. But I really don't see what Apple can bring to DVR service that is so much better or a geat deal more covenient than what is already available. That this function will make the ATV a billion dollar device.

For starters, wouldn't they be offering a DVR that's for sale instead of one requiring a monthly fee like Tivo?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wzrdjr View Post

The analyst said that adding DVR functions to the ATV could result in perhaps BILLIONS of dollars of new revenue.

Exactly HOW?

The sales of the ATV would go up dramatically? A new subscription model? Making the studios pay for the right for ATV users to record their content (yeah, right).

I assume he's talking pure sales. At $229, selling 440k units would gross a billion dollars. I think that could be possible for a box like this truly done right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

However I believe it won't come cheap as there would have to be a monthly or annual subscription charge like a .Mac account, TIVO/cable subscription, etc.

Why would it have to have a monthly charge?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

I guess I need to repeat myself...Apple does NOT need to get permission from studios to make a DVR if they want to. Just like JVC doesn't need their permission to make a VCR and El Gato doesn't need their permission to make EyeTV. I don't get where the notion is coming from that makers of recording devices used to record TV content need permission from the studios to sell them.

You're right, they don't need to get permission. BUT, since they are selling content from the studios, there's a good chance that the studios only offered that content if Apple agreed not to include DVR. Sure, they can't stop apple from doing DVR...but they absolutely CAN threaten to yank their iTunes content if apple does that, and that's a pretty big bargaining chip.
post #125 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post



Why would it have to have a monthly charge?

Listing.

While not a huge expense, it is not cheap to maintain TV listings for the many, many regions, providers, packages etc. DVR without guide and listing is pretty worthless. Apple could just provide the listings for free and eat the cost, but somehow that doesn't seem Apple's way...given what they charge for .Mac.

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post #126 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

Tivo doesn't have a movie download store, do they? The studios can't stop Apple from making a DVR...but they CAN offer their sale/rental content conditionally on apple not doing it. "No DVR, or we pull all our content from iTunes."

They support Amazon's Unbox. They have movies and TV shows for rental and purchase, some free titles. Rhapsody for Music purchases.

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post #127 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

Listing.

While not a huge expense, it is not cheap to maintain TV listings for the many, many regions, providers, packages etc. DVR without guide and listing is pretty worthless. Apple could just provide the listings for free and eat the cost, but somehow that doesn't seem Apple's way...given what they charge for .Mac.

Of course they could charge, but that still isn't a reason they'd have to. Apple provides a huge podcast directory for free, I don't see why they couldn't do the same with tv schedules (which are probably less work). It can't be that bad to create TV schedule data considering there are already multiple free versions. Besides that, the tivo monthly fee isn't really just for the schedule, it's a way for tivo to sell the box at a loss but subsidize it with a monthly fee.

Even if Apple did do a monthly charge, they could definitely go far cheaper than the $8-12 that Tivo charges. But I'd be really surprised if they did a monthly charge at all, the money they'd give up would likely be more than offset by the increase in sales - if there was a good alternative to Tivo without the monthly charge, why would anyone want the tivo?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

They support Amazon's Unbox. They have movies and TV shows for rental and purchase, some free titles. Rhapsody for Music purchases.

Do they sell their own movies and shows like Apple, or is it all through amazon or another distributor?
post #128 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

Of course they could charge, but that still isn't a reason they'd have to. Apple provides a huge podcast directory for free, I don't see why they couldn't do the same with tv schedules (which are probably less work). It can't be that bad to create TV schedule data considering there are already multiple free versions. Besides that, the tivo monthly fee isn't really just for the schedule, it's a way for tivo to sell the box at a loss but subsidize it with a monthly fee.

Even if Apple did do a monthly charge, they could definitely go far cheaper than the $8-12 that Tivo charges. But I'd be really surprised if they did a monthly charge at all, the money they'd give up would likely be more than offset by the increase in sales - if there was a good alternative to Tivo without the monthly charge, why would anyone want the tivo?

One could argue the same with the iPhone. If they allowed ATT to subsidize the iPhone, they might be able to sell more units. Apple consciously chose to go the route of selling it at full price and take in recurring monthly revenue. Apple seems to be very interested in recurring revenue from each device. Occasional additional revenue from selling media/games etc is a given, but the recurring revenue seems to be the sought after stream.


Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

Do they sell their own movies and shows like Apple, or is it all through amazon or another distributor?

From what I know of it, they act as the go between for end users and Unbox and Rhapsody. Probably taking a cut of the profits for the service.

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post #129 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

One could argue the same with the iPhone. If they allowed ATT to subsidize the iPhone, they might be able to sell more units. Apple consciously chose to go the route of selling it at full price and take in recurring monthly revenue. Apple seems to be very interested in recurring revenue from each device. Occasional additional revenue from selling media/games etc is a given, but the recurring revenue seems to be the sought after stream.

I think people are OK with subsidizing the cost of a phone since the phone will always have a monthly cost. There are many people (like me) who don't pay any monthly cost for TV and would only want a dvr that is a one time purchase. Not to mention that the DVR market is much more an uphill battle so I think they'd be more willing to forgo monthly charges to gain marketshare.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

From what I know of it, they act as the go between for end users and Unbox and Rhapsody. Probably taking a cut of the profits for the service.

If that's the case, it sounds like they're not dealing with the studios directly, putting them in a different situation than apple.
post #130 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

I think people are OK with subsidizing the cost of a phone since the phone will always have a monthly cost. There are many people (like me) who don't pay any monthly cost for TV and would only want a dvr that is a one time purchase. Not to mention that the DVR market is much more an uphill battle so I think they'd be more willing to forgo monthly charges to gain marketshare.

That is the point-No one is subsidizing the iPhone. Customer pay full price and the monthly fee.

If you pay no monthly fee for TV, what do you want a DVR for? By making the DVR a paid functionality, then those, like you (who don't cable/Sat?) would be able to buy the device and not have to pay for the DVR functionality that you may not need.

Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

If that's the case, it sounds like they're not dealing with the studios directly, putting them in a different situation than apple.

True, but in the end, the device is still acting as the conduit for getting the media into your home.

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post #131 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

That is the point-No one is subsidizing the iPhone. Customer pay full price and the monthly fee.

Absolutely. And they can get away with that because people have to pay a monthly fee for a phone whether it's subsidized or not. There's no such thing as buying a phone and getting free service.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

If you pay no monthly fee for TV, what do you want a DVR for? By making the DVR a paid functionality, then those, like you (who don't cable/Sat?) would be able to buy the device and not have to pay for the DVR functionality that you may not need.

I want it to record TV. Why would someone without cable not be interested in recording broadcast TV? And if they don't have a monthly fee for the DVR scheduling, nobody is paying for that functionality. The scheduling isn't what would increase the price of the box, it's the extra hardware of things like TV tuners.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

True, but in the end, the device is still acting as the conduit for getting the media into your home.

Yeah, but the point isn't how it looks to the consumer, it's how the deals are negotiated.

If the studios have a contract with apple, they can threaten to pull content if they do a DVR.
If the studios have a contract with amazon, they can't put the same pressure on TIVO.
post #132 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

Of course they could charge, but that still isn't a reason they'd have to. Apple provides a huge podcast directory for free, I don't see why they couldn't do the same with tv schedules (which are probably less work). It can't be that bad to create TV schedule data considering there are already multiple free versions.

OR... Apple may play the game differently.

I imagine Apple would want to make the experience as easy as possible, while still keeping the studios on side. A guide from Apple might mark EXACT start and end times, as well as advertising time. Apple may want to restrict ad skipping (just for partner networks??), perhaps they'll let partner networks force 1/4 of ads to be watched, or help the networks pick 1/4 of ads which suit the viewers interests and needs. Or give people the option of paying $1 to skip all the ads (and pay a portion of this to partner networks) and have a 'seamless' viewing experience without having to download it (if you're on a low bandwidth connection). Or maybe some people will want to pay a reduced fee of 50c but still watch 1/8 of the ads (about 1 ad per break).

ie: Lots of questions:
Could Apple get money from the networks for controlling the ads?
Could this SELL more TV shows by catering to people without the required bandwidth? (and save Apple $$$ on bandwidth!?)
Will just adding a DVR qualify the appleTV for the digital transition rebates?
Is this a back door to providing HD TV shows?

I have no idea if Apple will want to charge for a guide, just that they may be looking at it from a different angle. It's certainly possible they'll charge anyway. If so, I hope we don't need Apple's guide but can use the over-the-air guide (or free online guides), so that other countries can still use an Apple DVR.
post #133 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post

OR... Apple may play the game differently.

I imagine Apple would want to make the experience as easy as possible, while still keeping the studios on side. A guide from Apple might mark EXACT start and end times, as well as advertising time.

I doubt Apple would be able to provide better start and stop times, because they have to get their data from the same sources. Broadcasters seem to rely on keeping the times inaccurate specifically to throw off PVR users.
post #134 of 158
Quote:
I am in my mid-30's as well. I have hundreds on CD's. I have ripped maybe a couple dozen over the years. Easier to just download, legal or otherwise, songs I have.

Downloading alone doesn't necessarily give you song lists, lyrics, or cover art. These are easily obtained when you rip the CD. Most everyone I know get their music from both.

Quote:
Not really sure what you are arguing here. Yes the files are bigger. That doesn't make them harder to manage, just much more bandwidth and time to deliver....obviously.

Look at how things have worked out. Music file sharing is nearly 10 years old, with billions of files shared. Video file sharing no where near as commonly used. The reason for this is because of their size. They take a long time to download and take up a lot of hard drive space.

Quote:
If you look at just the basic functions, DVR vs Music player, believe me, DVR is more complex. Why? because by definition it needs to play and record video, have schedules, manage tuners, etc.

This isn't complex system. Recording/playing video isn't difficult. The DVR does not make the schedule it obtains the schedule from other sources. DVR generally only have two tuners that isn't anything all that complex. That's why most cable companies simply made their pwn DVR software that works well enough to put Tivo out of business. It would not be very easy to recreate the iPod or iTunes.


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fragmented market mean can mean a lot of things.

No it doesn't.

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At that time, if you asked people in their 50s or 60s what a MP3 player was, there was a good chance the would have no idea. Ask them today what an iPod or PMP or Tivo or DVR and which ones do you think they would know?

The difference is that Apple was able to build a brand and a specific service with iPod+iTunes. TIvo has attempted to build a DVR brand but DVR much more easily lends itself to being a commodity service to be packaged with other services. Tivo is the only specifi DVR brand and it will either be bought by a larger company or Their won't really be a specific DVR market.
post #135 of 158
Quote:
The next battle isn't Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD, it isn't cable vs. dish... it's online on-demand of a huge catalog of shows from a wide variety of producers, *bypassing* cable, dish, and so on. The first company that can organize that in a simple to use way, wins big. DVR is where the puck is. This is where the puck will be.

I don't quite understand how you by-pass cable using a DVR. They are generally used in tandem.

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The situation with the cable companies and networks is the same RIAA-centric business model, and just as the iTunes Music Store is letting indies bypass the labels, I predict the TV section will start to court producers directly. "The networks didn't like your show? We'll host it."

Music, television, and movies cannot be compared in this way. Its much easier to produce, distribute, and promote music than it is for television/movies. The costs of producing television/ movies are much higher. Distribution and revenue movie and television cannot be obtained by the general citizen.
post #136 of 158
The reason Tivo exists is because the cable/Sat companies have lousy DVRs and people are looking for something better. With Apple's knack for user interface design, they would mop up the floor with the current crop of DVRs. People are begging for a decent DVR, add a Blu-Ray player and a nice download service (like Apple TV appears to have started) and people will be in line for them.
Where have we heard of people sick of junky hardware standing in line to get something that is more usable, cool, but in a tough market that you'd have to be crazy to enter . . . iPhone anyone?

Apple got around 20% market share in a few months. A DVR that isn't junk that I can use instead of my cable/sat box? It also lets me watch stuff from the net and rent movies online! Possibly with a built-in Blue-ray? I'm there!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

I used to think that Mr Wu was OK...as far as analysts go. But this article shows a lot of ignorance.

Competing with cable and satellite TV in the DVR market would be VERY difficult. It's not just that other companies aren't doing it very well...they just aren't doing it. TiVo is arguably the best one out there, but even with their subscription fees they lose money EVERY quarter. They are finally resorting to licensing their software to cable providers. And once that becomes more widespread, it would be even more difficult for Apple to play in that market. Apple could undoubtably do a better job of it. They might even be able to be successful at it; but I don't think they'd be the "billions" of dollars successful as Mr Wu predicts.

The $12-15 dollars of incremental cost to make Apple TV a DVR also show much lack of knowledge. First, you'd need a much bigger hard drive. 160 GB is the minimum for any DVR. The larger Apple TV has that, but then you also need room for syncing your iTunes content. You also need better video circuitry. Currently, while Apple TV can output 1080i, it's actually limited internally to 720p (fixable with a firmware update?). You also need to be able to support the MPEG formats the cable company uses, which Apple TV currently does not support. Next you need to add the hardware for the cable hookup, CableCard slots, and tuners (dual-tuner is a must have). And that's just to meet today's standards. By the end of the year, CableCards will be obsolete technology. How will Apple TV support two-way communication for SDV and OCAP? For that they'll need to add a communiations module. And that's just to get it to work with cable not satellite.

And in response to a few of the other posts...there is nothing the studios can do to prevent Apple from building a DVR. So Apple wouldn't need their "permission" or to obtain "rights" as some have suggested. However, it might upset the studios enough to negatively affect Apple when it comes time to negotiate for iTunes content.

I'm not saying Apple won't do it. But I'm very skeptical that DVR functionality is what will make Apple TV mulit-billion dollar market. Most people will continue to get the DRV service from the cable/satellite provider.
post #137 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I doubt Apple would be able to provide better start and stop times, because they have to get their data from the same sources. Broadcasters seem to rely on keeping the times inaccurate specifically to throw off PVR users.

You're assuming that Apple simply replicates today's PVRs.

Apple wants to reinvent TV - and I think they are well aware that there has to be a viable financial model (ie: in the long term, you can't just watch a show without paying or watching ads in some manner).

The AppleTV is capable of providing a new model, and has to an extent. There have been 3 stumbling blocks
1) The studios want to make EXTRA money, not the same amount of money via a different model. Not offering rental TV shows is one example (when we watch on FTA, the networks make about 25c per viewer via commercials).
2) The bandwidth to people's homes is limited (sometimes too slow, and providers may start quotas soon)
3) The bandwidth costs to Apple (which I think Apple is simply absorbing to try to kick start all this).

A standard PVR simply records stuff on regular TV. People love it because they can watch when they want, and they can skip the ads.

If the networks can tell the AppleTV how to use embedded timing codes in the signal (or give exact times), the AppleTV could offer a perfectly edited recording (for a small FEE to the network eg 50c/view), or FORCE people to watch ads. ie: an Apple PVR could provide something appealing to the networks - in exchange for their co-operation. It would also remove bandwidth issues and offer HD simultaneously.

And if a network doesn't co-operate all the AppleTV could do would be to record the programs like any regular PVR (but with a nicer interface), quite capable of skipping ads etc..

Not saying this is what Apple would do, just trying to leap outside the box when thinking about Apple's goals.
post #138 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Downloading alone doesn't necessarily give you song lists, lyrics, or cover art. These are easily obtained when you rip the CD. Most everyone I know get their music from both.

Ok. I have better things to do than spending an evening ripping CD's. Play-Rip-Burn. How 90's novel. Actually, I can't remember the last time I even downloaded a song. If you say people you know are still ripping their CD collections, great, I will take your word for it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Look at how things have worked out. Music file sharing is nearly 10 years old, with billions of files shared. Video file sharing no where near as commonly used. The reason for this is because of their size. They take a long time to download and take up a lot of hard drive space.

Yes, video are bigger. Yup, sure are.

Music sharing is nearly 10 years old? Maybe for those ripping CDs with iTunes music sharing was new 10 years ago. I guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

This isn't complex system. Recording/playing video isn't difficult. The DVR does not make the schedule it obtains the schedule from other sources. DVR generally only have two tuners that isn't anything all that complex. That's why most cable companies simply made their pwn DVR software that works well enough to put Tivo out of business. It would not be very easy to recreate the iPod or iTunes.

Have you written your own video recording software? All things being relative, Video player/recorder is more complex than an audio player. If you belief otherwise, then you are confused.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

No it doesn't.

If you say so, I guess it is so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

The difference is that Apple was able to build a brand and a specific service with iPod+iTunes. TIvo has attempted to build a DVR brand but DVR much more easily lends itself to being a commodity service to be packaged with other services. Tivo is the only specifi DVR brand and it will either be bought by a larger company or Their won't really be a specific DVR market.

DVR lends itself much more to being a commodity than an MP3 player? Really? Really? Saying so, just because Apple was able to be so successful with iPod doesn't now make DVR more commodity oriented than an MP3 player...that's why there were dozens of competitor, model options way before iPod...because it was commodity type item. Apple was simply able to become the defacto standard. Something Tivo has yet to do. Or the cable companies. or the sat companies. Or the hardware companies. or Microsoft. Or anyone else in these fragmented market.

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post #139 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

I don't quite understand how you by-pass cable using a DVR. They are generally used in tandem.

A DVR is just a digital recording device with access to guide information to tell it when to start and when to stop. It's VCR+ with an unlimited random-access tape and a nicer interface. All you need is *A* broadcast feed. Cable, dish... or HD OTA. Bazam - free digital signal, ready for saving. No cable company needed.

Will it work everywhere? Nope. But HD antenna with a 30-50mile range are under $100, and /. just had a spiffy link to a *100mile* range antenna you can make yourself for under $20. Go draw a 100 mile radius around the core digital transmitters in the US, and see how much population it covers. (Hint: the majority.)

Will it get you every show? Nope. But go take a look at the iTMS for the non-ABC/NBC/CBS/Fox shows you watch. Most of mine are on there. For those that aren't, there's NetFlix.

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Music, television, and movies cannot be compared in this way. Its much easier to produce, distribute, and promote music than it is for television/movies. The costs of producing television/ movies are much higher. Distribution and revenue movie and television cannot be obtained by the general citizen.

Last sentence no sense makes.

Are you trying to say that because it costs more to make a television show or movie, that the *average person* can't make one? Well, of course.

But the average person can pay a buck to watch one. Get enough of those, and it pays for the production costs. Shows might have to compete on popularity and merit, instead of whose network boardroom butt they kiss.
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post #140 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

It can't be that bad to create TV schedule data considering there are already multiple free versions.

I'm not sure they're as "free" as you think. You're aware of what happened with Zap2It?

Elgato pays Decisionmark for access to the TitanTV program guide with EyeTV in the US, a "subscription" fee passed on to customers that's reflected in the software price whether or not they (can) actually use that service. And good luck getting support for inaccurate/incomplete guide issues; mine still haven't been fully resolved (e.g. missing channels).

The program guide is a critical component for a properly functioning DVR system that can't be taken for granted.
post #141 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post

A guide from Apple might mark EXACT start and end times, as well as advertising time. Apple may want to restrict ad skipping (just for partner networks??)

If they restricted ad skipping, it would be very poorly received by customers, and put them at a competitive disadvantage. Start and end times can be a pain, but having a DVR pad by a couple minutes on each side seems to cover that.
post #142 of 158
Most consumers are dumb. Most consumers are also cheap. Adding HD DVR capabilities to AppleTV, and it would HAVE to be HD will also add a few hundred $$$ to the price. And that will make it too expensive for most dumb consumers and would kill the product. It makes much more sense for Apple to raise the cost by ONE hundred dollars by adding an optical drive, replacing everyones DVD (Blu-Ray) players.
To the people who insist his could be an external option, remember, Apple is not interested in ugly things like this. If i'm wrong, our best bet is a couple of external options (DVR box, blu-ray drive) similar to the MacBook Air external superdrive. BTW, when is someone gonna hack that to work on AppleTV?
post #143 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicnac View Post

Adding HD DVR capabilities to AppleT ... will also add a few hundred $$$ to the price. <snip>. It makes much more sense for Apple to raise the cost by ONE hundred dollars by adding an optical drive, replacing everyones DVD (Blu-Ray) players.

I'm not sure where you get your figures from. Shaw Wu estimated $13 extra (iirc). The AppleTV hardware is capable of decoding 720p MPEG4 and is VERY likely to be capable of 1080 in MPEG2. Hard disk size is an issue, but it won't raise the price hundreds.

Unlike BluRay. Where the cheap players are over $500. What makes you think Apple could add bluray and keep the product under $330 (ie $100 extra).

Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

If they restricted ad skipping, it would be very poorly received by customers, and put them at a competitive disadvantage.

I agree. Consumers, myself included, want to watch everything for free and don't want to watch the ads. The DVRs significantly reduce the ability for the networks to make money which worries them. If Apple helps consumers avoid ads the networks will not be pleased and discouraged from working elsewhere with Apple.

There is a middle ground which encourages the networks (as in my post above). There's also a way to make consumers and advertisers happy - and that is far fewer ads but placed far more effectively. eg: A single ad per ad-break that can not be skimmed would keep our attention - especially if that ad was specifically targeted at the viewer, and had links to more web information or a longer infomercial.
post #144 of 158
Quote:
Ok. I have better things to do than spending an evening ripping CD's. Play-Rip-Burn. How 90's novel. Actually, I can't remember the last time I even downloaded a song. If you say people you know are still ripping their CD collections, great, I will take your word for it.

While file sharing and downloading are growing. 85% of music is still purchased in physical CD's. There is still a lot of ripping.


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Music sharing is nearly 10 years old? Maybe for those ripping CDs with iTunes music sharing was new 10 years ago. I guess.

Napster started in 1999.

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Have you written your own video recording software? All things being relative, Video player/recorder is more complex than an audio player. If you belief otherwise, then you are confused.

That would leave me to challenge you with the same question. But I don't think that matters.

Creating DVR software is easy enough that Tivo's competitors are good enough to keep Tivo from dominating the market. In the long run Tivo is either going to be bought or go out of business.

While no one has been able to come up with a solution that competes with the iPod+iTunes.

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DVR lends itself much more to being a commodity than an MP3 player? Really? Really? Saying so, just because Apple was able to be so successful with iPod doesn't now make DVR more commodity oriented than an MP3 player...that's why there were dozens of competitor, model options way before iPod...because it was commodity type item. Apple was simply able to become the defacto standard. Something Tivo has yet to do. Or the cable companies. or the sat companies. Or the hardware companies. or Microsoft. Or anyone else in these fragmented market.

What you are calling a fragmented market is a commodity market. The DVR is basically the same as the DVD player or the VCR. All brands of the product basically perform the same function. Their is some room to compete on features, styling, and brand loyalty. But mostly there isn't much difference to pick one over the other. No one is going to dominate the DVR the same way iPod dominates mp3.

The iPod dominating the mp3 market is unusual and does not normally happen. Apple has said it never expected the iPod to become as popular as it has. MP3 will eventually become a commodity market. iPod dominance won't last forever. Apple knows this and is why they made the iPhone and the iPod Touch. The iPod will become one software function within a device that performs many software functions.
post #145 of 158
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A DVR is just a digital recording device with access to guide information to tell it when to start and when to stop. It's VCR+ with an unlimited random-access tape and a nicer interface. All you need is *A* broadcast feed. Cable, dish... or HD OTA. Bazam - free digital signal, ready for saving. No cable company needed.

The number of people using over the air is so small Apple would not build a product around that.


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Last sentence no sense makes.

Are you trying to say that because it costs more to make a television show or movie, that the *average person* can't make one? Well, of course.

People can make movies and television. I'm saying the average person does not have access to a wide audience or their money.

Studios and networks spend a great deal of money in developing and producing content. The writers, directors, and crew. That are all used to create content with known actors and high production value. They then spend just as much money marketing, promoting, and distributing that content. The common person has access to none of these resources.

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But the average person can pay a buck to watch one. Get enough of those, and it pays for the production costs. Shows might have to compete on popularity and merit, instead of whose network boardroom butt they kiss.

This is an unrealistic simplification. If it were this easy people would be doing it already.
post #146 of 158
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Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

The number of people using over the air is so small Apple would not build a product around that.

Most people have cable - but are you saying they no longer have any choice since they don't have access to an antenna?

Related to that - and ignoring cable card etc - are digital FTA signals sent over cable networks in the clear, such that the AppleTV could receive them (with minimal extra hardware)? Or do they need to use cable card or whatever? (is FTA transmitted HD at all over cable, or just SD like in Australia?)
post #147 of 158
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Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post

Most people have cable - but are you saying they no longer have any choice since they don't have access to an antenna?

Related to that - and ignoring cable card etc - are digital FTA signals sent over cable networks in the clear, such that the AppleTV could receive them (with minimal extra hardware)? Or do they need to use cable card or whatever? (is FTA transmitted HD at all over cable, or just SD like in Australia?)

As far as I know, if you're a subscriber, you should be able to get over-the-air signals in the clear, though the cable. I think this is often true if you only have cable internet, no video, but it isn't guaranteed. It is coded differently, but tuners aren't a big issue.
post #148 of 158
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Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

While file sharing and downloading are growing. 85% of music is still purchased in physical CD's. There is still a lot of ripping.

If you say so.


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Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Napster started in 1999.

Sharing music was around long before Napster came around. Like I said, I guess for the crowd that still rips CD's Napster was the beginning of music sharing online. Reminds me of comments from AOL users when AOL opened the internet to them. They honestly thought AOL invented the internet and probably thought Napster invented file swapping.
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Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


That would leave me to challenge you with the same question. But I don't think that matters.

Dabbled, but wasn't my thing. I have been a software developer long enough to know better than to assume things are simple just because they have a simple interface. In fact, I believe a great UI often hides a more complex under-lying system.

But for the sake of clarification: Let's assume audio playback was as complex as video. Then a device that records and plays audio would be more complex than just an audio player by the fact it is doing at least 1 more thing. Now, let's remove the first assumption. Video codecs are simply more complex than audio codecs. From recording to compression to correction and play back, it just is.

Take these two things together, that a recorder/player is more complex than a player and that video is more complex than audio, there really is no arguement that a DVR is a more complicated proposal than an MP3 player. That doesn't mean Apple hasn't designed a more complex device in the iPod than the Tivo is, but that is a matter of individual implementation of the conceptual devices.

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Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Creating DVR software is easy enough that Tivo's competitors are good enough to keep Tivo from dominating the market. In the long run Tivo is either going to be bought or go out of business.

I would argue that a compelling implementation of DVR is complex enough that TiVo has not yet been able to become a defacto standard. Someone needs to create an implementation that not only makes it compelling but makes it become considered an integral part of the home entertainment system. Just as Apple did with iPod. There where lots of MP3 players before that and lots were sold. But Apple not only grabbed most of the market share and dominated the market, the basically exploded the market to where PMPs have become ubiquitous, dominated by iPod.

I would agree that TiVo will be bought or go under. But that is because they have failed to create a mainstream market demand for DVR in general and for their implementation specifically with the existing market.

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Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

While no one has been able to come up with a solution that competes with the iPod+iTunes.

Exactly...it comes down to execution.

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Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

What you are calling a fragmented market is a commodity market. The DVR is basically the same as the DVD player or the VCR. All brands of the product basically perform the same function. Their is some room to compete on features, styling, and brand loyalty. But mostly there isn't much difference to pick one over the other. No one is going to dominate the DVR the same way iPod dominates mp3.

The iPod dominating the mp3 market is unusual and does not normally happen. Apple has said it never expected the iPod to become as popular as it has. MP3 will eventually become a commodity market. iPod dominance won't last forever. Apple knows this and is why they made the iPhone and the iPod Touch. The iPod will become one software function within a device that performs many software functions.

Good points, but not givens.

The DVR market has been around a while but is still immature and has yet to have someone enter the market with a device that makes DVRs commonplace and mainstream. Before the iPod, MP3 players were mainly selling to youth and technophiles. iPod made them mainstream. Like I said, now even seniors know iPod, but they might not know MP3, PMP, DVR or Tivo. A company that bring out a compelling device/service/features could do for the DVR market what iPod did for MP3 players/PMP. In that sense, just as the Mp3 player market was fragmented before the iPod, the DVR market is similarly fragmented and undeveloped and untapped.

Maybe Apple won't do a DVR implementation at all. Lots of reasons for them not to, but there are some solid reasons for them to consider it as an add-on feature to Apple TV.

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post #149 of 158
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Most people have cable - but are you saying they no longer have any choice since they don't have access to an antenna?

People have a choice. I don't see many people choosing OTA just to use an Apple TV has a DVR.
post #150 of 158
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Sharing music was around long before Napster came around. Like I said, I guess for the crowd that still rips CD's Napster was the beginning of music sharing online. Reminds me of comments from AOL users when AOL opened the internet to them. They honestly thought AOL invented the internet and probably thought Napster invented file swapping.

I didn't say Napster invented file sharing. But Napster was the tipping point where file sharing became mainstream.

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Video codecs are simply more complex than audio codecs. From recording to compression to correction and play back, it just is.

I agree in general that video is more complex to deal with than audio. But from what I've read a DVR does not have to encode. Digital cable is already an encoded MPEG stream. The DVR simply records the MPEG signal.

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I would argue that a compelling implementation of DVR is complex enough that TiVo has not yet been able to become a defacto standard.

So complex that cable companies saw no need to license TIvo but instead create their own DVR software.

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The DVR market has been around a while but is still immature and has yet to have someone enter the market with a device that makes DVRs commonplace and mainstream.

The cable companies have already won. Currently cable DVR are the largest number of DVR users in the US at around 20 million. It is estimated that by 2010 cable DVR use will grow to around 32 million of the 65 million cable subscribers in the US.

As long as the cable box dominates content entry into the television no other DVR service will have a fair chance at this market.
post #151 of 158
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Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

I didn't say Napster invented file sharing. But Napster was the tipping point where file sharing became mainstream.

You said music sharing was nearly 10 years old and backed it up by saying Napster started in 1999. OK, maybe it is my misunderstanding. In anycase, file sharing is old. Very old.

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Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

I agree in general that video is more complex to deal with than audio. But from what I've read a DVR does not have to encode. Digital cable is already an encoded MPEG stream. The DVR simply records the MPEG signal.

And an MP3 player just has to play MP3s. A DVR also has to record and schedule. simply adding those two requirements makes it more complex by definition.

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Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

So complex that cable companies saw no need to license TIvo but instead create their own DVR software.

Keeps the money in their pockets. What does that have to do with how complex a system is? Nothing.

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Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

The cable companies have already won. Currently cable DVR are the largest number of DVR users in the US at around 20 million. It is estimated that by 2010 cable DVR use will grow to around 32 million of the 65 million cable subscribers in the US.

Again, you are probably right. They are in the position to sneak their implementation into their customer's STB. But for now, take up is nowhere near mainstream. They charge racketeering level rates to get the convenience of having the DVR build into your STB. They will/can make it mainstream by removing the additional cost, lowering the add-on cost or by actually coming up with a compelling implementation. I am betting on #1 or 2. That makes the market ripe for someone else to enter and dominate the market.
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Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

As long as the cable box dominates content entry into the television no other DVR service will have a fair chance at this market.

100% agreed. Their legalized monopoly positions makes it incredibly hard for third party devices to suceed. That doesn't mean it is impossible.

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post #152 of 158
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You said music sharing was nearly 10 years old and backed it up by saying Napster started in 1999. OK, maybe it is my misunderstanding. In anycase, file sharing is old. Very old.

Its a matter of context. I'm not talking about the first person who ever shared a file. I'm talk about file sharing becoming mainstream and having an impact on the music business. That happened about 10 years ago.

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Keeps the money in their pockets. What does that have to do with how complex a system is? Nothing.

Yes it does. Most every company licenses software. Most of the time its much easier and cheaper to license some one else's work than recreate it from scratch.


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Again, you are probably right. They are in the position to sneak their implementation into their customer's STB. But for now, take up is nowhere near mainstream. They charge racketeering level rates to get the convenience of having the DVR build into your STB. They will/can make it mainstream by removing the additional cost, lowering the add-on cost or by actually coming up with a compelling implementation. I am betting on #1 or 2. That makes the market ripe for someone else to enter and dominate the market.

100% of the potential DVR market knows what it is. DVR has been adopted by a third and will soon penetrate half of its potential market. I think its safe to call it mainstream.

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100% agreed. Their legalized monopoly positions makes it incredibly hard for third party devices to suceed. That doesn't mean it is impossible.

I suppose nothing is absolutely impossible. But at this point the chances are slim.
post #153 of 158
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Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Yes it does. Most every company licenses software. Most of the time its much easier and cheaper to license some one else's work than recreate it from scratch.

Sometime it is, sometimes it isn't. They could be and probably are licensing it from another company. I am sure TiVo holds their IP pretty dearly and a license from them probably be more expensive than paying someone, internally or externally for another implementation that is cheaper. It would also give the cable company greater control over what is and isn't in the implementation. To say they did not license TiVo's IP because it is a simple device to develop is a utter over-simplification.


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Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

100% of the potential DVR market knows what it is. DVR has been adopted by a third and will soon penetrate half of its potential market. I think its safe to call it mainstream.

And on this we will disagree. I don't think DVR's are common place enough to call them mainstream.

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Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

I suppose nothing is absolutely impossible. But at this point the chances are slim.

Perhaps. But Apple dominating the PMP market out of the blue and now appearing to make similar strides against the smart phone market show that a good implementation and execution can over come slim odd. There are barriers to Apple succeeding if they entered the DVR market, no doubt. There were barriers to the PMP and phone markets too (different barriers, but difficult none the less) and they have not only succeeded but succeeded wildly.

Think Different, indeed.

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post #154 of 158
What would be the likelihood of being able to program the DVR via iPhone while away from home? To me, this would be a huge selling point and seems reasonable.
post #155 of 158
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Originally Posted by vibber419 View Post

What would be the likelihood of being able to program the DVR via iPhone while away from home? To me, this would be a huge selling point and seems reasonable.

Not just iPhone please
How about via a Mac application? Or the regular web? Or iTunes?
post #156 of 158
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And on this we will disagree. I don't think DVR's are common place enough to call them mainstream.

Well 65 million out of 120 million US households at lest have basic analog cable. Of those only 53 million have premium digital cable. Most households with premium cable will soon have a DVR.

At what point would you consider it mainstream?

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But Apple dominating the PMP market out of the blue and now appearing to make similar strides against the smart phone market show that a good implementation and execution can over come slim odd.

The mp3 market was petty nascent in 2001. No one dominated and was up for grabs by anyone. The record labels were actively fighting against it. That was the perfect environment for someone to come in with a cohesive vision to quell the chaos of digital music. DVR is not currently in this situation.

The iPhone is selling well but Apple is no where near dominating the smartphone market. Apple has been able to align with partners who are leaders in mobile communications and are able to provide a stable and nurturing platform for the iPhone. Their are no such partners for a DVR.
post #157 of 158
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Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Well 65 million out of 120 million US households at lest have basic analog cable. Of those only 53 million have premium digital cable. Most households with premium cable will soon have a DVR.

At what point would you consider it mainstream?

How about when any significant number of those could even tell you what a DVR is?

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Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

The mp3 market was petty nascent in 2001. No one dominated and was up for grabs by anyone. The record labels were actively fighting against it. That was the perfect environment for someone to come in with a cohesive vision to quell the chaos of digital music. DVR is not currently in this situation.

Look, I can also state opinion as fact:
The DVR market was petty nascent in 2008. No one dominated and was up for grabs by anyone. The movie companies were actively fighting against it. That was the perfect environment for someone to come in with a cohesive vision to quell the chaos of DVR.

Actually, pretty much any content owners are against DVR.

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Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

The iPhone is selling well but Apple is no where near dominating the smartphone market. Apple has been able to align with partners who are leaders in mobile communications and are able to provide a stable and nurturing platform for the iPhone. Their are no such partners for a DVR.

No idea what you are talking about here. What partners are you talking about that Apple has for the iPhone (ATT?) and what partners would they need for a DVR?

Actually, not sure why I even respond to this nonsense anymore. I never said they dominated the smart phone market and here I am being placed in a position of defending that they are..not going to take the bait.

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post #158 of 158
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How about when any significant number of those could even tell you what a DVR is?

Admittedly I don't know how things are in Ontario. But in New York if you subscribe to cable the cable company is sending you information trying to encourage you to upgrade your cable package. They fully explain the advantage of the DVR. Cable companies also advertise their packages on television. Where I live most everyone knows what a DVR is, even if they don't have one.

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Look, I can also state opinion as fact:
The DVR market was petty nascent in 2008. No one dominated and was up for grabs by anyone. The movie companies were actively fighting against it. That was the perfect environment for someone to come in with a cohesive vision to quell the chaos of DVR.

I'm not stating my opinion as fact. Its well known and reported that the music industry attempted to fight against digital downloads. Today they are still bitter about being forced to begrudgingly accept the situation.

Sales of digital media devices were extremely small when the iPod was first introduced. Here is a Business Week article that states mp3 sales were 15 to 17 million world wide in 2003. At that time Apple was selling about 800,000 iPods over the Christmas holidays and about 1.5 million iPods a year. This was prior to the iPod mini. After the introduction of the iPod mini, sales took off astronomically.

Now Apple sells 21 million iPods over the Christmas holidays and 73 million iPods a year.

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Actually, pretty much any content owners are against DVR.

Its really more the broadcasters (ABC, NBC, CBS) than the movie and television studios who don't like the DVR. But the DVR is not illegal and their is nothing they can do about it.

Learning from the short sighted and blunderous mistakes of the music industry. Instead of fighting technology move/television have taken the wiser choice of using technology to their advantage. Which is why ABC and NBC are offering ad supported content online. Which is why we have Hulu and Joost.

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No idea what you are talking about here. What partners are you talking about that Apple has for the iPhone (ATT?) and what partners would they need for a DVR?

The mobile phone companies: AT&T, O2, Orange, T-Mobile.

Right now to shoehorn a device between the cable box and the television is more work than just ordering DVR service from the cable company. For any one to create a viable DVR business needs the cooperation of the cable company to make it easy. Tivo licensing its software to Comcast and Direct TV will get Tivo in more homes than selling the stand alone box.

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Actually, not sure why I even respond to this nonsense anymore. I never said they dominated the smart phone market and here I am being placed in a position of defending that they are..not going to take the bait.

The context of your sentence clearly sounded as if you thought the iPhone is going to be in the same position as the iPod. And that Apple could also do that in the DVR market.
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