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Analyst urges Apple to add cable box support to Apple TV

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
As sales triple year-over-year and a new cable communication standard arrives on the scene at the same time, a new-and-improved Apple TV could become the center of your digital home, according to a Wall Street analyst.

Sales of the Apple TV are up more than threefold over the past year. Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi says it might be the perfect time to start taking more seriously what Apple chief Steve Jobs has long referred to as a "hobby." (Acting chief executive Tim Cook used the same terminology only weeks ago.)

"We [at Bernstein] believe the device has the potential to become a major product line," Sacconaghi writes. "In our view, Apple TV could relatively easily evolve into a full-featured digital media hub that can access not only iTunes and personally generated media content but cable TV as well."

That could bring Jobs' vision for the device closer to reality. At the official release in 2007, Jobs described the Apple TV as a potential "fourth leg" for Apple's business where the Mac, iPod and iPhone make up the other three supports.

Most people who use DVRs with digital cable must rent the box from the cable company in order to do so, or subscribe to services like TiVo. But new emerging standards could open up the market to products like Apple TV, according to Sacconaghi.

He adds that new software standard called Tru2way might help Apple in this regard. It eliminates the need for special tuning cards and allows two-way communication from the user's box to the cable system, making services like video on demand and interactive programming guides a real possibility.

Third-party manufacturers can use the Tru2way technology to build their own devices with their own features, creating a new market where customers can choose a set-top box for use with their existing cable service. Apple, Sacconaghi says, is "uniquely positioned" to deliver a compelling device given its experience in hardware and software integration, intuitive user interfaces, and a large installed base of iPod/iTunes users, not to mention the foundation that already exists in the Apple TV.

If the Intel-powered media hub is eventually made to access cable content and act as a DVR, Sacconaghi sees a widely-expanded market for the device than the estimated one million or so units already sold.

"Given roughly 65 million cable TV households in the US, capturing a modest 10% penetration in two years would lead to cumulative Apple TV units of 6.5 million -- or more than 6x the sales rate seen so far," he explains. "Assuming an average sale price of $300 per unit... given the increased functionality, the product could contribute roughly $1 billion in hardware revenues per year."

Additionally, the analyst predicts, the new machine would drive adoption of other Apple products like Macs, iPods, and iPhones, giving customers seamless integration of their content whenever and wherever they choose, with the Apple TV serving as the media server at the center of it all.

Apple TV and its Netflix-capable rival from Roku.

Elsewhere, BusinessWeek's Arik Hesseldahl suggests Apple could follow the iPhone model and open up the Apple TV platform to third-party applications which users could download and install, enabling integration with online services like Hulu, Joost, CBS, and any other features Apple doesn't provide itself.

Hesseldahl argues Apple should foster the same flexibility that helped the iPod take off, allowing users to bring together a variety of file formats since relatively small portions of most libraries are actually purchased from iTunes. Applied to the Apple TV, users could bring the videos they already own into the unit; however, whether or not customers would be able to digitize or even play DVDs is still a legal gray area and frequently opposed by movie studios.

Apple introduced the Apple TV primarily as an easy way to wirelessly play iTunes content, including movies, TV shows, music, photos and podcasts, on a widescreen TV at Macworld 2007. Apple later added YouTube functionality that June.

Since then, updates have been slow. It wasn't until Macworld 2008 when a new software update accompanied a price drop to $229 for the 40GB model, while users could also quadruple their storage with the 160GB unit for another $100. Dubbed Take 2 and available free to existing Apple TV owners, the new software added the ability to rent movies from the iTunes Store directly from the device, including HD video and, later, HD television shows.

Apple has added Flickr and Mobile Me photo gallery integration since the original release, but Macworld 2009 was the first in three years not to see any updates concerning the Apple TV.
post #2 of 62
Where they hell are they getting any notion of Jobs' "vision" for the device when all he's said is that it's a hobby, something which Cook has reiterated?

Never mind that the device, all on its own, has tripled its sales without the vision thing from Apple.

Apple has a history of creating its own channels for content, not dipping into current ones. The iTunes Music Store. iTunes Movies. iTunes Rentals. The iTunes App Store.

Does Apple have an interest in releasing a box there's little profit in and giving it access to content that's in competition to iTunes. Given that it would also have to start following all the hullabaloo of supporting Cable Cards...

There's no upside for Apple there.

As for already supporting Flickr and YouTube? They're no threat, and they in fact help draw people away from content that's available thru...wait for it...cable companies!
post #3 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

As sales triple year-over-year and a new cable communication standard arrives on the scene at the same time, a new-and-improved Apple TV could become the center of your digital home, according to a Wall Street analyst.


I hate the closed iPhone business model but if they really wanted to make this a success they would partner with Time Warner Cable or AT&T U-Verse to sell as an exclusive product. The company would subsidize the cost to the consumer because it would generate so much new business and they would work with Apple to ensure that there was compatibility with the network and even create many advanced services that would take years to develop were they not collaborating. Seems like a no-brainer to me. Plus, the added marketing that the partnership would bring and the entrenched consumer base to the cable operator, I think a LOT of people would pick this up.
post #4 of 62
Makes sense to me.

Except...
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post #5 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by WIJG View Post

Makes sense to me.

Except...

Please... all it would take is a software app for the iPhone/iPod Touch. Instant remote control.
post #6 of 62
Don't misunderstand, I love my AppleTV, but I never liked the notion of adding more to my home entertainment system especially as Apple's "philosophy" seems to focus on simplicity. At the time of AppleTV's release, I recall commenting that becoming an all-in-one home entertainment device would be ideal. A device that could replace your Cable box and DVD player, bridging devices such that only an AVR and AppleTV device would be required for a home entertainment system. Granted, AppleTV does not have a Blu-Ray/DVD player, however with advancements in technology perhaps high-definition DVD's will become less necessary in lieu of high-definition digital wireless media (again, as technology advances and 1080p over-the-air media downloads are improved). Again, it's all about simplicity, and bridging devices into a capable all-in-one unit would be ideal.
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post #7 of 62
Every single person I know has satellite service.
post #8 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by makkystyle View Post

Please... all it would take is a software app for the iPhone/iPod Touch. Instant remote control.

Such an option would be a natural feature to include, But it couldn't be the whole solution--too expensive, no battery life, no power over the remote. How would you block a family member from usurping channel control via their iPhone?

EDIT:
Plus, how do you change channels when you're talking to someone on your phone?
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post #9 of 62
Problem is now there are three options: Cable, Fios, and Sat. Can't do all three, so all it can really do is take advantage of IP backhaul common to all.
post #10 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by WIJG View Post

Such an option would be a natural feature to include, But it couldn't be the whole solution--too expensive, no battery life, no power over the remote. How would you block a family member from usurping channel control via their iPhone?

I'm not sure how that's a problem. You can accomplish the same thing right now with IR remotes (if you have two of them... like many households do). In fact it would be easier to limit the number of active remotes because you could limit the number of BT or WiFi connections (a la iTunes Remote for the iPhone/Touch). Ultimately though, there would have to be an included remote that was more basic, but I have a feeling apple would opt for something very similar to what iTV uses already and just use on screen cues to perform more than just basic functions (similar to using a PS remote to control a DVD). The iPhone/Touch app would just be a bonus if you had one... or an incentive to buy one
post #11 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Problem is now there are three options: Cable, Fios, and Sat. Can't do all three, so all it can really do is take advantage of IP backhaul common to all.

Hence my suggestion above. The same way visual voicemail is only possible through partnership with a service provider.
post #12 of 62
If this latest recession has taught me anything it is to take a close look at my monthly expenditures and assess what these services offer me.

I and my gf have come to the conclusion that Comcast simply isn't worth near $1000 per annum.

I don't watch that much TV nor do I have to watch an episode the minute is broadcasts. I'm perfectly content with catching up on series via netflix and with Hulu and other service joining the fray I don't quite view the Apple TV becoming cablco extension as something that is likely to cause a sea change for Apple or consumers.

If I've bought into the whole Bronze/Silver/Gold "all I can eat" boodoggle then I'm going to gorge myself on this content which means i'm certainly not going to be buying much iTunes content. Apple's goal is to sell iTunes content not become a conduit for Comcast or the like.

What Apple needs is smartly priced content that encourages more iTunes use. I'd certainly suggest they support Hulu as the networks are behind that and frankly they need to investigate what pricepoints are teneble for consumers for content broadcast for free. Seeing as how Hulu is add supported Apple needs to find a way of delivering this content cheaper than what they are doing today.

My immediate plans are for HD OTA (Off The Air) and Netflix. I don't plan on returning to 80 buck a month plans anytime soon.

Though if you watch a lot of TV and want to package'up then True2way and Apple TV may just be what you're looking for.
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post #13 of 62
(Not too many) years from now, the idea of getting content by being at the right place at the right time (on channel 4 at 8:00 PM) is going to seem ridiculous.

AppleTV doesn't have a DVD drive because they consider it old tech. Interfacing with a cable box is no different and would really be a near-sighted move (and difficult at that!)

What'd be far more useful and forward-looking is interfacing with Hulu and ABC.com and other places where on-demand, streamable content is freely available.
post #14 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Problem is now there are three options: Cable, Fios, and Sat. Can't do all three, so all it can really do is take advantage of IP backhaul common to all.

Wired magazine has a good article about Comcast. Page 2 addresses the alternatives to cable and explains why they may be doomed. Basically, cable is faster and cheaper.

If the Apple TV goes cable box, I can't really see Apple partnering with a cable provider to do it. The only partner that would make sense would be Comcast and people hate Comcast.

Even so, a partnership could have great advantages. In addition to those named by makkystyle, Apple could arrange to secure priority network access for users downloading content from iTunes. (This is an argument against net neutrality.)

(A cable Apple TV box could also include WiFi. That could actually help promote downloads from iTunes.)
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post #15 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

He adds that new software standard called Tru2way might help Apple in this regard. It eliminates the need for special tuning cards and allows two-way communication from the user's box to the cable system, making services like video on demand and interactive programming guides a real possibility.

Third-party manufacturers can use the Tru2way technology to build their own devices with their own features, creating a new market where customers can choose a set-top box for use with their existing cable service. Apple, Sacconaghi says, is "uniquely positioned" to deliver a compelling device given its experience in hardware and software integration, intuitive user interfaces, and a large installed base of iPod/iTunes users, not to mention the foundation that already exists in the Apple TV.

There is definitely an opportunity with Tru2way. Other than some Panasonic TVs that almost nobody will buy, pretty much everything announced is heading to cable companies for rental units. If Apple made an ATSC OTA/Tru2way capable Apple TV I'd buy one right away.
post #16 of 62
Not going to happen.... ever!

Why would Apple even consider such a move? They provide their own movie/TV rental/purchase store. Why mess about with cable providers?

Maybe they should look at Netflix and provide a streaming subscription service but with Apples slick sales and hardware behind it.

e.g. Apple TV and iPhone/Touch streaming services etc.
post #17 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

Not going to happen.... ever!

Why would Apple even consider such a move? They provide their own movie/TV rental/purchase store. Why mess about with cable providers?

Maybe they should look at Netflix and provide a streaming subscription service but with Apples slick sales and hardware behind it.

e.g. Apple TV and iPhone/Touch streaming services etc.

As some people will often point out (especially when discussing the prospect of Apple licensing OS X to clones), Apple is a hardware company. Like pmjoe, I'd buy one. (I'd never buy Apple TV without BluRay and/or cable.)
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post #18 of 62
Apple adding a TV tuner and/or DVR functionality to Apple TV has as much chance as them adding a built-in radio tuner (analog, digital, satellite, or otherwise) to iPods. It's simply not going to happen. The same goes for adding a DVD or BluRay drive.

The content for Apple TV, like the content for an iPod, comes from or through iTunes and the Internet (including ripped CDs, YouTube, Flickr, podcasts, etc.).

More likely are deals with studios to get their TV show content available through iTunes without the 24 hour waiting period that currently exists.

Imagine that you've purchased a season pass to a show you like on iTunes. Then a few minutes before the show is first scheduled to air in the U.S. your Apple TV and/or iTunes starts buffering the download of that show and allows you to stream it just like watching a movie through Apple TV. Voila, you get to watch the show starting at the same time as everyone else (the buffered part will be "locked" until the time the show is supposed to start airing on broadcast). To make up for the lack of commercial revenue for the studios you'll have to pay an extra "Plus pass" type fee (like $5 on top of the season pass), and/or there will be single commercials inserted into the commercial breaks a la Hulu (and just like on Hulu, you WON'T be able to skip past them!). Fortunately, those commercials won't actually be saved on disk with the show, so subsequent viewings (or maybe viewings after the first 24 hours) will be commercial free.

There's simply no way Apple is going to do something with Apple TV that just gives revenue to the cable/satellite/etc. providers, when *they're the competition.*

Notice how the current sources of content for the Apple TV and iPods are largely non-commercially supported (the exceptions are some podcasts, and maybe with some Internet streaming radio apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch).

Bear in mind that unlike Apple's other products Apple TV is hardware designed to sell content, which is a reverse of Apple's usual content/software to sell hardware model. This is a large part of why Apple still considers it only a hobby.

Other makers of set top boxes, PC tuner hardware, etc. are actually selling their gear more like Apple's non-Apple TV products where the majority of their revenue comes from the hardware (TiVo is in-between, trying to make money off both hardware sales and subscription fees for their guide). Those other hardware makers are more likely than Apple to add cable/satellite/etc. functionality as a result.

A big problem these so-called "analysts" (and many followers of tech) have is that many of them simply can't see Apple TV as anything but just another set top box. For some reason they just don't grasp the fundamental differences I've described above.

Lun Esex
post #19 of 62
Yeah they'd have to partner with the cable companies. Really since cable companies don't have much overlap you could partner with all of them eventually. Otherwise the cable companies have too much power. HIstory has shown they don't support these open standards very well.

Plus it would be hard (for Apple) to compete against free. Ask Tivo. The cable cos give out boxes for free.

(Actually I think Satellite companies would be a more logical partnership since they don't do 2-way communications as well as cable cos.)


As for DVR functions it would be hard to beat Tivo which is quite slick.

Realistically though Apple is competing against the cable cos.

So I like the idea of supporting 3rd party apps and letting ATV access Hulu and more sites like that.

And I think Apple needs a Netflix model for video content. The biggest problem with ATV is the content is too expensive.
post #20 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lun_Esex View Post

Apple adding a TV tuner and/or DVR functionality to Apple TV has as much chance as them adding a built-in radio tuner (analog, digital, satellite, or otherwise) to iPods.

The difference is:

People want iPods; iPods contribute to Apple's business; nobody cares if their iPod has a radio or not.

People don't particularly want Apple TVs (much less want to pay for them); until that changes, Apple TV will remain a "hobby"; lots of people want BluRay/cable TV.

When you consider that Apple TV requires: a computer, a flat-screen TV, and WiFi...
and offers very little functionality...
I think a cable box is a great idea.

It would offer cable that works with any TV, opening up sales to a vast number of people. Consumers that already have a flat-screen and a computer would get to use Apple TV as originally envisioned. They wouldn't have to shell out extra bucks for a wireless router either (provided it's included in Apple TV).

It's worth remembering that a lot of would-be Apple consumers just can't afford it. With iPods, Apple started to change that. All the requirements of Apple TV are impediments to its success. I understand Apple wants to sell content in addition to hardware, but it will have to do it like they did with the iPod--by first making it ubiquitous, relatively cheap, and compatible with content appart from iTunes.

Bottomline: Apple has to add value (somehow) to Apple TV if they ever want it to sell.
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post #21 of 62
Over on the apple.com support forum, the highly-rated members will waste no time to tell you that AppleTV is a low-end consumer device, incapable of anything approaching quality reproduction of the media it plays. Mediocrity rules.

Does Apple plan to change AppleTV's design goal of striving for mediocrity?
post #22 of 62
I think Apple is on the right track with AppleTV. It works great for movie rentals. 720p content looks awesome on my 52" HDTV (as good as Blu-Ray in my opinion). It has a good interface and works better than the Xbox 360 and PS 3 for this purpose (I own both). It also make Netflix irrelevant.

I don't pay for TV service. So my main gripe with the AppleTV could be solved with a browser.

Buying TV shows can get expensive, especially if you are a TV junkie. This is why broadcast TV is still viable and the need for a DVR. I find myself watching new TV shows on my computer for free in low resolution quality with commercials just to see if I like them. I would like to see Apple offer this via the AppleTV. Watch TV shows free with commercials, buy the ones you want in HD. Even if this was accomplished through a browser by using the media company's web sites, I think it would work; but it would be better to have the media companies offer their content with commercials just like they do on the web, but in 720p, and stream it through the AppleTV.

Apple could bypass the broadcast companies and make DVR irrelevant if they promoted "channels" and encouraged HD content streamed via the AppleTV and bring the whole "watch what you want, when you want" ideal closer to reality. But all they really need to do is put a browser on the AppleTV since most of the content is available on the web.
post #23 of 62
The problem with this idea is that it is for the USA only.
I know this is something you USA-ians hardly ever think about, but this is US only technology AFAIK.
Apple is now a global company (or at least it's trying to be).
What's the point of getting behind a regional standard when it won't work in half your markets?
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post #24 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by camper View Post

Over on the apple.com support forum, the highly-rated members will waste no time to tell you that AppleTV is a low-end consumer device, incapable of anything approaching quality reproduction of the media it plays. Mediocrity rules.

Does Apple plan to change AppleTV's design goal of striving for mediocrity?

Do they have idiotic trolls like you on that forum as well?
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post #25 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

Not going to happen.... ever!

Why would Apple even consider such a move? They provide their own movie/TV rental/purchase store. Why mess about with cable providers?

Maybe they should look at Netflix and provide a streaming subscription service but with Apples slick sales and hardware behind it.

e.g. Apple TV and iPhone/Touch streaming services etc.

-I agree. They need a Subscription-based plan. Something like a Netflix/Roku analogue. -AND they could have at least some kind of 2nd-mover-advantage by observing them.

I also agree with Lun_Esex -especially on the idea of a no-commercials Plus-Pass fee.

This article Does make me wonder how many they could sell if ATV were actually a more fleshed-out product with less impediments to success.

-Would the product sell because people were willing to have the Apple Expericence in the Living Room?

Apple should probably buy ElGato.
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post #26 of 62
Me I have a home video problem, I don't know where to store it. Since I don't want anymoe of a physics support like a DVd or Blue RAy, I would like to store my iDVD project in the Apple TV.

Then I can have the beautiful menu and the chapter like a DVD but inside the Apple TV. That's mean, Apple just need to provide VOB support.

It will be fun having a stack of virtual DVD. No one can match that in the competition, Apple got all the puzzle to do that.

LaCie and some other support the DVD format but they do not offer any solution to create a DVD style project like iMovie and iDVD can provide.
http://www.pocket-lint.co.uk/news/ne...ia-drive.phtml

At this time the Apple TV downgrade the size of my Home video taken with my HD camcorder, hope they will support a bigger resolution for all my home video and also get more storage or maybe open up the USB port to expand the storage.
post #27 of 62
I really want an Apple TV, but right now it's an add on, it doesn't replace anything. You still have a DVR, you still have a bluray/DVD, it's more clutter. I think Apple could make a killer DVR that I'd want to use. I agree, add apps and a browser.
post #28 of 62
I can think of about 10 different interesting additions to Apple's TV model, but none are as 'clean' as the current AppleTV. But the current AppleTV doesn't do enough to take off as Apple wants - partly because the infrastructure is still developing, partly because the contracts & TV industry behemoth are slow to change.

For example, I suspect Apple would like to rent HD TV shows for $1 each, or less. The networks can't do that because their local channels would complain -and besides it'd cost a bit for Apple's bandwidth and the ISPs probably aren't up to the throughput quite yet.

Worse... what Apple wants would seem to take the viewer ownership off the networks and put Apple in total control.

Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

Not going to happen.... ever!

Why would Apple even consider such a move? They provide their own movie/TV rental/purchase store. Why mess about with cable providers?

A few people are saying the AppleTV doesn't make the money, it's made in rental. If that was all there was to it, Apple would have tried to get TiVo to rent iTunes movies. I think Apple wants it all.... but perhaps they need to take a step away from that concept to get the new model off the ground, and in some ways this analyst is suggesting one way of doing that.

I'd personally rather see the other suggestion - open up the AppleTV to 3rd party developers in the same manner as iPhone apps. As part of that, provide a framework for others to securely supply video content. In some ways Apple then takes on a very powerful position of overseeing the evolution of TV while not specifically pushing it in their own direction.

ps. Forget everything else for a moment, as I create a different hybrid...
imagine if the Scifi channel cut a deal with Apple for $5/mth, all scifi channel content is available to download as it airs. How would that kind of offer change the appeal of the AppleTV? It would still adhere to a new way of providing TV wouldn't it? Is there room to put 2 or 3 commercials within each show?
post #29 of 62
I also do not know 1 single person who has cable TV anymore.

I would say the people I know breakdown like this.

60% DirecTv
20% Dish Network
20% No satellite/cable at all

I know about 30 people with Roku players. I know tons of people with Xbox 360's but am only sure of 6 people who use Netflix through their Xbox.

I do not know anyone with an Apple Tv.
post #30 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by WIJG View Post

As some people will often point out (especially when discussing the prospect of Apple licensing OS X to clones), Apple is a hardware company. Like pmjoe, I'd buy one. (I'd never buy Apple TV without BluRay and/or cable.)

Apple = hardware + software/services

If you have been following AAPL's financials you would notice that they are transforming from being primarily a hardware company. More and more revenue is coming from iTunes media and AppStore sales.

I think the logical move for Apple would be to offer a NetFlix like service, minus the expense of shuttling millions of physical discs in the mail. The problem is getting the media providers on board. NetFlix has an advantage in that they don't need to get any approval to rent out a physical DVD.
post #31 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by gigi View Post

Me I have a home video problem, I don't know where to store it. Since I don't want anymoe of a physics support like a DVd or Blue RAy, I would like to store my iDVD project in the Apple TV.

Your AppleTV will run out of space quickly - especially if it's stored as a DVD rather than more highly compressed.

But yeah - storing on the home network makes sense.

Quote:
Then I can have the beautiful menu and the chapter like a DVD but inside the Apple TV.

Yeah I wonder why Apple hasn't made iDVD able to create a good looking AppleTV media file instead of a DVD. It could also make it in HD.

Quote:
At this time the Apple TV downgrade the size of my Home video taken with my HD camcorder, hope they will support a bigger resolution for all my home video and also get more storage or maybe open up the USB port to expand the storage.

HD at 720p25 is great for Internet downloads (for now), but I do think the first thing they'll need to do with the AppleTV is boost the graphics capabilities up to BluRay standards - it needs to handle the best quality home movies you can throw at it.

On a side note, we do desperately need a way of handling and sharing media between multiple machines. I imagine they're working on a media server - but even a better peer-to-peer management system would be good.
post #32 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by WIJG View Post

The difference is:

People want iPods; iPods contribute to Apple's business; nobody cares if their iPod has a radio or not.

People don't particularly want Apple TVs (much less want to pay for them); until that changes, Apple TV will remain a "hobby"; lots of people want BluRay/cable TV.

When you consider that Apple TV requires: a computer, a flat-screen TV, and WiFi...
and offers very little functionality...
I think a cable box is a great idea.

It would offer cable that works with any TV, opening up sales to a vast number of people. Consumers that already have a flat-screen and a computer would get to use Apple TV as originally envisioned. They wouldn't have to shell out extra bucks for a wireless router either (provided it's included in Apple TV).

It's worth remembering that a lot of would-be Apple consumers just can't afford it. With iPods, Apple started to change that. All the requirements of Apple TV are impediments to its success. I understand Apple wants to sell content in addition to hardware, but it will have to do it like they did with the iPod--by first making it ubiquitous, relatively cheap, and compatible with content appart from iTunes.

Bottomline: Apple has to add value (somehow) to Apple TV if they ever want it to sell.

Have you ever seen an AppleTV?

They don't require a computer and they don't require a wireless router. All they require is a wide screen TV which is incidentally all you can buy now.

AppleTV contributes to Apple's business in exactly the same way as an iPod. You buy content from Apple.

There will never be an optical drive or cable attachment for it.

As has been pointed out by another poster, sales have increased 3 fold over the last year. They don't need to change anything.
post #33 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by God of Biscuits View Post

As for already supporting Flickr and YouTube? They're no threat, and they in fact help draw people away from content that's available thru...wait for it...cable companies!


if they were to add support for tv.com and hulu.com streaming video that would kill the cable services to an even greater degree. Heck I dropped my tv service now that I can get everything through those two and the iTunes store.

the only other thing I wish was to not have stuff I bought through the Apple TV sync back to my computer. I would love to not have my media on my computer taking up space. that's why I love the idea of a home server system. I might have to look into that HP one after it has had a few weeks to work out the kinks
post #34 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dueces View Post

I also do not know 1 single person who has cable TV anymore.

I would say the people I know breakdown like this.

60% DirecTv
20% Dish Network
20% No satellite/cable at all

I know about 30 people with Roku players. I know tons of people with Xbox 360's but am only sure of 6 people who use Netflix through their Xbox.

I do not know anyone with an Apple Tv.

Cable isn't dying. A former co-worker of mine switched from DirectTV to Bright House (basically Time Warner). Yes it does happen. But I'm not crazy either. I don't like renting my Bright House HD DVR for $9.95 a month! But right now it is the best option for the amount and variety of TV shows. For the AppleTV to succeed, Apple needs to do something. Adding a DVR and tru2way capabilities to the AppleTV would certainly entice me to continue purchasing AppleTVs just as I have with iPods.
post #35 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

If this latest recession has taught me anything it is to take a close look at my monthly expenditures and assess what these services offer me.

I and my gf have come to the conclusion that Comcast simply isn't worth near $1000 per annum.

As I've mentioned in these forums several times in the past, this is exactly why I justified the purchase of my Apple TV. I've been paying $14/month to Comcast for barebones cable for years. Last year I purchased a HDTV. Then I looked at adding HD content (and the HD DVR) from Comcast. My cable bill was set to go up to over $100/month. That's $1100 per year!

Like you, there are only a handful of shows I watch, and I hate channel surfing. If I'm flipping through channels trying to find something to entertain me, then I probably should be doing something better (like reading a book, or interacting with my family). Even if iTunes charges $60 per show per season for HD series, that $1100 per year would buy me 18 shows. 18 shows that don't include commercials, and 18 series that I own and can re-watch whenever I want to. 18 shows that I can watch at my own convenience. 18 series that I can drop onto my iPod and watch when I travel, commute, lay in bed, wherever.

The reality is, I subscribe to about three shows that I paid less than $60 for, so my net savings over Comcast is about $800/year. That sold me on the Apple TV.

Then I discovered a fair amount of free content available via podcast, much of which is in HD (the NASA content is amazing, and I enjoyed the HD City-By-City series available via podcast from ON Networks). Add in the ability to stream hundreds of gigs of music and video that I've ripped from my Mini upstairs. Then a simple hack to add Hulu, CBS, Comedy Central, and soon ABC via Boxee. The only thing missing is Netflix streaming. I have also rented several HD movies (I just wish the studios would allow more than 24 hours to view).

I love my Apple TV. It seriously is the best purchase I've made for my entertainment centre.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WIJG View Post

Plus, how do you change channels when you're talking to someone on your phone?

Generally speaking, when I'm talking to someone on the phone, I hope they're not watching TV!
post #36 of 62
I can only dream of the god-awful Comcast boxes and their pathetic attempt at software to dying the painful death they deserve, to be replaced by AppleTVs running menues, scheduling and DVR functions with actual of intelligence and taste.
Apple could do for cable companies what they did for the phone experience. (visual voicemail, intuitive phonebook integration, etc etc.)
The DVR interface for Comcast is the most unusable crap ever devised, and they should jump at the chance to let Apple provide the interface.
But then again, they've had an agreement with Tivo for over 2 years now (maybe 3?) and all they've done is show a demo that got some press over a year ago.
Talk about a case of monopoly not giving a crap because of lack of competition.

I'd personally beat my Comcast box to death with a hammer if AppleTV could replace it (which it easily could, and by light years.)
post #37 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dueces View Post

I also do not know 1 single person who has cable TV anymore.

I would say the people I know breakdown like this.

60% DirecTv
20% Dish Network
20% No satellite/cable at all

I know about 30 people with Roku players. I know tons of people with Xbox 360's but am only sure of 6 people who use Netflix through their Xbox.

I do not know anyone with an Apple Tv.

You must live in Alaska on in some other boonies where satellite makes sense. I see the occasional dish in the Bay Area, but I don't know anyone without cable. I do know that once AT&T gets their act together with FIOS here (starting to roll out) we might have a semblance of competition. I'll personally start ping-ponging them to death once a year to get switching specials.
post #38 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

You must live in Alaska on in some other boonies where satellite makes sense. I see the occasional dish in the Bay Area, but I don't know anyone without cable. I do know that once AT&T gets their act together with FIOS here (starting to roll out) we might have a semblance of competition. I'll personally start ping-ponging them to death once a year to get switching specials.

I'm guessing you mean Verizon FiOS... To be fair, I do work for AT&T, but everything I read about U-Verse has me kinda excited about it. If we ever deploy in the Seattle area, I may give cable another consideration.
post #39 of 62
In the midst of a recession there are some things content producers should be aware of, in my opinion.

The public for the TV shows they produce is far greater than the US alone. And the only way to effectively deliever and sell content fast all over the world would be to allow AppleTV iTunes Store to sell videos worldwide.

Why? Well TV shows come here about a couple of seasons too late. So the shows they are actually producing in the and airing in the US don't generate revenues for a couple of years...

I imagine a worldwide Video, movies and TV shows store in english. Leaving non-english speakers able to watch the "delayed" dubbed versions of the shows on regular TV.

The TV landscape in Europe is much different than in the US. HD TV here is still in it's infancy. There are however a lot of HD TVs installed.

HD channels are rare and scarce and most of the new offerings are no longer included in the "regular channel offering". I think AppleTV, of course with a store that actually has something to offer, would really be huge in Europe. And could allow content producers, mostly US based, to have immediate and immensely bigger revenues.

In Europe (in general):
Population: 731 Million people
Hulu: N/A
Netflix: N/A
iTunes Video: N/A

So... If you ask me, the first who enters is going to make a huge profit!!!

Furthermore I would like to tell the analysts to look abroad as well... After all Apple's growth last quarter was almost entirely due to overseas markets.
AppleTV is fine as it is, no need to integrate further hardware such as cable.

But:
- deliever content in Europe
- create an App Store like market for add on contents (widgets, games, other stuff)

And you will have a winner, or at least a device with a significant market.
Key to success is to get Hollywood to take their heads out their... well you understand!
post #40 of 62
If they integrated BBC iPlayer, Channel 4od, and the new ITV on demand service into the device, I would consider it, especially if it supported HD versions of the above and automatically downloading series linked shows, etc.

I don't watch TV a lot, and scheduling is a big problem if I'm out. The iPlayer service on my cable TV box doesn't work (it crashes the box 95 times out of 100, thanks Virgin Media), and it sucks to watch it on the computer. I did get it working on the PS3 recently, but it's not the best interface ever (web browser), nor is the quality (flash). I'd love to be able to download the HD Match of the Day football highlights.

Best would be to allow TV companies to provide their own player, or interface to a single unified player. That would allow other channels to also provide content, thus satisfying the competition watchdog in the UK.

I see a lot of value in an updated Apple TV, and if it offered the above then I would get one.
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