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Apple planning connected television, Apple TV with DVR - report - Page 2

post #41 of 87
All this discussion.... yet the word "tuner" appears only once in this thread? Same for "Tru2way"

Seems like any discussion of making the appleTV a DVR would have to revolve around these words...
post #42 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by techno View Post

All of you calling BS on this I believe are wrong.

If Apple had not just signed a 5 year contract with LG, I would not believe this story. In the past that was the thing that always stopped me from thinking Apple would go into the TV market. Cell phones are one thing, but making TV's? Now with LG on board they gain instant access to the hardware.

It makes perfect sense for their digital hub road map into the living room. I know it is the thing that I always wish for when I turn the TV on. Apple TV just doesn't go far enough. We can all imagine how perfectly they will do it and we will all be saying, "Of course. This is how TV was meant to be."

As for the networks and tv manufacturers, they will fight it and in the end look like idiots.

I don't think people replace their TVs as often as they replace their cellphones. What will be appealing about a potential TV from Apple will be the software, not the hardware, and why add all the extra cost and entry barrier for your customers when you can do it all in a small box and have them update to the new version every 24 months. Why should it cost $2000 when it could cost $250 and appeal to a much wider audience ?

The only reason Apple is still in the pc monitor business is because of the integration with its computers (look at the new cinema displays).
post #43 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

DVR would be great but I doubt Hollywood would allow it.
Fix the interface- for easier search, repeat of videos, etc, etc, etc,.
Add Mouse capabilties and Safari.
Streamline quicktime (simplify the formats) for all of these devices - there are too many different formats that are incompatible with each other.

The functionality mentioned in the article isn't really more than TiVo has been offering for years, and as far as I know TiVo isn't being sued by Hollywood. However, since I haven't upgraded to HD TiVo, I'm not sure if you can transfer the encrypted TV shows (ie, those you need a CableCard to watch) to your computer/iPod like you can the standard def shows (anyone know?).

I agree about the QuickTime mess. There is really no excuse for AppleTV not being able to play anything iTunes can play. They already have all the codecs in QuickTime (for the most part), just put them on AppleTV already. Why do I have to convert the video clips my camera records to watch them on AppleTV?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

A question I have about the DVR idea is; where's the need for a DVR if Apple ends up offering an iTunes TV subscription service? There could be a few tears. Basic, Premium and All-you-can-eat/watch. Music would remain al-a-carté, as would movies, but TV shows are "different" - a subscription service for TV shows would be a killer service. Of course this service would require two exceptions; "live" news and "live" sport. A dashboard like widget system would also be killer. One dedicated button on the "newly designed" remote for this. Would be very handy for getting access to information like weather or the lotto numbers for example.

To be clear: you don't need to record stuff if you can stream it from iTunes to your TV, whenever you choose.

The other issue you'll run into are the new download caps the cable companies are increasingly implementing to protect their networks from becoming overloaded. If I had to stream all my TV watching I would most definitely hit Comcast's 250 GB/month limit.

And one other thing the networks would be concerned about with people purchasing TV shows from iTunes, which may need to be addressed, is advertising. But not the paid advertising we all first think about, but the self-advertising for new TV shows or upcoming specials, network movies, etc. A good portion of advertising is to let the viewer know about these other shows. The networks are going to want a new way to make viewers aware of these shows. And quite frankly, I myself would want a way to find out about new shows without having to surf the internet and go looking for them.
post #44 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

Hey, I want to join in on the random predictions as well!

1. AppleTV will include compatibility with iPhone games in a 2009 update.
2. AppleTV will include an iPod dock in the next hardware update
3. You'll be able to easily sync all content between AppleTV and iPhone

A DVR? Maybe. Who doesn't already have one that wants one?

I have Comcast DVR, and what I what I want is DVR that doesn't feel like it was ported from DOS.
post #45 of 87
Since when does an analyst's "guess" become something that Apple is "planning".

Apple has nothing to do with this. Stop playing this like Apple has actually confirmed this story.
post #46 of 87
As we don't know where display technology will go, it's perfectly feasible in a number of years for Apple to go with some great technology that has dropped in price to the point where they can add their own value to the device without being priced too high for people to even consider it.

I don't see this event happening in the near future, not 2010 anyway but it depends on how displays develop. Clearly the article is completely speculative and holds no more weight than anyone else's suggestion about what Apple will be doing in 2-3 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post

Two things to keep in mind:

1.Apple makes money when you rent a movie or buy something on iTunes. It makes nothing when you record your cable broadcasts. It also makes nothing when you buy or rent DVDs.

2. AppleTV is the only product that Apple sells for less than it costs to make. It relies on revenue from iTunes rentals to make up for this loss.

Given those two facts, why would Apple want to augment this device to draw people AWAY from iTunes content?

It's about give and take. If they don't offer DVR, why would people consider buying the box in the first place if they want that feature? Also, DVR does not detract from itunes as itunes is more like a VOD service. If you have a cable service that offers VOD capability then it can compete but usually cable has a poor implementation with limited titles to stream.

The more people they attract by selling the box, the more likelihood those people will use their access to itunes for content.

They need to offer something more when it competes for space with the XBox with Netflix which is also a next-gen console. ATV is just a media streaming device and costs more than the XBox plus you pay per download.

They could really improve the uptake of the ATV by just offering a low priced subscription model and using it to subsidize the cost of the box itself.

£49 for the box + £20 per month on a 12 month minimum contract that gives you up to 3 hours of viewing time a day to watch your choice of items. US average for TV usage is about 5 hours a day including advertising.

So you could get 6 half hour TV shows or 2 movies or 3 TV shows and a movie per day. One problem is that the profits are so much lower than they would be buying individually but the reality is that people just aren't going to spend over £100 a month on downloads anyway so they'd be as well getting people on board with the subscription so people keep using the itunes store for content as a regular occurrence instead of occasional.

I've bought a couple of TV shows but I'm not going to pay for download after download. It puts me off using the service altogether. I immediately regret paying for something I didn't like. However, I already pay subscriptions and I don't really take any notice of them as they are paid automatically every month. If I watch something I don't like on that service, I don't care as it doesn't feel like I've wasted money.

If they have a subscription, DVR probably isn't necessary as you wouldn't normally pay for two subscriptions. If they keep it as a box that covers VOD and pay per download, then DVR capability will help push the device. Although, I'm not sure how they'd even implement DVR because free-to-air digital recording is ok but cable recording isn't and the service providers sell you their own boxes.
post #47 of 87
The AppleTV definitely needs to be beefed up and more compatible with more content. Currently, it is lacking the the two biggest features that made the iPod a success (other than it's software/sync integration). It can't play much of the content you already own, and it can't play the content that is freely available online (legal, or otherwise).

Although, that 2nd point is getting a little better with YouTube support and such, there is still a ton of stuff out there than can't be played without converting it first. Even if the iTunes Music Store had been available from the first day the iPod was sold, imagine how very unsuccessful the iPod would have been if you had to repurchase all the music you already had on CDs! I'd wager that the iPod would still be an Apple "hobby" today.

I still maintain that if Apple wants to inhibit the adoption of blu-ray and get AppleTV into more living rooms, the best thing they could do is add a DVD player to the AppleTV. Playing DVDs is the trojan horse that gets people to buy it because it will play all the movies they already own while letting them start to experiment with online purchases and rentals, including HD. Then the convenience and instant gratification via download takes over and they'll never even consider purchasing a blu-ray player after that. Sure, the DVD player may take a small chuck out of their standard definition movie business in the short term; but the long-term would more than make up for it.

If you buy an AppleTV now, you still need something to play your optical disc movies (handbrake and such really isn't a practical option for the majority of people). And that means that sooner or later I'm going to replace my aging DVD player with a blu-ray player, which means I'll start buying blu-ray discs. And that's where Apple will lose out on my money, not because they've let me play the DVD movies I already own.
post #48 of 87
Of course Apple will expand the capability of their Apple TV device, but it will not play all video or audio formats, nor will it be rolled out as ahead of the state of the art. Right now, not two years from now, Popcorn plays essentially all video and audio formats, lets the user easily install 3.5" SATA drives, and costs $210.
post #49 of 87
I think the evaluation of the Apple TV, and indeed of iTunes itself if going to continue to be a negotiation for Apple between how consumers want to watch their media and how the providers are willing to allow it to be delivered.

When aTV was first delivered, it was merely an extension of the iTunes interface, except that movies had been added as content. Movies for sale only, in SD.

What I believe Apple learned during that first year was that how people want to watch movies is very different than how they listen to music. Outside of cinephiles, most people will watch a movie once [or once in a while]. So it doesn't make as much sense to purchase every movie you want to watch. Hence, aTV's "Take 2" introduced movie rentals. Since movie rentals came to Canada, I've caught up on so many films that I'd missed, or taken a chance on something based on recommendations. The content is immediate, the quality of HD rentals is better than most broadcast HD, and the selection is growing. People will argue on price and the duration of the rental, but these are by and large probably out of Apple's hands. The only other point of disappointment is that movies are not available for sale in HD, but this again is I think the studios not wanting to hobble BD, which may well be the last physical format for movies they ever get to sell consumers.

Based on my own experience, I'd say that Apple is learning the same lesson this year with TV shows that they did last year with movies. Learning how people want to watch. I've personally never purchased a TV show through aTV. Even my favorite TV shows don't have the same repeat value as a movie might, so buying every episode makes no sense to me. TV show rentals? Perhaps if the price was really cheap- at 99cents an episode I could see renting shows I'd like to try or episodes I've missed. Or perhaps TV show is where a subscription model finally makes sense for iTunes. A tiered monthly rate allows you to download a certain number of shows per month. Any network. Don't watch much TV? Buy the base package and ditch your cable. Couch potato? For roughly the same as what you pay now for cable get unlimited downloads and watch what you want when you want.

Whether Apple will build aTV into a TV. I dunno. It seems to me their market is going to be infinitely larger as an external box that can plug into ANY TV, versus a premium TV that only the most affluent can afford...
post #50 of 87
Apple is not planning it, at least to our knowledge. Another useless analyst thinks it makes sense, and their track-record doesn't make that news. It would be nice to see some real headlines instead of hit grabbers...
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post #51 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

This story needs to be retitled, "Gene Munster: Look What I Can Pull Out of My Butt".

The best comment so far. Apple won't make a TV or a DVR because they want iTunes sales. Time Warner had my CableCards running in 10 minutes. They have been in my TiVo Series 3 for 2 1/2 years with no problems ever. I have no intention of replacing my new HDTV or giving up my TiVo boxes ever. Apple could never compete with the big screen TV boys. People won't pay a premium for an Apple branded TV.
post #52 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by tacojohn View Post

Here's a mockup I did a few years ago...


LOL. 42 and 50 inch screens are too small for a Home Theater, and keep dreaming about that HD-DVD drive. LOL.
post #53 of 87
The "why would Apple include DVR functions if they are renting the same shows on iTunes" argument is complete hogwash.

If thats the case then why is Apple renting these programs when i can get them free on tv?...
Why is Apple renting these shows when I can watch them free whenever I want on the internet?...
post #54 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

The functionality mentioned in the article isn't really more than TiVo has been offering for years, and as far as I know TiVo isn't being sued by Hollywood. However, since I haven't upgraded to HD TiVo, I'm not sure if you can transfer the encrypted TV shows (ie, those you need a CableCard to watch) to your computer/iPod like you can the standard def shows (anyone know?).

Yes, you can. I can transfer HD programming between TiVo boxes and to my Mac, edit the video, and either save to DVD, or convert to any portable device using Roxio's Toast Titanium 8 or higher (version 9 added video editing to remove commercials). I could even burn HD to Blu Ray if I had an external Blu Ray burner. The only content that cannot be moved between TiVo boxes or to a PC/Mac is downloaded content (either free, rental, or purchase).
post #55 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post

Gene Munster needs to put down the crack pipe.... I'm waiting for iTunes radio and these guys are hung up on DVR and cable boxes... Why would apple allow you to record content for free that they currently sell?

Apple's strategy has become more and more idealistic. I'm glad they actually allow us to play and rip our own CD's that are purchased elsewhere. A recording function to the Apple TV sounds cool and all, but where's Apple's motivation there? In my eyes Apple cares more about defining "the ideal model" than they do about "quick fixes" like DVR functionality or a "radio enabled iPod".

The ideal way to get TV programs to your living room is to select the TV programs you wanna watch, and then watch them whenever you want. If Apple is going there I think they might wanna leap ahead and create a new TV subscription model where you subscribe to a bunch of TV channels, or to a series. And then you get the same rights to the material as with rented material or something like that. This could potentially be as revolutionary as the iTunes Music Store when it came, and change the whole TV industry.

DVR doesn't really fit into the idealistic vision here... Or perhaps it could be a Trojan horse acting like bate to get people to buy the damn thing, and then later when we all have it they introduce the content distribution model.
post #56 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post

Gene Munster needs to put down the crack pipe.... I'm waiting for iTunes radio and these guys are hung up on DVR and cable boxes... Why would apple allow you to record content for free that they currently sell?

While a DVR capable AppleTV would be great, I am with you in the logic behind it. Besides killing sales of TV Show content on iTS it would also piss off their content providers to no end.

Unless, of course, Apple makes it impossible to skip past the commercials and/or provides detailed feedback to the content to the Networks regarding TV Show viewing habits. Both of which would make them less scared about DVR mucking up their advertising revenue stream.
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post #57 of 87
Apple already has the software for a functional DVR in their FW dev kit. I've successfully run it on my 450 mhz Cube so I'm sure the aTV could handle it if Apple desired and put some polish to the interface. I would be surprised if they don't have one working just fine in the lab completer with cable card to eliminate the need for a set top box. I also would not be surprised if they decide that the networks and other content providers are dragging their feet in letting Apple have access to the content and releases a device like this.

They may come out with an integrated TV though but aTV will remain. The integrated system would be too limiting in cost for the device to reach "critical mass" in it's market place and limit the potential consumer base to people only looking at higher end TV's.
post #58 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by palegolas View Post

DVR doesn't really fit into the idealistic vision here... Or perhaps it could be a Trojan horse acting like bate to get people to buy the damn thing, and then later when we all have it they introduce the content distribution model.

An it could be just that, a lot more people RIPED MP3's than bought through iTunes in the early days. Now iTMS is one of the top outlets for music sales.

DVR could make the aTV more attractive now to the consumer, but I think that the eventual model that they would want to get to would be to eliminate the Cable or Satellite company in favor of internet delivery of all content. This would give them the most control over the user experience AND the most potential for revenue with subscriptions, rentals, and sales.

If they were successful enough they also might have the upper hand in negotiations with the networks for direct streams of content through services like HULU and get a "kick back" from the networks ad revenue for allowing the programing to be accessed through their hardware, just like they reportedly got from AT&T on the iPhone contracts.
post #59 of 87
Gene Muenster = Rolo!
post #60 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by @homenow View Post


DVR could make the aTV more attractive now to the consumer...

To a very limited number of consumers, I think. Most people get their DVRs from their cable or satellite company, and I just don't see that changing anytime soon no matter what Apple or anyone else does. They would have to seriously up-spec the AppleTV to handle recording two HD streams while playing back a 3rd (the minimum functionality required for a DVR these days). Dual tuners, big and fast hard drive, bigger power supply, etc. All that could easily double the cost of AppleTV (ie, about the cost of an HD TiVo).

Even TiVo has started simply licensing their software to Comcast (and I think one of the satellite companies) because it's too difficult for them to get consumers to replace the cable company's box with a TiVo box. There just doesn't appear to be a demand for 3rd party DVRs beyond a very limited set of folks.

Part of the reason is cost (but if you do the math you break even at three years or so because you don't have to rent the cable company's box). But a lot if it is the hassle of dealing with CableCards. In a year or so, Tru2Way may be mature and stable enough, assuming the cable companies don't screw it up like they did CableCards, to make it viable for 3rd parties like Apple to make DVRs. But I think by then we'll all be hoping there are better alternatives. And that still doesn't address those getting TV via satellite where there is no CableCard/Tru2Way alternative.

Apple should just leave DVRs to the cable/satellite providers.
post #61 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Apple should just leave DVRs to the cable/satellite providers.

I seriously doubt that Apple will go after DVR functionality. It's just not like them. And the same can be said about optical disc formats with macbook air and the lack of bluray for the macs.
This idealism makes it very hard for Apple tv to be successful.
post #62 of 87
Will his next prediction be the Pippin II?
post #63 of 87
An all-in-one TV would seem to be a nightmare that almost nobody would want. Unless maybe it had some sort of pop-out module that could be replaced. I know I would never want something like that. I've gone through about three computers in the time it took for a Sony TV I had that lasted nearly 20 years. I'm content just to have another box sitting alongside or below my TV set.
I'd welcome a AppleTV with recording capabilities and built-in tuner, but basically the mix of my Apple MacMini, Plextor ConvertX and TimeWarner cablebox/DVR suffice. If I could get them all into one unit it would make life and electricity usage much easier.
post #64 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

I still have my doubts that Apple will make a full fledged TV.
I'd love to see what they could do but conventional wisdom seems to suggest that
they'd simply be happy making the ancillary devices for the TV.

I agree. Apple will never make an integrated TV... maybe a HDTV display, but incorporating it all together, never.

Simply because TV's have way to long of a expected life span for a software company to support sufficently. People are accustomed to replacing computer hardware every few years, the are not accustomed to replacing TV's, DVD Players, VCR Players, etc.... So while a consumer will tolerate that his 5 y.o. AppleTV doesn't have the power to utilize the latest streaming video codecs and replace it, nobody is going to tolerate their 5 year TV being made obsolete.
post #65 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

LOL. 42 and 50 inch screens are too small for a Home Theater, and keep dreaming about that HD-DVD drive. LOL.

A) He said he made the mockup a few years ago hence the HD-DVD.
B) 42 and 50 inch screens are likely the most popular sizes.
C) It would be dead simple to add AppleTV functionality to an HDTV.

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post #66 of 87
Great quality thoughts here. Not any clear answers of course because there are none.
I think a number of posters here could beat "analysts".

So here's my "Analyst Greg" thoughts.

Apple wants:
Apple wants a single box that allows us to choose what we want to watch, then download over the net to watch that immediately. Absolute choice and good quality. A choice of the big ticket programs, independent productions, your own content, and your friends. It wants to make money on both the content and the hardware.

They don't want to re-purpose the old systems, don't want to stick to what they see as antiquated 'linear' broadcast format or encourage physical media.
(BTW: Although Apple might not agree, I sometimes think Steve has a pet peeve against subscription for TV or Music, eg: paying $100/mth for 300 channels of which you only watch 3.)

The content producers want:
They want to increase returns on advertising, to make money from the same consumer on the same content by having them pay multiple times (from Cinema seats, DVD sales, rentals, PPV, and FTA advertising). They also want to keep their licensees happy (the networks, individual channels, DVD/BD makers etc)

The networks fear Apple taking too much control - the networks are well known brands. Their licensee channels want exclusivity. The DVD/BD makers fear an online future. The result is they want to keep the status quo... and Apple really wants to break the status quo.

The result now:
Unfortunately, it's a stand off. Apple can sell TV shows (which is largely a NEW place the networks can make money) but not rent them (which would earn them far less and transfer revenue from FTA/ads to rental... so no obvious benefit to them). Apple can rent movies in the same window as PPV, which doesn't encroach on the premium movie channels or other money-making windows.

It could do much more if the networks took a leap of faith.
Small proviso: The internet is just catching up to the bandwidth needs

Plausible changes for AppleTV:
*DVR (Free to air)
*DVD
*Bluray
*DVR+Cable Card (or CI satellite card)
*Broader deals with other providers (eg: offer Amazon movies if the movie isn't on AppleTV).
*... and for all the above - centralised media management/storage/hub.
Remember Apple doesn't like physical media or linear TV - as palegolas put it, they're idealistic.

Then there are payment models of advertising, renting, buying, or subscribing which could make a difference.

The future as I see it:
The existing AppleTV could just continue it's slow increase in market share, particularly if other financial models appear. For example, some premium movie networks offer downloads now, so a subscription to "Showtime" or "Encore" may become possible without any change to AppleTV. Apple would need a few big players to get a critical mass - imagine if Discovery put all their content online for a cheap price. Movies, comedy, kids.. I guess Disney is the most plausible candidate.

If Apple got such subscription content, I think that might be enough to really launch the AppleTV.

To the future - I see the next AppleTV in 2 flavors:
1) A beefed up AppleTV much like the existing one. It needs to handle 1080p content from fta (elgato?) recordings, podcasts, and consumer video cameras. A bigger hard disk and upgraded software to handle a "Discovery" online portal etc (if they can negotiate that).
2) ApplePVR - I think Apple will need to offer a "classic TV" device. But they don't like linear TV, so perhaps they will abandon a "TV guide" and provide instead a list of upcoming programs to subscribe to & watch - it doesn't need to say what day or time the shows are on. In addition they can upsell people to iTunes store content, and show free content alongside their rentals.
* And a media server

Apple would MUCH rather offer rental of TV shows etc - but if the TV networks won't play then a PVR is a work around. It also bypasses problems with the Internet backbone being too slow. If the networks work with them, Apple could play nicely and keep the networks' branding, offer an "upgrade for 50c" to watch a show without ads (which gets mostly paid to the local channel), or replace the 8 "generic ads" with 2 "user-targeted ads".

I just don't see support for DVD (history!) or Bluray (not online!). I could be wrong - a "SUPER AppleTV" might even do it all... but they really want to move people to a new "any show, any time, all online" model. A PVR can be made to help people move towards that ideal, where Bluray does not move people towards the model at all. DVD playback could only be a bridge if they allowed us to convert all our old DVDs from physical media onto the media server.
post #67 of 87
What would an Apple television be, other than a panel with ATV capabilities built in? You can easily add the ATV now, so why would Apple want to get into the cuthroat flat panel market?

As well, why get involved in the mess of CableCards and dealing with regional cable companies and their dunderhead technical abilities?

I think the approach in this area would more be embedded systems - developing and licensing a customized Apple-built OS/Interface for cable or satellite boxes to entirely replace the horrid software on my Cablevision and DirecTV boxes. With network integration to your local computer content, ATV on a chip inside these devices, Apple could deliver the functionality side of the system, and let SciAtla or Motorola or whomever handle the physical cable/sat connectivity portion, the part that they do relatively well.

Embeded OS in cars, appliances, etc. It's dangerous, because Apple can no longer deliver and support the whole experience - but it's an interesting potential.
post #68 of 87
All-in-One TV entertainment systems are DOA.

Most likely, a future version of AppleTV will be DVR ready and a TV option as an add-on from Apple, not an all or nothing solution. The TV will of course be able to connect to a general Mac.
post #69 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post

It would be nice to see some real headlines instead of hit grabbers...

Maybe if you stopped reading and posting on such threads...

post #70 of 87
Apple TV needs one more thing. If it's a DVR, that'd be awesome. A bluray player would be cool too.

I know that sounds backwards since Apple is fighting bluray, but perhaps they market it as an all in one rental device, and people soon realize that they don't need the bluray player at all, no trip to blockbuster, just sit on your ass and rent... the future is here and you have a bluray player if you need it. Someone said DVD... maybe, but I think that's over with, and bluray is probably going to happen. For a while anyway.

I just can't pay money for a device so that I can keep paying money to Apple. Put in something extra... DVR or BD.
post #71 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by elliots11 View Post

Apple TV needs one more thing. If it's a DVR, that'd be awesome. A bluray player would be cool too.

I know that sounds backwards since Apple is fighting bluray, but perhaps they market it as an all in one rental device, and people soon realize that they don't need the bluray player at all, no trip to blockbuster, just sit on your ass and rent... the future is here and you have a bluray player if you need it. Someone said DVD... maybe, but I think that's over with, and bluray is probably going to happen. For a while anyway.

I just can't pay money for a device so that I can keep paying money to Apple. Put in something extra... DVR or BD.

Agree. Apple needs to not be too greedy and keep an eye on the long term. iTunes can still rip CDs, and yet Apple is now the largest seller of music. They need to so something to make the AppleTV more attractive to purchase, even if that means a short term reduction of content sales by including DVD, BD, or DVR (in descending order of likelihood). If they keep it such a limited device, it will take longer to get critical mass and give the competition more time to keep up or pull ahead. They need to focus on getting the hardware in living rooms and the rest will follow.
post #72 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post

Great quality thoughts here. Not any clear answers of course because there are none.
I think a number of posters here could beat "analysts".

So here's my "Analyst Greg" thoughts.

Apple wants:
Apple wants a single box that allows us to choose what we want to watch, then download over the net to watch that immediately. Absolute choice and good quality. A choice of the big ticket programs, independent productions, your own content, and your friends. It wants to make money on both the content and the hardware.

They don't want to re-purpose the old systems, don't want to stick to what they see as antiquated 'linear' broadcast format or encourage physical media.
(BTW: Although Apple might not agree, I sometimes think Steve has a pet peeve against subscription for TV or Music, eg: paying $100/mth for 300 channels of which you only watch 3.)

The content producers want:
They want to increase returns on advertising, to make money from the same consumer on the same content by having them pay multiple times (from Cinema seats, DVD sales, rentals, PPV, and FTA advertising). They also want to keep their licensees happy (the networks, individual channels, DVD/BD makers etc)

The networks fear Apple taking too much control - the networks are well known brands. Their licensee channels want exclusivity. The DVD/BD makers fear an online future. The result is they want to keep the status quo... and Apple really wants to break the status quo.

The result now:
Unfortunately, it's a stand off. Apple can sell TV shows (which is largely a NEW place the networks can make money) but not rent them (which would earn them far less and transfer revenue from FTA/ads to rental... so no obvious benefit to them). Apple can rent movies in the same window as PPV, which doesn't encroach on the premium movie channels or other money-making windows.

It could do much more if the networks took a leap of faith.
Small proviso: The internet is just catching up to the bandwidth needs

Plausible changes for AppleTV:
*DVR (Free to air)
*DVD
*Bluray
*DVR+Cable Card (or CI satellite card)
*Broader deals with other providers (eg: offer Amazon movies if the movie isn't on AppleTV).
*... and for all the above - centralised media management/storage/hub.
Remember Apple doesn't like physical media or linear TV - as palegolas put it, they're idealistic.

Then there are payment models of advertising, renting, buying, or subscribing which could make a difference.

The future as I see it:
The existing AppleTV could just continue it's slow increase in market share, particularly if other financial models appear. For example, some premium movie networks offer downloads now, so a subscription to "Showtime" or "Encore" may become possible without any change to AppleTV. Apple would need a few big players to get a critical mass - imagine if Discovery put all their content online for a cheap price. Movies, comedy, kids.. I guess Disney is the most plausible candidate.

If Apple got such subscription content, I think that might be enough to really launch the AppleTV.

To the future - I see the next AppleTV in 2 flavors:
1) A beefed up AppleTV much like the existing one. It needs to handle 1080p content from fta (elgato?) recordings, podcasts, and consumer video cameras. A bigger hard disk and upgraded software to handle a "Discovery" online portal etc (if they can negotiate that).
2) ApplePVR - I think Apple will need to offer a "classic TV" device. But they don't like linear TV, so perhaps they will abandon a "TV guide" and provide instead a list of upcoming programs to subscribe to & watch - it doesn't need to say what day or time the shows are on. In addition they can upsell people to iTunes store content, and show free content alongside their rentals.
* And a media server

Apple would MUCH rather offer rental of TV shows etc - but if the TV networks won't play then a PVR is a work around. It also bypasses problems with the Internet backbone being too slow. If the networks work with them, Apple could play nicely and keep the networks' branding, offer an "upgrade for 50c" to watch a show without ads (which gets mostly paid to the local channel), or replace the 8 "generic ads" with 2 "user-targeted ads".

I just don't see support for DVD (history!) or Bluray (not online!). I could be wrong - a "SUPER AppleTV" might even do it all... but they really want to move people to a new "any show, any time, all online" model. A PVR can be made to help people move towards that ideal, where Bluray does not move people towards the model at all. DVD playback could only be a bridge if they allowed us to convert all our old DVDs from physical media onto the media server.

How will apple work with cable / direct tv on demand? That may have the same show free vs pay on itunes?

Cable card v1 is out as it is 1 way and does not work with SDV, PPV, VOD, and some other channels (some systems)

tru2way / OCAP forces apple to have to have to run cable co software on there box. and it may also have to use the build in cable modem for some stuff as well that And the itunes side may have to use the main home network and not work over the cable box only network.

Direct tv is likely out as they going with TIVO and there boxes to day can do some of what ATV can do.
post #73 of 87
I think it's a little short-sighted for Piper to make the leap from Apple TV + Apple software prowess = spending millions of dollars and resources to fully take on a market that doesn't meet any of Apple's primary sweet spots - simplifying complex computing, inhancing mobility, and beautifying ugliness.

Despite taking the word "computers" out of their name, Apple for the most part still just makes devices that rely on complex computing. Then they simplify and improve the interface and packaging to be extremely portable, contagious, cool, minimal and elegant. That's what they did with their first Macintosh and the iMac renaissance. The iPod similarly relied on the simplification of complex computing, portability, and beauty in an otherwise ugly and clumsy market. The iPhone as a smartphone, again relies on the same factors as the iPod.

In contrast, televisions only require a very basic computing interface; secondly, the current market doesn't suffer from ugly or clumsy brands, but is fully dripping with elegance and coolness. And thirdly, perhaps most importantly, TVs don't rely on portability or ergonomic intimacy as much as laptops, phones or even desktops. People buy a TV, mount it on a console or wall and it pretty much never moves again it's entire life. Not to mention, as society becomes more savvy with mobile devices and computers, TVs are likely to become more expendable to daily life than ever before.

I think Apple appropriately addressed it's potential in the market with their Apple TV device. And improving it to the extent of making it smaller or even more multi-functional would be more in Apple's interest than sticking it in an LG case with an Apple logo.

So the need for complex computing + relevance to daily life + a market hooked on bulkiness and in desperate need of beautiful minimalism + need for mobility = Apple's genius may be better received in the automotive industry?
post #74 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by carloblackmore View Post

I think it's a little short-sighted for Piper to make the leap from Apple TV + Apple software prowess = spending millions of dollars and resources to take on such a large and completely superfluous market such as television.

Despite taking the word "computers" out of their name, Apple for the most part still just makes devices that rely on complex computing. Then they simplify and improve the interface and packaging to be extremely portable, contagious, cool, minimal and elegant. That's what they did with their first Macintosh and then the iMac renaissance. The iPod similarly relied on the simplification of complex computing, portability, and beauty in an otherwise ugly and clumsy market. The iPhone, again relies on the same factors as the iPod.

In contrast, televisions only require a very basic computing interface; secondly, the current market doesn't suffer from ugly or clumsy brands, but is fully dripping with elegance and coolness. And thirdly, perhaps most importantly, TVs don't rely on portability or ergonomic intimacy the way laptops, phones or even desktops do. People buy a TV, mount it on a console or wall and it pretty much never moves again it's entire life. Not to mention, as society becomes more savvy with mobile devices and computers, TVs are likely to become more expendable to daily life than ever before.

I think Apple appropriately addressed it's potential in the market with their Apple TV device. And improving it to the extent of making it smaller or even more multi-functional would be more in Apple's interest than sticking it in an LG case with an Apple logo.

So the need for complex computing + relevance to daily life + a market in desperate need for beautiful minimalism + need for mobility = Apple's genius may be better received in the automotive industry?

Thank you Carlos!

For me the dream of Apple make a television and adding AppleTV to it it is just a waste of resources and money at this point in time IMHO.
AppleTV first has to become a major player on their market before Apple contemplates the idea to move into the HDTV display business.
Right now, Apple is having to overcame a major hurdle on the iTunes store. Networks and film studios learning from the music industry are not letting Apple have the tools to take the market like they did with music.
That's why we keep hearing AppleTV is a hobby from Cupertino. Once Apple figure out a way to make AppleTV a successful product like the iPod or iPhone, then we might eventually see them opening a range of products coming out that device, like a TV.

Keep in mind that the HDTV manufactures out there have incredible products with high quality and attractive prices. So really just adding an AppleTV to a display set would make it so much more attractive to the mass market?
I don't think so, first because we know, AppleTV by itself is not a big seller, second having a built-in product like AppleTV that can be obsolete every 2 years on a product that people tend to keep for long time (TVs) makes even less sense. Finally, Apple is aware about the incredible competition and lower profit margin of HDTV set market.

My 2 cents.
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MacPro 12 core
30" & 23" Apple Cinema HD Displays
PowerBook G4 550, MacBook Pro 2.2
Ipod 1G and 5G, Shuffle 2G, iPhone 3G
Reply
post #75 of 87
I could see Apple teaming up with AT&T UVerse to make this work. Having wall mounted my tv, I would love to just have an outlet and data connection behind my tv. I don't want any boxes cluttering up my living room. This new idea of all purpose apple tv would accomplish that. But UVerse is the only provider right now (that I know of) that can deliver service without coaxial lines.
post #76 of 87
This article reminded me of this old article.

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...ise_ships.html

It seems apple has worked on interface for tv viewing already.
post #77 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by amador_o View Post

I could see Apple teaming up with AT&T UVerse to make this work. Having wall mounted my tv, I would love to just have an outlet and data connection behind my tv. I don't want any boxes cluttering up my living room. This new idea of all purpose apple tv would accomplish that. But UVerse is the only provider right now (that I know of) that can deliver service without coaxial lines.

I'm OK with having some boxes cluttering up my living room. But what I won't have is one box for cable/satellite, one box for DVD/blu-ray, one box for AppleTV, and possibly yet another box for content that Apple's closed/limited AppleTV can't handle. I also don't want it all in one box (or TV) for the same reason I probably wouldn't ever buy a Time Capsule. One part breaks and your whole system is dead.

TiVo used to partner with other box makers to produce combination TiVo/DVD players. If someone would make one of those, at the right price, with blu-ray, you could replace your cable box and disc player. That would clear room on the shelf for AppleTV. Or if Apple adds blu-ray (or even DVD) to AppleTV, same end result. The point is, something's got to go to make room for something new due to shelf space, number of available inputs, and aesthetics.
post #78 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon View Post

How will apple work with cable / direct tv on demand? That may have the same show free vs pay on itunes?

You're right that my reasoning for a PVR doesn't include cable.
For 3 reasons
1) it's difficult for Apple to implement
2) a lot of the major shows are on FTA
3) if they're trying to get people away from the linear TV model, dropping their cable subscription but keeping their FTA offerings (and perhaps spending a bunch of money on iTunes) could be the first step.

Quote:
Cable card v1 is out as it is 1 way and does not work with SDV, PPV, VOD, and some other channels (some systems)

As above, IF Apple made a cable card PVR, I don't think they'd care if it didn't work with the cable companies pay per view or Video on demand... they want iTunes to be used. The rest is a valid point.

Quote:
tru2way / OCAP forces apple to have to have to run cable co software on there box. and it may also have to use the build in cable modem for some stuff as well that And the itunes side may have to use the main home network and not work over the cable box only network.

Direct tv is likely out as they going with TIVO and there boxes to day can do some of what ATV can do.

Most of all I'd like to see the AppleTV support 3rd party software (for any apps) - such that an ISP, Cable company, or IPTV company could write player software to their offerings. If it requires cable hardware things get much more complicated as you've noted - standards are changing, satellite is also a big player, and we haven't considered outside the US at all.
post #79 of 87
CNN has a story, "More turning to Web to watch TV, movies". It talks about how more and more people are watching shows online as a way to reduce or eliminate their cable bill.

The interesting thing...they mention Hulu, Joost, Netflix, and Roku (a set-top box to watch Netflix on your TV instead of your computer), but not a single mention of Apple, iTunes, or AppleTV.
post #80 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post

Gene Munster needs to put down the crack pipe.... I'm waiting for iTunes radio and these guys are hung up on DVR and cable boxes... Why would apple allow you to record content for free that they currently sell?

Because some consumers may not purchase their device unless it has DVR capability. Apple is still the major beneficiary if Apple TV content is a mix of free to air and itunes store. I see on-demand and timelapsed content as different but complementary markets.
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