Jobs: Apple TV a hobby because there's no market

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 85
    thrangthrang Posts: 1,014member
    If anyone is in the position to address the market's shortcomings from a technology perspective, it's Apple. Like Google, make ATV an embedded technology, not a separate box, controlled by iPad's, iPhone's, and Touch's, accessing local iTunes content or streaming media from Apple's serves. It wouldn't get much nicer than that.



    I think the real problem is the business models of the content providers/cable operators. They're used to making certain monies certain ways (carriage agreements fees paid by cable operators to the network owners), and I think no one on that side of the fence is in any great rush to implement a competing source for identical content on a display already serving a cable/satellite signal.



    And there's only so far people will pay double for the same content - it's one thing to pay for the convenience of purchasing shows/movies to watch anywhere on your iPad, laptop, or iPhone, but the model becomes more strained to "pay" for shows or movies you can otherwise DVR with your existing cable/sat service.



    I think what Jobs is alluding to is the cable/sat operators have the prime seat at the table to sell on demand content, and it's not an easy task for Apple or anyone else to muscle into that territory. That's why there's the focus on alternative viewing on Apple's own products - where they are the primary content pipe.
  • Reply 42 of 85
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,234member
    If you can't beat them.. buy them....



  • Reply 43 of 85
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,527member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    You never know for sure with SJ. Look how he ridiculed small screens shortly before releasing one. What were his words? "Who's want to watch a movie on a small screen?"

    He could be throwing others off the scent.



    I agree, and I read the interview with SJ. Here's what I got from it:



    SJ understands that there is no current way to break the strangle-hold the cable warlords have on the industry.



    SJ understands that a solution will come, someday, and the AppleTV is a place-holder so that Apple has a dog in that hunt... Same for Google and GoogleTV!



    I believe the game changer will be a Personal TV-- where each family member can watch his own show while the others, each, do their own thing. Sure, we'll all gather 'round the Big (communal) TV to watch a good movie, hurricane, or sports event. But the Personal TV will gradually wean us away from "group-watch"... or it could even enhance and embelish it. It'll be so slow that we'll hardly notice... Then suddenly, one day, the revolution has been won!



    The Personal TV revolution has already started: ABC, NetFlix and others on the iPad. There will be more, eventually streamed "live" events-- even WWDC keynotes, someday.



    Yes, the iPad Personal TV depends on those very same Cable Companies who have their jackboot on the throat of the TV industry. The Cable Companies who refuse, or are unable, to enhance the TV viewer experience! We need their bandwidth!



    To paraphrase Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (which I rarely do):



    The Cable Companies will sell us the bandwidth with which we will hang them.



    .
  • Reply 44 of 85
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Hmm... Everything he stated seems dead on, as usual, but I have to assume Apple has a plan in place. They certainly let the living room go or risk it affecting the rest of their ecosystem but it's certainly a tough nut to crack. I think they have a few basic options...



    1) They can come out with the small and cheap device that is rumoured, thus making it pretty simple and inexpensive to network your TV to your LAN and the internet with the best and most familiar UI on the market.



    2) They can come up with a very complex and expensive box to take on Scientific Atlanta, TiVO and others with an expensive box that uses CableCards for access, but with a much better UI and UX.



    While these boxes can be expensive if Apple can solidify deals with cable companies throughout the US (an issue he addressed as an issue) then these devices can be rented to customers just as they are now. If they are sure of their product they can even offer profit-sharing again as it would keep the cable companies from having large upfront expenditures. The lifespan of a used cable boxes far exceeds the monthly rate at which it is rented, which usually seems nominal to the customer as it is.



    This could be a win-win for Apple, the cable company and the customer. The only one who loses is Scientific Atlanta (now owned by Cisco) who now has some real competition to deal with.



    3) Or, they could offer both of these items.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    You never know for sure with SJ. Look how he ridiculed small screens shortly before releasing one. What were his words? "Who's want to watch a movie on a small screen?"

    He could be throwing others off the scent.



    Sounds like classic Jobs misdirect to me.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by markb View Post


    I would say this makes it official. No new iPhone sized AppleTV announced at WWDC.



    It sure looks that way.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nees View Post


    Why are they talking about set-top boxes? Every TV manufacturer is already integrating all that stuff into their TV's. If Apple wants a TV hobby, they should consider building an Apple TV, which is an actual TV, not a set top box.



    No way! Do not you realize how many different TV sizes and types there are for consumer needs? Unless they license their OS, the only solution is to have a box that ties into your preferred TV. That doesn't mean it can't be attached to the back of the display, but Apple making a TV is no go.
  • Reply 45 of 85
    porchlandporchland Posts: 478member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nees View Post


    Why are they talking about set-top boxes? Every TV manufacturer is already integrating all that stuff into their TV's. If Apple wants a TV hobby, they should consider building an Apple TV, which is an actual TV, not a set top box.



    If Jobs is hinting at anything -- maybe, maybe not -- I think he's hinting that Apple won't make a big push in the TV space unless they bring out an actual TV.



    Content is the bigger obstacle. Apple TV, Amazon VOD, etc., will be largely limited to the oops-I-forgot-to-record-CSI market unless they can compete directly with cable and satellite with a subscription-priced package of shows.



    The cable portion of my Comcast bill (digital, HD, DVR) is about $90. That's about the same as 30 episodes a month on Apple TV or Amazon VOD with no access to live news, sports, and special event programming. For the vast majority of cable subscribers who watch more than 30 TV episodes a month, per-episode pricing is not a viable option.



    Apple (or Netflix or Amazon or whoever) can't compete with cable and satellite until they convince NBCU, CBS, Disney/ABC, WB, Paramount and the big independent producers to provide shows for a subscription-based service that includes live news, sports and special event programming.
  • Reply 46 of 85
    isomorphicisomorphic Posts: 199member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post


    Hang on... isn't Google TV built into the TV in some cases?



    Lets say, hypothetically, that Google TV gets built into every single new TV. I have to wonder if Jobs would have the same opinion.



    How does building smarts into a TV really change anything?



    I mean, sure, it saves one extra set top box. But it doesn't provide an integrated experience, since the TV won't have access to the cable company's proprietary monopolistic locked-down box that's actually decoding the signal. The TV can't even record the signal without reencoding it, which would be lame.



    Examples? CableCard. Clear-QAM.



    I would love to have a TV that could just plug into a coax and tune arbitrary channels, like in the olden days with analog cable--but those days are gone. Now it's $10/month and a Scientific Atlanta (Cisco) / Motorola box.
  • Reply 47 of 85
    alfiejralfiejr Posts: 1,524member
    the CableCard was supposed to solve the problem. one universal card you could plug into any TV or STB or computer or whatever for unified control of the TV, cable channels, and any device services. but only TiVo really implemented this idea. and the CATV companies did everything they could to kill CableCard. they don't tell you about it, you have to know to ask. now instead of kicking the cartel's butt, the feds are talking about designing something new ... someday.



    so AppleTV is instead just a hobby, and iTunes extender. well, Steve, at least stick the iPhone OS on it so we can enjoy your hobby a lot more.
  • Reply 48 of 85
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,407member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post


    well, odd as in:



    With job's it's best to read between the lines. It's my guess that apple are up to something here.

    Steve was strangely open. Thats not steve.





    And the line ""i'm sure smarter people than us will figure this out," hmm whatever...



    May as well be saying.. "you idiots go waste your time solving this 'problem' that i have misdirected you towards, whilst we come at this from an entirely different angle taking you all by surprise mwahahaha"



    +1 .
  • Reply 49 of 85
    souliisoulsouliisoul Posts: 827member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post


    Well, odd as in:



    With Job's it's best to read between the lines. It's my guess that Apple are up to something here.

    Steve was strangely open. Thats not steve.





    and the line ""I'm sure smarter people than us will figure this out," hmm whatever...



    may as well be saying.. "you idiots go waste your time solving this 'problem' that I have misdirected you towards, whilst we come at this from an entirely different angle taking you all by surprise mwahahaha"



    Maybe he was telling truth and people over analysis is words and get it entirely wrong, just a thought.
  • Reply 50 of 85
    anakin1992anakin1992 Posts: 283member
    steve pointed two things in his showup yesterday:



    1: on mobile device, or at least on mobile device, the way to do ad as google does is not the way he wanted

    2: to revolutionize tv market is not just to provide another settop box as google is doing. google is doing it from ad point of view, while steve thinks it as user experience point of view. of course, both want to make money.



    my understandings on his comments are that in order to do advertisement on mobile or tv devices, one has to think different. apple is waiting for the moment to enter tv market and yes, that time is not yet coming up. good luck to google's effort, maybe apple can learn something from their efforts when apple tv market campaign starts. and regardless what/how google might have done it, apple will be a great addon when it decides to enter tv market.



    if you could watch the keynote speech video by that google vp during google tv conference and you compare him with steve's short and concise analysis, google guy looks like an amateur. i can see the bumpy road ahead for google since it is too young.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jetz View Post


    It's "not a viable market" because Jobs hasn't figured out how to make money from it yet. But Google has. They'll give their OS out to every box, tv and tv accessory maker. All those subsidized boxes from your cable provider? They'll all be running Google TV in 2 years.



    Unfortunately for Jobs, the only way to make money on this front is to work with existing service providers (the cable cos.) - that means letting in cable/satellite TV on the box and selling Apple TV through the service providers (maybe for "free" like they do now, with other boxes). But Jobs can't stomach this model, so he says it's "not a viable market."



    If he keeps up that attitude, Google will eat his lunch here. He has the potential for another iPhone here....if only he can get past his dislike of working with the cable cos.



  • Reply 51 of 85
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,228member
    crap I so wanted that new vaporware 99$ AppleTV with iphone OS that you can control with an ipod touch or iphone.
  • Reply 52 of 85
    jetzjetz Posts: 1,293member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post


    And the revenue for Google comes from gathering as much "personal" information as they are allowed to in order to deliver targeted advertising (which as I understand it is holy-grail territory for advertisers)... correct?



    So the next question. Why can't Apple do something similar?



    They could. They have iAds. Why not go into the TV box business? Just like the iPhone retailing through telcos, they could make a TV box and sell it through cable cos. However, the keep hoping that conventional cable TV will die (it won't...and it'll be a long time till IPTV services catch up) and that optical media will die (it won't.....as long as bandwidth caps remain fairly low anyway).



    As for Google TV, no where in the keynote did Google mention targeted ads. Just like regular android (which has no ad software like iAds baked in), I think Google's strategy is just to get people online and using its services (search, gmail, youtube) more. Apple uses iTunes to sell iPods. Google uses Android as a loss leader to get people using Google services.
  • Reply 53 of 85
    Talk about a smokescreen.



    IPTV. The internet is the media provider. It's a standard. You only need 1 cable for it. You only need 1 remote and if you have an iphone or an ipad, those should double as remotes via wifi since apple decided that IR ports weren't useful (stupid move, apple). It's not difficult, dudes. It really isn't. They have how many billion dollars and they're building a huge datacenter out in BFE for cloud hosting? They could outstream netflix and call it a day.
  • Reply 54 of 85
    sinisterjoesinisterjoe Posts: 134member
    He's right on about people not wanting more set tops. It's amazing how many people simply can't wrap their mind around switching inputs on a TV. If you have a stereo system on top of that it does get a bit complex. Too many remotes, too much mess, too many wires. In the era of flat panel TVs you don't really see the classic 80's style big ass entertainment center anymore. It's just kind of a pain finding a spot for yet another box. Building it into the TV makes the most sense.
  • Reply 55 of 85
    colvincolvin Posts: 2member
    If the current version of the Apple TV is to be a content delivery device - what about adding Netflix streaming? Vudu? Hulu? ABC video? iTunes is not the sole source...
  • Reply 56 of 85
    hezetationhezetation Posts: 674member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post


    Hang on... isn't Google TV built into the TV in some cases?



    Lets say, hypothetically, that Google TV gets built into every single new TV. I have to wonder if Jobs would have the same opinion.



    Apple has their own TV concept in the works as well, though how active who knows. The thing I found strange was that he complained about lack of consistency but I thought that was one of the greatest things about iPhone. Seems like you wouldn't be selling a subsidized box but rather partnering with cable companies to offer your box as an upgrade feature. The cable companies could then write their own cable app for the AppleTV that would turn the AppleTV into a standard DVR when in their app. With Background services in iPhone OS 4 it could continue to grab shows for you in the background while you do other fun stuff like surf the web or watch a movie.



    It seems Steve is really just not interested in trying to deal with the cable companies at this point, which I don't blame him.
  • Reply 57 of 85
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hezetation View Post


    It seems Steve is really just not interested in trying to deal with the cable companies at this point, which I don't blame him.



    As I previously stated, based on Jobs' statement I think there is a case to be made that Apple is mainly interested in dealing with cable companies.
  • Reply 58 of 85
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 2,475member
    I can't help but disagree with SJ on this one... As an ATV owner since the original 40GB model, I see that there are many features that the if ATV had it would convince people to kick the cable habit.



    - Movie and TV show lending. Buying a movie on ATV is limiting, you cannot lend it to friends or resell it like you could with a DVD. Apple could at least offer a lending option, where you can lend a movie to a friend and you cannot watch the movie until you take it back. If this lending process happens from box to box, then Apple wouldn't have to loose bandwidth in the process.



    - Reading and Writing reviews. On ATV I can see star ratings for a movie but I'm unable to read reviews without going to iTunes on my computer.



    - Podcast and TV show management. I cannot tell if a new episode been added untill I actually go into each and every channel in my Faivorites. I'm also unable to organize them into folders or even put them in a certain order. How about bookmarks, I sometimes have a need to bookmark a certain episode.



    - Monthly subscription. Yea!



    - Volume control for the whole thing not just radio!



    - Deciding to purchase a enter Movie, c'mon! If I already paid $5 and the movie resides on my ATV why not be able to pay the difference and keep it?!



    That's about enough for now, but my point is, there are a lot of potential for the ATV to kick ass. I don't think it should be positioned as a competitor to a cable box, but as an addition to a home theatre system.
  • Reply 59 of 85
    christopher126christopher126 Posts: 4,366member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by krabbelen View Post


    Uhhh, that's because it's not a TV or Set-top box replacement; it never was. It's a DVD Player replacement. It's (at this moment) purely and simply about serving your iTunes media to your TV; that and nothing else. The "TV" in Apple TV is to do with connecting to a TV, not anything to with monitoring or storing programming from the traditional TV or Cable TV medium. Firmware or OS updates can change that in an instant.



    And that's why Apple still class it as a hobby. When they shake up the TV industry like they have with the music, movie and phone industries, I am sure we will be the among the first to know. I bet they do have ideas. Furthermore, I bet those who have the current incarnation of Apple TV won't be disappointed, because whatever the shake-up is, they will be able to make use of it with their early Apple TVs.



    If you like renting iTunes Movies for your large TV, if you like YouTube in your living room, if you like displaying photo albums of your grandkids with your own music in the background, if you don't like running out to the video store and running back to return movies, if you have lots of media in iTunes (and you can do a simple rip of your physical DVDs, then Apple TV is still a great product. Anyone expecting more may well be disappointed. Those who know what it does and use it for that really enjoy it.



    Well said Krabelan!



    I have said before that AppleTV pulls together different media (as you say from iTunes/iPhoto) and puts it into a very, very usable format. Typical Apple!



    Take your example of photos....it used to be you would have a few of your best photos framed and hanging on the wall. The rest were most likely in a shoebox....if you were a really enterprising fellow you may put them into photo albums...but even then they may get looked at once every 2 years or so.



    Then came digital/computers and you could email and share photos...whoo hoo! How often do we all sit around our PC a view photos...maybe the most recent ones. But not much else.



    I submit, my photos on AppleTV are viewed and shared more when my friends come over and on the TV is a collage of photos with light music in the background. All my PC friends are amazed at how good they look and how entertaining it is...especially when I have photos of them! It really is amazing and worth the price of admission right there.



    Best
  • Reply 60 of 85
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post


    I see that there are many features that the if ATV had it would convince people to kick the cable habit.



    This is much more tricky that it may seem. The cable companies pay for access to all those channels they offer, regardless if people are watching them or not. If data usage on their network increases while the payments for their TV viewership decreases then we'll see an increase in the cost of data to counteract this inevitable result.



    Quote:

    Apple could at least offer a lending option, where you can lend a movie to a friend and you cannot watch the movie until you take it back.



    This is not up to Apple. I'm not aware of any digital distributor who has the rights to let you lease your content to your buddies. Apple seems to have the best leeway with allowing you to move your purchased and rented media between devices that use FairPlay DRM.



    Quote:

    Deciding to purchase a enter Movie, c'mon! If I already paid $5 and the movie resides on my ATV why not be able to pay the difference and keep it?!



    Again, this is not up to Apple, this is up to the content owners.
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