Licensing deal with Rovi seen as more evidence of Apple HDTV

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple's newly announced confidential deal with Rovi Corporation has been viewed by one prominent Wall Street analyst as more evidence of a connected HDTV, with live TV and DVR functionality, in the company's future.



Analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray believes that the secretive deal announced Monday is evidence of a forthcoming HDTV from Apple. Rovi is the creator of an interactive program guide that has been licensed by cable and satellite operators, as well as set-top box makers.



"We believe this announcement is further evidence that Apple is developing live TV and DVR features for its Apple TV product, and will likely launch and all-in-one Apple Television in the next 2-4 years," Munster wrote in a note to investors. "Following its deal with Rovi, Apple would be clear to add live TV, DVR and guidance features to its Apple TV product, which we believe is a critical step towards an all-in-one Apple Television."



Munster has long believed Apple could push into the HDTV market in the next few years, and could "move the needle" in a market that as of January of 2010 was worth more than $30 billion. The analyst views the new Apple TV update as a stepping stone for the company's connected television.



Apple has stuck with its current set top box model, and has not attempted to enter into the cable box industry, because it's a difficult market to break into, the company's chief executive, Steve Jobs, said in June. Jobs said customers are used to receiving a cable box from their provider for free or for $10 a month.



"The only way that's ever going to change," he said, " is if you can really go back to square one, tear up the set top box, redesign it from scratch with a consistent UI across all these different functions, and get it to customers in a way that they're willing to pay for it. And right now there's no way to do that."







Rovi has not disclosed the terms of its multi-year deal with Apple, but the company licenses its interactive program guide to third parties, allowing users to "facilitate navigation of digital entertainment media."



Its TotalGuide product allows users to access "simple, centralized and intuitive access to multiple content types: broadcast, premium, Internet-based and personal." It also offers TV listings with imagery, enhanced data, and extended multimedia.



Other TV-based services from Rovi include TV Guide On Screen for North America, and similar products across the world, such as GUIDE Plus+ TV Programming Guide in Europe.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    I’m all in for Apple finding new ways interact with the home entertainment center and the ‘TV’, but I don’t see them actually creating an HDTV.
  • Reply 2 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I?m all in for Apple finding new ways interact with the home entertainment center and the ?TV?, but I don?t see them actually creating an HDTV.



    I agree, but if they did, they might look at purchasing VIZIO. It's a California based television producer that is making quite a name for itself in both quality and competitive pricing.
  • Reply 3 of 42
    Munster could be right about Apple spending lots of time and money to make a product with rapidly-diminishing profit margins (manufacturing TVs)....



    ...or Apple could simply make a software product that allows anyone's tv or receiver to pick up video/audio signals from a mac or iOS device... hmm... if such a magical product existed maybe we could call it, "AirPlay"...?



    Instead of staring at tea leaves until he goes cross-eyed, Munster would be better served in this instance to just look at Apple's existing products. Airplay is real and does 100% of the things a manufactured "apple-branded" TV would do, with the added benefit that a 3rd party carries all the risk of manufacturing and selling the physical tv.
  • Reply 4 of 42
    Let's hope Apple makes 3D TV's that don't require glasses. THAT would be amazing.



    You all know an Apple HDTV would not just be an HDTV.
  • Reply 5 of 42
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    I agree, but if they did, they might look at purchasing VIZIO. It's a California based television producer that is making quite a name for itself in both quality and competitive pricing.



    Even then I think they would use licensing agreements and create an device that connnects to the HDTV or comes installed. If Apple wants to dominate ?TV?s the ways it dominates the financial sectors of all its other areas of business I think that making it an open standard so any media extender company could attach a device would be the best way to give this AppleTV a real chance.
  • Reply 6 of 42
    801801 Posts: 271member
    Could Apple be reinventing the cable industry? An alternative to comcast, say? That cloud computer becomes more critical.
  • Reply 7 of 42
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 801 View Post


    Could Apple be reinventing the cable industry? An alternative to comcast, say?



    Be careful what you ask for. Chances are you?ll still be getting your internet through Comcast with this alternative method to Comcast?s TV coming over your Comcast internet. If Comcast loses too many TV subscribers they won?t be jacking up prices of their ?loyal? TV subscribers as it will make them lose even more to these internet-based methods, they?ll be jacking up your internet costs. Either way, Comcast will be make their money.
  • Reply 8 of 42
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,526member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MyopiaRocks View Post


    Instead of staring at tea leaves until he goes cross-eyed, Munster would be better served in this instance to just look at Apple's existing products. Airplay is real and does 100% of the things a manufactured "apple-branded" TV would do, with the added benefit that a 3rd party carries all the risk of manufacturing and selling the physical tv.



    Precisely.
  • Reply 9 of 42
    801801 Posts: 271member
    I don't use comcast, and have not had any broadcasted TV for 5 or 6 years now. ( Comcast drove us away from cable use)

    I was only making a supposition. Just trying to figure out "one more thing"
  • Reply 10 of 42
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I?m all in for Apple finding new ways interact with the home entertainment center and the ?TV?, but I don?t see them actually creating an HDTV.



    I agree. A TV isn't something I expect to have to replace very often, and right now things are too dynamic to expect any tuning/streaming device to still be relevant 3-5 years from now. It's bad enough that I need to discard a perfectly good iMac monitor if/when I want to upgrade, I have no intention of discarding a perfectly good TV. Cable companies don't even all use the same standards, never mind satellite. How would Apple make a tuner/DVR type of device?



    Maybe many years down the road, after the cable companies have been defeated and some sort of unified standard is established, then you might be able to make a truely integrated device. Until then, everything is simply an add-on. So best to stick with a set-top box option for now.
  • Reply 11 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 801 View Post


    I don't use comcast, and have not had any broadcasted TV for 5 or 6 years now. ( Comcast drove us away from cable use)

    I was only making a supposition. Just trying to figure out "one more thing"



    Where do you get your internet connection from?
  • Reply 12 of 42
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,229moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "We believe this announcement is further evidence that Apple is developing live TV and DVR features for its Apple TV product, and will likely launch and all-in-one Apple Television in the next 2-4 years,"



    These guys just look at the money the market holds, pick ideas out of thin air and leave common sense behind. There is no reason for them to build an all-in-one TV because they either limit access to their services or they cannibalise sales of their own product. Apple don't make displays, they put things into the box around the display. When the box is so small that it is almost the size of a plug, why bother putting it inside the display?



    They talk about DVR implying that Apple will bring back the HDD part. Apple have purposefully declared that they are going streaming-only. If they broadcast live, Apple can record the shows themselves and offer a streaming playback of any and every show on demand up to a certain amount of time whether you remember to record it yourself or not.
  • Reply 13 of 42
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,612member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


    I agree. A TV isn't something I expect to have to replace very often, and right now things are too dynamic to expect any tuning/streaming device to still be relevant 3-5 years from now. It's bad enough that I need to discard a perfectly good iMac monitor if/when I want to upgrade, I have no intention of discarding a perfectly good TV. Cable companies don't even all use the same standards, never mind satellite. How would Apple make a tuner/DVR type of device?



    Maybe many years down the road, after the cable companies have been defeated and some sort of unified standard is established, then you might be able to make a truely integrated device. Until then, everything is simply an add-on. So best to stick with a set-top box option for now.



    Yes - I tend to agree, but then again Apple makes the iMac in spite of there being a ton of cheap monitors around (as you suggest), so you never know. Apple loves to create complete solutions. In this imagined future it is conceivable that Apple 'could' offer two or three integrated solutions (large screens) and also ship a tiny unit that can handle screen sizes up to a given limit. This last piece would require additional hardware such as a Mac to function, of course.
  • Reply 14 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chronster View Post


    Let's hope Apple makes 3D TV's that don't require glasses. THAT would be amazing.



    You all know an Apple HDTV would not just be an HDTV.



    Hey if nintendo could do it with their nintendo 3Ds so can Apple. But then again were talking about a HDTV not a portable game device.
  • Reply 15 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MyopiaRocks View Post


    Munster could be right about Apple spending lots of time and money to make a product with rapidly-diminishing profit margins (manufacturing TVs)....



    ...or Apple could simply make a software product that allows anyone's tv or receiver to pick up video/audio signals from a mac or iOS device... hmm... if such a magical product existed maybe we could call it, "AirPlay"...?



    Instead of staring at tea leaves until he goes cross-eyed, Munster would be better served in this instance to just look at Apple's existing products. Airplay is real and does 100% of the things a manufactured "apple-branded" TV would do, with the added benefit that a 3rd party carries all the risk of manufacturing and selling the physical tv.



    I have been very skeptical about Apple introducing an actual HDTV, and I think that you are likely right...but I am starting to wonder if I am missing something. With this report about the secret deal with Rovi, maybe things aren't as they seem. I am starting to see reasons why Apple might actually someday try their own TV...





    1. Apple loves to control all aspects of their products. Instead of just having a awesome black box that connects to every TV, I could see them wanting to control all hardware and software and not have to rely on anyone else F***ing it up somehow. They would love to be able to get rid of a nest of cables and add-on boxes, and simplify this in a very elegant way. I think they want to unleash the total package. Don't forget, Apple's main drive is creating the devices that Steve and the other Executives at Apple want to own and use themselves. So what better than the ultimate all-in-one Apple HDTV?



    2. Besides making products they want, Apple (Steve) loves the attention he gets from announcing breakthrough products. He loves beating the other tech companies to the punch, and announcing products that make us all salivate. And an all-in-one livingroom appliance would do just that.



    Steve pretty much spelled out what a company would have to do to redefine the Television industry, basically a whole new product that does it all seemlessly. What better blueprint for this than the original iMac? We all know how iconic and revolutionary it was when Apple launched the iMac. Not because there weren't already a ton of PCs on the market, but because it was the first truly simple all-in-one unit. A power cable, an internet cable, and boom, you're done. "There is no Step 3". They may have some really bold moves coming.



    I know it would be expensive to upgrade my current 42 inch plasma, and I might not be able to afford it for awhile. But eventually I would have to snatch one up. I think if Apple announced a 42 inch flatpanel, that had built-in ATV features, cablecard slot, a DVR (as this report is hinting at), maybe even their first entry into Blu-Ray, and most of all, a consistent UI across all functions, they would have a hit on their hands.



    I know it is extremely unlikely, but you never know what they have up their sleeve.
  • Reply 16 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mgl323 View Post


    Hey if nintendo could do it with their nintendo 3Ds so can Apple. But then again were talking about a HDTV not a portable game device.



    There are already several HDTV companies that make 3D sets that require glasses to watch 3D bluray movies. I don't see Apple going in that direction.
  • Reply 17 of 42
    cmf2cmf2 Posts: 1,427member
    An apple television doesn't make sense, nor does a DVR or live programming in the form we currently get from cable.



    What makes sense is Apple TV getting apps, and possibly USB or a dock connector to connect accesories.



    Once you add apps, you provide the opportunity to distribute live programming (as well as more on demand streaming).

    Apps with external device support can be used for things like TV tuners and DVRs.



    The need for live streaming is basically limited to news and sports, we don't need 100's of channels with live streams available all the time. On demand streaming works better for virtually anything else. You don't need a DVR if you can open up an app and play episodes of your favorite TV show.



    What is currently done with 100's of channels could be done with just a couple apps, with greater flexibility. A full out Apple Televison with a progamming guide and DVR makes no sense to me at all. A TV with a built in Apple TV could happen, but I don't think Apple really has much interest in that market.
  • Reply 18 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post


    1. Apple loves to control all aspects of their products. Instead of just having a awesome black box that connects to every TV, I could see them wanting to control all hardware and software and not have to rely on anyone else F***ing it up somehow. They would love to be able to get rid of a nest of cables and add-on boxes, and simplify this in a very elegant way. I think they want to unleash the total package. Don't forget, Apple's main drive is creating the devices that Steve and the other Executives at Apple want to own and use themselves. So what better than the ultimate all-in-one Apple HDTV?



    Playing devil's advocate... Apple does have a pre-existing relationship with Samsung... so if Samsung agreed to make the tvs, Apple squeezed its iOS appletv interface into it (somehow), labeled it "Apple", and gave it all some quintessentially Apple-ish enclosure... I mean, that is within the realm of possibility. All that extra work does, though, is provide a display panel with built-in iOS interface at a higher cost, as opposed to plugging in the tiny square AppleTV box with an HDMI cable.



    ...and this is already moot, because receivers (Denon, for example) are building AirPlay into their systems *right now*. It makes far more sense for the receiver to build in AirPlay-support, since this is the nervous system for a home theatre (everything plugs into it, output to speakers, output to video panel). I think Gene Munster just lacks an understanding of home theatre A/V setups, otherwise he'd be calling for an "Apple-branded receiver" instead of an, "apple-branded TV" (which is just a big iMac running iOS instead of OSX, frankly).
  • Reply 19 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post


    The need for live streaming is basically limited to news and sports, we don't need 100's of channels with live streams available all the time. On demand streaming works better for virtually anything else. You don't need a DVR if you can open up an app and play episodes of your favorite TV show.



    What is currently done with 100's of channels could be done with just a couple apps, with greater flexibility. A full out Apple Televison with a progamming guide and DVR makes no sense to me at all. A TV with a built in Apple TV could happen, but I don't think Apple really has much interest in that market.



    That's something very interesting you're saying. Besides news and sports, you'll probably have some live entertainment programs too, something that people talk about the day after at work.

    For all those channels that do reruns it would be a hard nut to crack. But in the end this solution is probably just what SJ meant by going to the market in a totally different way.



    It would change the way people watch television. You could still have Premieres of new shows only being available at a certain timepoint of for a limited time period.



    It would put an end to the over 100 adds-loaded channels that don't produce there own shows. You just pay for what you really want and maybe less or nothing for add-supported shows.



    Let's just hope Apple buys up a small country (let's say Andorra) here in Europe to put a server farm and give us Euros a little piece of this future cake.



    PS : I don't think Apple will ever make their own TVs, they'll go with small aTVs connected to local storage (NAS/iMac/Time Capsule) or cloud storage.
  • Reply 20 of 42
    Apple will integrate this software into AppleTV, iPad and iPhone - NO WAY they are going to make a TV.



    While most diehard Apple fans would pay a premium for a phone or tablet, they would never pay a premium for an LCD TV from Apple.



    Example: the 27" Apple Cinema Display is very nice but not for $1000 when I can get a similar Samsung 27" for $320. Also, it would have to integrate with your Cable or Satellite provider. Consumers are not ready for a switch.
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