WSJ: Apple working on new video delivery technology for TVs

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
According to a new report, Apple's new CEO Tim Cook faces the challenge of advancing the company's plans for digital video, even as it is developing "new technology" for delivering video to televisions.



The Wall Street Journal has claimed that, according to people familiar with the matter, "Apple is working on new technology to deliver video to televisions," adding that the company has also been in talks over a subscription TV service.



The report suggested that new markets, such as digital video and control of the living room, will pose the first "real test" for Cook, who officially took over for Steve Jobs on Wednesday. Markets that Apple is already entrenched in, such as mobile phones and tablets, have already been handed to him by Jobs and won't require the same level of innovation.



Though further details regarding the rumored new technology were lacking, some have connected the comments to Apple's upcoming AirPlay Mirroring functionality, which is said to be iOS 5's "most exciting feature." AirPlay Mirroring could bring about significant disruption in the console gaming market by allowing iOS game developers to offer console-style gaming with the iPhone or iPad serving as both the hardware and a wireless controller.



Speculation also turned to the possibility that Apple will release an Internet-connected TV in the near future. Analysts have claimed for years that the company is hard at work at an Apple-branded HDTV. Reports have picked up steam as of late, with some rumors suggesting that Apple could release the product as early as this fall.



As for a subscription video service, Apple reportedly attempted to negotiate licenses for a service in 2009 but gave up after talks stalled. Envisioneering Group analyst Richard Doherty compared Apple's efforts to "pushing this giant marshmallow uphill," noting that convincing rights holders, cable and satellite companies to change their business models is "light years" tougher than with the music industry.









Apple has repeatedly referred to its Apple TV set top box as a "hobby." The most recent version, which sells for $99 and is focused on streaming content, has performed well, selling half a million units per quarter.



UBS Investment Research analyst Maynard UM has said that Apple is in the best position to win the battle for the "digital living room."\tHe rated all areas in Apple's ecosystem as strong, with the exception of TV, the cloud, social networking and office suite, which were listed as "needs improvement." The company is expected to drastically improve its presence in the cloud with the introduction of iCloud this fall.







Motley Fool Senior Technology Analyst Eric Bleeker also views Apple's opportunity to leverage iOS in the home entertainment arena as a next step for Cook. According to him, Jobs had already seen the vision of iOS extending into the living room, and it's up to his successor to execute it.



"The main visionary aspect was accomplished, which was creating the mobile platform that now powers Apple and bringing the developers on," Bleeker said. "Once you had iTunes and iOS, less innovation was always needed, in a way, because of the momentum once you start moving forward."



Rival Google is also making a play for the living room in the form of Google TV. However, the Android-based Apple TV competitor has failed to gain much traction.



The Mountain View, Calif., search giant's recent $12.5 billion proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility could help the company regroup. Motorola has an existing set-top box business that builds high-definition digital video recorders and other devices. The company also has a "Video Solutions" line of products for content sharing. For instance, its "Televation" product lets users rebroadcast live TV to other devices throughout their home.







"They're a leading home device maker, and that's also a big opportunity," Google CEO Larry Page said of Motorola after the deal was announced. "We're working with them in the industry to really accelerate innovation."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 54
    That little chart really kind of sums up a lot of apples business.



    I think Apple is in the right place to at the right time to get into the tv market, I'm really surprised TV makers like Samsung haven't been all over this. Samsung actually makes a decent tablet, probably the best of the bunch, and their tv's are world class. Its absolutely mind boggling why they haven't been able to nail this yet.



    But no worries. I'm sure apple will be totally ready when all the deals and technology are ready to go, like they always do.
  • Reply 2 of 54
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member
    Ok so thunderbolt is a key factor. The integration of multimedia devices is key. Apple considers all its Core base units and its Ax based devices to be the key. Thats why apple is going to reveal a TV/ Monitor. Basic and simple. But easy to connect devices via thunderbolt or the new generation wireless technology. You can call me nuts but hey I am already nuts so thank you. By the way see you on the mother ship Steve.
  • Reply 3 of 54
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,297member
    Not having Steve around to charm or twist arms is going to make getting content providers on board a lot more difficult. "Steve Jobs to see you" and they drop their forks, "Tim Cook to see you" and they say "Tim who?
  • Reply 4 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    "Tim Cook to see you" and they say "Tim who?



    He's only CEO of the world's largest company. I think they'll figure it out.
  • Reply 5 of 54
    recrec Posts: 217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    Not having Steve around to charm or twist arms is going to make getting content providers on board a lot more difficult. "Steve Jobs to see you" and they drop their forks, "Tim Cook to see you" and they say "Tim who?



    He's the chairman of the board. He hasn't gone anywhere.
  • Reply 6 of 54
    Not a new technology but rather minimising the footprint of Apple TV. Probably in the scope of USB stick size as reference. The rest, like iOS mirroring, the chip needed to wirelessly stream content, storage etc. is already in place.
  • Reply 7 of 54
    Have any of you guys used AirVideo for iOS? It users a small server app that runs on your computer that transcodes your videos and streams them to your iOS devices via the HTTP streaming protocol that Apple uses. It is a great app and I love watching videos on my iPad but now they have made AirVideo compatible with Airplay and the Apple TV. So you can send videos via HTTP streaming to your big screen tv and use your iPad as a remote.



    HTTP streaming also keeps a lower quality stream of the video buffered so if your wireless connection suddenly loses bandwidth (like when someone in your house turns on the microwave) it can instantly switch to the SD version of the content without skipping the video.





    I'd love to see iTunes adopt HTTP streaming "TV Channels" that allow you to just switch on an Apple TV and just have something playing instantly, without deciding what TV show to watch at first. A lot of people still watch TV because they just want to flick it on and not have to think about what they are going to watch.



    These "TV Channels" would would just play the latest episodes of all the shows on iTunes in random cycles. Perhaps each channel would be a playlists of different genres of shows. Then if people come a cross a TV show they are interested in watching, they can easily select with single clicks from their remote or iOS device to pay $1 and watch the whole episode front the start on-demand, or subscribe to the whole season, or subscribe to the whole series.



    This would also enable people to discover new tv shows for free without turning to the pirate bay etc.



    You could also use the HTTP streaming technology to buffer a stream of the next channel. So when people are flicking through channels they don't have as long to see what each channel is playing. I think a lot of people miss the fast channel flicking that you were able to do in the analogue age.
  • Reply 8 of 54
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,321member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    Not having Steve around to charm or twist arms is going to make getting content providers on board a lot more difficult. "Steve Jobs to see you" and they drop their forks, "Tim Cook to see you" and they say "Tim who?



    Tim Cook is in on all negotiations. Seriously, do you understand that a COO being groomed for the CEO job will have a lot of lead time to become well known across the industry? Tim Cook was well known just as a world class COO, as if that's a knock or something.
  • Reply 9 of 54
    The Apple TV is extremely inexpensive for what it does. Just as with the under$100 iPods, when I find an admirer or unbeliever, I give them an Apple TV. As time goes on they pay back to Apple. This year all the rising college students in the circle of friends are going to college with iPhone, MacBooks, iMacs and of course Apple TVs.
  • Reply 10 of 54
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,393member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post


    He's only CEO of the world's largest company. I think they'll figure it out.



    When did they become the world's largest company? I thought they became the public company with the largest market cap?
  • Reply 11 of 54
    eideardeideard Posts: 403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jfanning View Post


    When did they become the world's largest company? I thought they became the public company with the largest market cap?



    Capitalism 101: dollar$ is how you measure size not inches.
  • Reply 12 of 54
    eideardeideard Posts: 403member
    An Apple TV set doesn't make as much sense as expanding the capabilities of the AppleTV.



    Simple is often better. Selling a device which can be attached to everyone's TV set - as opposed to being a successful niche, selling one more TV set in a crowded commodity market - is worth investing in.



    Apple's already forced competitors to cut margins to try to compete with the $99 AppleTV. That's a suckers response. Witness the HP TouchPad and its imminent demise.
  • Reply 13 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eideard View Post




    An Apple TV set doesn't make as much sense as expanding the capabilities of the AppleTV.




    Err......Why not both? I tend to think that think Apple can walk and chew gum at the same time. They are an immense transnational corporation.
  • Reply 14 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post


    Err......Why not both? I tend to think that think Apple can walk and chew gum at the same time. They are an immense transnational corporation.



    I don't think Apple would sell a TV that could be precisely mimicked by adding a $99 box. It would have to provide something so exciting that we all MUST have one. If not, it would not be an Apple product.

    An Apple Television would have to be the finest TV experience out there. Best quality screen, all the latest tech, and something that NO other TV manufacturer can provide. It must make me want to dump my beautiful new 55" top of the line screen for that new Apple centerpiece to my living room.

    If they can only build a MeToo device, it won't happen.
  • Reply 15 of 54
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,147member
    It's not an Apple TV set. It's a TV with Aiplay built in, licensed by TV makers using Apple tech. Like a radio with built in XM.



    Or not.
  • Reply 16 of 54
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MattRebs View Post


    I think Apple is in the right place to at the right time to get into the tv market, I'm really surprised TV makers like Samsung haven't been all over this. Samsung actually makes a decent tablet, probably the best of the bunch, and their tv's are world class. Its absolutely mind boggling why they haven't been able to nail this yet.



    For Apple, making the hardware and the OS are the easier parts. It's getting the subscription TV deals in various countries all over the world that it needs to do to make their TV a real hit that'll prove the hardest part of all. I believe that's the true reason they haven't publicly focused on the TV beyond hobby status.
  • Reply 17 of 54
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Splash-reverse View Post


    Not a new technology but rather minimising the footprint of Apple TV. Probably in the scope of USB stick size as reference. The rest, like iOS mirroring, the chip needed to wirelessly stream content, storage etc. is already in place.



    They are getting into the TV business. Al-in-one entertainment product for the living room with one remote. That's the future for Apple. It's a games machine with Apps, it's a video streaming machine with Apps, it's a TV machine with TV subscription deals and a movie machine. It's a get your content off an iOS device without fiddling with anything machine. It's an all-in-one Apple television, aka iTV.



    The first TV since the 70's that will enable your living room to have one simple remote.
  • Reply 18 of 54
    cajuncajun Posts: 95member
    I just bought my girlfriend a WD TV Live with a 1 TB drive in it for her birthday, even though she has an iPhone 4 and plans to buy an iPad soon. Why? Because the Apple TV lacks storage, and it lacks the codecs to play non-Apple videos.



    I know Apple will continue to be stubborn about adding storage to the Apple TV, but without the ability to store and play non-iTunes content, it's really of limited value right now.
  • Reply 19 of 54
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,443member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    They are getting into the TV business. Al-in-one entertainment product for the living room with one remote. That's the future for Apple. It's a games machine with Apps, it's a video streaming machine with Apps, it's a TV machine with TV subscription deals and a movie machine. It's a get your content off an iOS device without fiddling with anything machine. It's an all-in-one Apple television, aka iTV.



    The first TV since the 70's that will enable your living room to have one simple remote.



    Agree all the way. Except ... no need for the remote at all if you have an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. I use my iPad with the Remote app all the time time, it's way easier than the wee aluminum remote.
  • Reply 20 of 54
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,443member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cajun View Post


    I just bought my girlfriend a WD TV Live with a 1 TB drive in it for her birthday, even though she has an iPhone 4 and plans to buy an iPad soon. Why? Because the Apple TV lacks storage, and it lacks the codecs to play non-Apple videos.



    I know Apple will continue to be stubborn about adding storage to the Apple TV, but without the ability to store and play non-iTunes content, it's really of limited value right now.



    Bad move, hope you didn't pay too much. Just wait and see what's coming from Apple over the next few months ...
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