Apple wants to offer television subscribers customized channel lineups

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple's anticipated full-fledged television set could offer Internet-based content subscriptions with customized channel lineups, if the company has its way.



Customized programming is said to be one of Apple's most desired features for its rumored television set, according to analyst Shaw Wu with Sterne Agee. In Apple's vision, customers would choose whichever channels or shows they want for a monthly subscription fee.



"This is obviously much more complicated (than current offerings) from a licensing standpoint," Wu wrote in a note to investors on Wednesday. "And in our view, would change the game for television and give AAPL a big leg-up against the competition."



Hardware and technology are not the issues holding back Apple from releasing a television set, he said. Instead, Apple must negotiate unique content deals that will allow the company to differentiate its product from other televisions on the market.



"Today, iTunes has a rich library of movies and TV shows but it is mostly for downloads and only movies are available for rentals (TV shows once were but were terminated in August 2011)," he wrote. "What's missing is live broadcast television."



He said the obvious way Apple could allow this is to integrate with a cable or satellite subscription already offered to customers. But the more revolutionary way would be to deliver live content via the Internet or IPTV, a method that would be more in line with the company's existing iTunes and iCloud services.



Apple's interest in expanding its content offerings has been known for some time, as the company is said to have pushed for more options and greater flexibility in negotiations with content providers. In November, CBS Chief Executive Les Moonves revealed his company was approached by Apple about a potential streaming TV deal that would share ad revenues, but the network declined Apple's offer because it prefers licensing its content.







Wu previously noted in October that Apple's plans to build an HDTV have been held up by content providers who are reluctant to allow Apple to offer subscription-based plans to customers. Rumors of an Apple-built HDTV began to pick up steam earlier this year, when it was revealed that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs told his biographer that he had "cracked' the secret to building an integrated, easy-to-use television set. He said the device "will have the simplest user interface you could imagine."



If Apple does release a full television set, Wu believes it would be wise for the company to continue selling its existing Apple TV set top box. This would allow Apple to continue offering existing HDTV owners the benefits of Apple TV, while an integrated TV set could offer a complete easy-to-use solution like a Mac, iPad or iPhone.



Rumors have pointed toward a 2012 launch of an Apple television with Siri voice control technology built in, and the company is said to have already built prototypes of the anticipated device. The latest rumor this week suggested suppliers will begin preparing materials for an Apple-branded television in the first quarter of 2012, with the device debuting in the second or third quarter of the year.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 143
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "This is obviously much more complicated (than current offerings) from a licensing standpoint," Wu wrote in a note to investors on Wednesday. "This is obviously much more complicated from a licensing standpoint...



    Drink coffee before hitting publish.
  • Reply 2 of 143
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,013member
    I hope this isn't totally true although I can see the fun of your own selections for a lot of shows. I have loved discovering new stuff (as in old stuff I never saw) on Netflix and now would hate to lose the 'pay one fee for a limitless set of choices' option on this older stuff - I give 'Burn Notice' as an example of a show I like I never knew existed till I discovered it on Netflix . Actually Netflix suggested I may enjoy it!. I can see that new content may have to cost more but for everything over say a year old the Netflix model is hard to beat IMHO. So a mix of two selections would be cool, a level one selection of new stuff and a limitless selection of old stuff. In truth I'd probably just go for option 2 if it were possible and saved money. New stuff is over rated and it is available a year later



    Meanwhile I have to suspect Siri is listening on a hand held device, I don't see how she'd hear me with the volume way up from the TV itself. Oh ... unless the Apple TVs have cameras and she can lip read!
  • Reply 3 of 143
    It sounds great, but I haven't heard anything yet that would allow me to dump my cable provider (Comcrap, which I'd sorely love to do.) I'd still have to use them for broadband Internet.



    What's more, there's a 250GB traffic limit on customers. That limit could easily be broached if you add hours of streaming HDTV daily on top of the the amount of traffic that gets used for other activities (surfing, upload/download of software files, email with attachments, Skype, etc.)



    I'd really hate to have to pay Comcrap MORE money if I dumped the cable portion of my services. And even if they raised the cap, I'd expect them to also raise the price of Inter to reclaim their loss of cable revenue and/or throttle back connection speeds (because that's the kind if company they are.)



    I also seriously wonder if their network can handle thousands or millions of simultaneous streaming Internet connections.
  • Reply 4 of 143
    Please please please let this be true. I have wanted this since the first time I signed up for cable/satellite. If I could pay a price, even a freaking $1 per channel I would. I cut the chord just over a year ago and I love it, but I miss some of my old shows that Netflix hasn't picked up on yet. If I could have antenna plus a few channels like History, FX, Comedy Central, HGTV (for the wife), DIY, and some kid channels...I'd be in heaven.
  • Reply 5 of 143
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by adrianm2000 View Post


    It sounds great, but I haven't heard anything yet that would allow me to dump my cable provider (Comcrap, which I'd sorely love to do.) I'd still have to use them for broadband Internet.



    What's more, there's a 250GB traffic limit on customers. That limit could easily be broached if you add hours of streaming HDTV daily on top of the the amount of traffic that gets used for other activities (surfing, upload/download of software files, email with attachments, Skype, etc.)



    I'd really hate to have to pay Comcrap MORE money if I dumped the cable portion of my services. And even if they raised the cap, I'd expect them to also raise the price of Inter to reclaim their loss of cable revenue (because that's the kind if company they are.)



    Can you get Fios or Uverse? I have Fios and love it. I pay a lot more than I used to with AT&T broadband, but it is tons faster and reliable and I use it now to stream movies/netflix/hulu/etc and have yet to get any warnings.
  • Reply 6 of 143
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by airnerd View Post


    Can you get Fios or Uverse? I have Fios and love it. I pay a lot more than I used to with AT&T broadband, but it is tons faster and reliable and I use it now to stream movies/netflix/hulu/etc and have yet to get any warnings.



    No FIOS in my area yet.
  • Reply 7 of 143
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,013member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by adrianm2000 View Post


    It sounds great, but I haven't heard anything yet that would allow me to dump my cable provider (Comcrap, which I'd sorely love to do.) I'd still have to use them for broadband Internet.



    What's more, there's a 250GB traffic limit on customers. That limit could easily be broached if you add hours of streaming HDTV daily on top of the the amount of traffic that gets used for other activities (surfing, upload/download of software files, email with attachments, Skype, etc.)



    I'd really hate to have to pay Comcrap MORE money if I dumped the cable portion of my services. And even if they raised the cap, I'd expect them to also raise the price of Inter to reclaim their loss of cable revenue (because that's the kind if company they are.)



    I dumped FiOS TV and land phone line but keep their FiOS internet as NetFlix + iTunes is fine for us. I thought I'd save money but I suspect they charge me as much for just internet as the FiOS with TV and Internet! PLus I can't access stuff like CNN using CNN's App without a FiOS TV account so my plan kind of went wrong ...
  • Reply 8 of 143
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    I give 'Burn Notice' as an example of a show I like I never knew existed till I discovered it on Netflix . Actually Netflix suggested I may enjoy it!.



    Eesh... Netflix told me I'd like Burn Notice as well... I watched a handful of episodes, and couldn't watch anymore. I thought it was a terrible show. Way too formulaic for me -- same story every episode with a few variations.
  • Reply 9 of 143
    mactacmactac Posts: 315member
    Quote:

    If Apple does release a full television set, Wu believes it would be wise for the company to continue selling its existing Apple TV set top box. This would allow Apple to continue offering existing HDTV owners the benefits of Apple TV, while an integrated TV set could offer a complete easy-to-use solution like a Mac, iPad or iPhone.



    Too bad Apple isn't willing to think this way regarding a mid range desktop computer. Instead of being able to use the monitor we already have we have to buy an iMac with a built in screen.



    But if Apple is able to offer custom channel packages it would be a godsend. I hate having to take channels I will never watch in order to get the ones I want. I don't know Spanish. I will never learn Spanish. I do not want Spanish channels.
  • Reply 10 of 143
    I have been thinking about the Apple TV. This is what I reckon we are going to see:



    The problem with TV now is that all the various services that people use arrive as wires in the back of the TV. It is awkward to switch sources. It's not possible to browse channels visually. The more content you buy, the more remote controls and boxes you accumulate.



    Apple can solve this mess by moving the point of convergence from the back of the TV to an Apple data centre. The centre acts as a building-sized TiVo. It takes in all the channels, records them and then delivers them on to the consumer's TV via the internet.



    The end-user buys a TV with an internet connection pointing at a customised service streamed from Apple's data centre.



    A user wanting to subscribe to a cable network would just click on buy to subscribe to the service. Apple shares revenue with the provider (with a 30:70 revenue split). The service provider has nothing to do. They accept this revenue split because Apple users don't need dishes, recorders, installation engineers, cable cards or any of that crap.



    The user sees ALL their paid content in a screen with live previews of all channels. Every channel is being recorded. To access all this content you only need one interface and one remote. You can access it on an iPad too.



    I reckon this could be a big deal.



    C.
  • Reply 11 of 143
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by [Greg] View Post


    Eesh... Netflix told me I'd like Burn Notice as well... I watched a handful of episodes, and couldn't watch anymore. I thought it was a terrible show. Way too formulaic for me -- same story every episode with a few variations.



    Sounds just like House. Same formula each show......sick patient, try a few fixes, last one is discovered by House thinking about something someone said or got the clue by staring at something.
  • Reply 12 of 143
    that I heard recently that would have each network feature an "app" that is essentially a smart channel. Streams current television, on demand features and "smart" content where applicable.
  • Reply 13 of 143
    Carniphage, I've read a lot of words about the fabled Apple TV, but your proposed content structure makes the most sense to me, since it keeps the Cable companies "in the loop"
  • Reply 14 of 143
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    Meanwhile I have to suspect Siri is listening on a hand held device, I don't see how she'd hear me with the volume way up from the TV itself. Oh ... unless the Apple TVs have cameras and she can lip read!



    This is actually fairly trivial to implement these days. The TV knows exactly what sound is coming from its speakers- Therefore, it can, in effect, "cancel" that sound out (at any volume) and listen for anything *besides* that sound. Noise cancelling headphones are a good example of this sort of technology- just applied in a different manner.



    Of course, the acoustics of any given room and the use of a seperate sound system can add complexity to this, however, this too can be accounted for through a quick calibration.
  • Reply 15 of 143
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by adrianm2000 View Post


    It sounds great, but I haven't heard anything yet that would allow me to dump my cable provider (Comcrap, which I'd sorely love to do.) I'd still have to use them for broadband Internet.



    What's more, there's a 250GB traffic limit on customers. That limit could easily be broached if you add hours of streaming HDTV daily on top of the the amount of traffic that gets used for other activities (surfing, upload/download of software files, email with attachments, Skype, etc.)



    That's still 250 hours of 720p video. If your household really watches that much, then you're probably best off with cable. Apple's solutions so far serve the light watchers better than heavy users.



    Quote:

    I'd really hate to have to pay Comcrap MORE money if I dumped the cable portion of my services. And even if they raised the cap, I'd expect them to also raise the price of Inter to reclaim their loss of cable revenue and/or throttle back connection speeds (because that's the kind if company they are.)



    That's an unfortunate down side to having your entertainment distribution also being your provider.



    Quote:

    I also seriously wonder if their network can handle thousands or millions of simultaneous streaming Internet connections.



    It's a concern, but I don't think it will be that big of a deal. That was one of the upside to linear programming, the same feed goes to millions of houses, rather than each house streaming a program, one feed vs. a million outgoing streams.
  • Reply 16 of 143
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,013member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by [Greg] View Post


    Eesh... Netflix told me I'd like Burn Notice as well... I watched a handful of episodes, and couldn't watch anymore. I thought it was a terrible show. Way too formulaic for me -- same story every episode with a few variations.



    I know but it's perfect to watch while eating ...
  • Reply 17 of 143
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,013member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Uninterested_Viewer View Post


    This is actually fairly trivial to implement these days. The TV knows exactly what sound is coming from its speakers- Therefore, it can, in effect, "cancel" that sound out (at any volume) and listen for anything *besides* that sound. Noise cancelling headphones are a good example of this sort of technology- just applied in a different manner.



    Of course, the acoustics of any given room and the use of a seperate sound system can add complexity to this, however, this too can be accounted for through a quick calibration.



    Good point I didn't think of that but wow, noise cancellation at that level ... that is getting pretty sic-fi ...
  • Reply 18 of 143
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,013member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    Sounds just like House. Same formula each show......sick patient, try a few fixes, last one is discovered by House thinking about something someone said or got the clue by staring at something.



    Come on guys ... what TV show isn't formulaic? You either like it or you don't. 13 makes House watchable
  • Reply 19 of 143
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    Good point I didn't think of that but wow, noise cancellation at that level ... that is getting pretty sic-fi ...



    Indeed! Although I haven't played around with it, I believe Microsoft's Kinect already uses this sort of technology in its voice controls- so it's definitely do-able these days.
  • Reply 20 of 143
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by [Greg] View Post


    Eesh... Netflix told me I'd like Burn Notice as well... I watched a handful of episodes, and couldn't watch anymore. I thought it was a terrible show. Way too formulaic for me -- same story every episode with a few variations.



    You're in the minority. Burn Notice has evolved away from the save mysterious client in every episode.
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