sockrolid wrote: »
Excellent point. I'd gladly dump DirecTV (and pay a little more) for an ad-hoc pay-by-show solution from Apple. Bundling is such a 20th century racket. I don't need that "200 channels of crap," I'm not going to channel-surf through that 200 channels of crap looking for interesting crap, and I'd rather not be forced to search for what I am interested in ("The Great Martian War") using that horrendous on-screen keyboard.
Sure, we've all grown up with 30-, 40-, 50-, and 60+ button remotes. But if you look at the current television viewing experience objectively, it's clear that decades of lazy decisions have clumped together into a logjam of terrible design. It's a big ugly mess, but because it became big and ugly so gradually, we just shrugged and accepted each new bit of terribleness. And some of us actually like the fact that it's confusing, so we can be "smarter" than our parents, or something like that. A quick example: channel numbers. It would be vastly easier to remember to just type E, S, P, and N on your remote control than it would be to type 208. And you might not even need to type that last N (or even the P) if the TV supported predictive typing. But no, our receivers are shipped with massive charts, on paper, of channel numbers next to channel names. Ridiculous.
Apple has already proven that they can do these three things conveniently and efficiently: 1. sell content, 2. rent content, and 3. stream live content. The iTunes Festival events are proof that Apple has the ability to do it all. Live streaming, pre-recorded streaming, been there, done that. And all that viewing and listening is conceptually contained in the iTunes Festival app. In general, there wouldn't be any need to need to remember what show is on what network, then remembering what that network's channel number is, then programming your DVR to record it. Apple has, to a great extent, app-ified web viewing on iOS. TV is ripe for app-ification too.
That’s why you don’t listen to the FUD in the first place.
Agree. Instead of trying to destroy the cable / satellite companies, it's probably more likely that Apple will want to attract them to something better than the status quo. Better cable company profitability, end-user experience, and all that good stuff. This has worked spectacularly for Apple with iPhone. It's the device everyone wants and thus the device that all carriers want to sell. (At least in the US, Japan, etc.) Apple didn't and probably will never try to destroy or buy a cell carrier.
So maybe the next-gen Apple TV really will be the "better mouse trap" of the cable box universe. It could work with any and all cable / satellite feeds. It could finally clean up decades of lazy UI design and ancient sedimentary layers of feature-creep. If users like it as much as they love iPhone, all the cable / satellite incumbents would want to feature it. (And they could stop wasting all that time, money, customer good will, and carbon footprint designing and building those horrid set-top DVRs.)
Of course, the cable / satellite providers would need to build out server farms for storing and playing back prerecorded content on-demand. Sure, they could continue with their old-school daily programming schedule. That would be streamed "live." Anything not first-run would be streamed on-demand. Live news and sports would also be streamed live. Exactly like iTunes Festival. Zero end-user recording.
Oh, and I too think Apple should probably not get too deeply into creating their own content. Content creation is like panning for gold. Very hit and miss, never know what river bend will make you rich. The way to get rich in a gold rush is to sell goods to the miners. Like Levi Strauss did. There are many streets and buildings in downtown SF named after merchants, bankers, and manufacturers. All of whom got fantastically rich during the gold rush. Few if any streets there are named after any miners who got rich.
"Content is king. Distribution is King Kong."
- Old Hollywood saying
mikraz wrote: »
I just hope that Apple brings true 'A La Carte' channel selecting to the table. That's what people want. Give me a selection of ALL the Channels.stations that exist and develop a pay structure based around each type of channel or category of channel. Local channels should remain free (since you can RF/UHF/VHF them anyway) and then perhaps charge for specific packages. 6 channels for @12.99, 12 channels for $24.99.. et cetera. Then, make a "Channel Store" designed after the App Store were you can DL and subscribe to more 'stations' as time goes one.
Society is done taking it up the rear for things they don't need under the guise of 'its just the package we offer BS'. The cable companies business model is antiquated.
Eff' Comcast and Time Warner. Payback is truly a bitch. The clock is ticking.
rogifan wrote: »
I've heard good things about Roku and Amazon's Fire TV looks promising (like that they have voice capabilities). Heck right now I'd take my DirecTV interface over ATV. I mostly use ATV for AirPlay functionality.
mcdave wrote: »
You've hit the nail on the head. The best UI is no UI. Apple should create one iPad-based App to deliver all content via AirPlay. It could use extensions but I'd rather have one, simple manager for all content.
I've worked since late 2005 in the area of media rights management. Many of the cable networks as well as other organizations are clients of the enterprise software we produce to manage this.
The ISPs themselves, like Time-Warner, Comcast, RCN, etc. actually have quite limited options in terms of what they can offer as they don't own the content (although their parent companies do in some cases).
Even the cable channels themselves don't have 100% of the rights and can't necessarily offer Apple rights even if they wanted to. That's not true in all cases, but it's true in many cases. In addition, they are currently getting big dollars from the major ISPs and they're not going to endanger that, although there's not much the ISPs can do about it if they did. The cable networks actually do have the upper hand as we've seen in recent contractual disputes.
The contractual rights to the programs are not simple - they're actually quite complex and since Apple is not an ISP, every contract will have to be renegotiated for AppleTV unless Apple offers it in conjunction with an ISP (except where the cable network owns 100% of the rights in all media, in all territories, in perpetuity) and the problem the cable networks have with that is that it opens up the entire contract for renegotiation with the content providers, so they avoid that at all costs. For them to think that's worth it, Apple would have to prove that they're going to dominate the market. So far, they haven't done that.
This isn't just a matter of cable companies not understanding the future or otherwise being obnoxious.
Not to trump you, but I have working the computer and digital video industry since the 1980 and specially digital video equipment since the mid 90's and currently work for the largest company who provides all the video devices to most of the MSO world wide. I am very familiar with how this industries work.
I agree with you that this is complex issue, and it is only complex because the industry has purposely set it up that way. Even today the MSO are doing everything they can to make sure they maintain control over ever aspect of your viewing experience. The only way this will stop is it will end up in court and the MSO will be in the loosing side. DirecTV has to sue to be allow to broadcast local channels since the MSO claimed at one time they had the sole rights to transmit local channels in their area. Hell, when I first got DirecTV in 97, I was lucky I did not live a few miles north of where I was since there was Broadcast Coop which control all content distribution in that area and DirecTV as banned from selling it services there.
You know 10 yrs ago the government forces the MSO to stop requiring customers from renting/buy the STB, and they were order to change how they do business. Today we all should be able to buy our own STB at any store with its own features and then plug it into your cable and subscribe to the content you want. Well the MSO have successfully grind progress to a standstill and they use the whole DRM and Content ownership as the reason not to allow users to buy their own equipment.
The only this I am surprise is no one has brought a class action lawsuit against the MSO and content owners to create a more free market around how you buy and consume content. I still think it is coming, and suspect that Apple will have lots to say about the Comcast and TW merger since it will put an end to the conversations Apple was having with TW.
Unfortunately, there is no way they are going to offer you 6 channels for $12.99 or 12 channels for $24.99. They don't own the content (for the most part), so it is the content owners that will set the price you pay. Every contract would have to be renegotiated with the content owners. I would imagine that just ESPN would cost $10-12 per month. If you want ESPN2, then that's another $8-10 per month. It will NOT be cheap! If anyone thinks that going a la carte will save you money, that will only be true if you only opt for a very small number of channels. If you watch 20 or more channels now, your bill will likely be a lot higher than the 300-400 channels you get now. Oh, and local channels are not really free. They just bundle the cost into your monthly bill nowadays instead of a separate line item. It costs them money to rebroadcast the signal, and that cost is passed on to everyone.
I'd gladly dump DirecTV (and pay a little more) for an ad-hoc pay-by-show solution from Apple. Bundling is such a 20th century racket. I don't need that "200 channels of crap," I'm not going to channel-surf through that 200 channels of crap looking for interesting crap, and I'd rather not be forced to search for what I am interested in ("The Great Martian War") using that horrendous on-screen keyboard.
Most people seem to misunderstand how cable companies price their products. You seem to think that you're being forced to pay for hundreds of crappy channels you don't want, in order to get the handful of channels that you do want. Therefore, you reason, if you were simply allowed to pick and choose your channels you would pay less while receiving only what you want.
In reality, the cable companies GET PAID to push the crappy channels to your home. The crappy channels subsidize the cost of the good channels. Taking them out would increase the cost of the good channels, to a point where few people would pay for them. To cable companies, you are both a consumer and the product being sold. Similar to the reason why Google and Facebook are "free."
Think back to the iPhone release. iPhone was first released on just one carrier: AT&T. It had a novel Visual Voice Mail system that no other device had, which required AT&T to do some work on their end. AT&T gained subscribers, mindshare, and prestige by selling iPhone. Other cell carriers, even one or two who originally rejected Apple's deal (Verizon) signed up later.
Apple could follow the same approach with cable / satellite providers. Just work with one of them at first, roll out an advanced Apple TV set-top box, let the mindshare build, poach subscribers from all other cable / satellite providers, then start working with all other cable / satellite providers a year later. Apple needs partners, not enemies.
Oh, and as for the "new model," who knows what Apple has come up with? I'm sure there are at least 2,418 ways to improve the current TV experience, from improving content delivery network speed to simplifying searching to eliminating channel numbers to eliminating the remote control. Maybe Apple's TV-related patents will give us some hints. (PatentlyApple has posted quite a few, by the way.)
I don't care whether I pay for 200 extra crappy channels or whether those 200 extra crappy channels are free. I would prefer that they all just go away, one way or another. Just to eliminate clutter.
Oh, and I said that I'd gladly pay *more* for just the specific shows I want. Not less. But only if the experience of searching for, paying for, and watching those shows were vastly better than what we have now. That's how Apple gets away with charging more than your average corner-cutting commodity device vendor. Better experience. Apple is an experience company. It's no secret.
Or, maybe what what he described is exactly what Apple had planned, but negotiations didn't go the way they expected. We'll never know.
or maybe he's god? we'll never know...
jsmythe00 wrote: »
Their 150 bil is all the partner they need to usher in the new tech and make the cable industry fall in line or fall to pieces
dasanman69 wrote: »
So what's a household with multiple ATVs, and one iPad to do?