Apple to launch online TV service with support from major providers this fall, report says

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited June 2015
Apple is reportedly in talks with major television content providers and broadcasters to launch a subscription online TV service that will be piped to Apple TV and supported iOS devices.




People familiar with Apple's ongoing talks told The Wall Street Journal that the forthcoming service, which is to be made available on various Apple devices like the Apple TV, will boast support from ABC, CBS, Fox and more.

The report claims Apple intends to announce official details at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June and could roll out the service in September at prices ranging from $30 to $40 per month. Rates are above Dish Network's $20-per-month Sling TV Internet service, which comes with a slew of channels including ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, El Rey, Maker, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Galavision, CNN, and ABC Family.

According to sources, Apple is in talks with Disney, CBS, 21st Century Fox and other companies to create a "skinny" bundle of flagship channels. Unlike standard cable packages, smaller networks would be left out of Apple's initial offering. Channels under NBCUniversal's umbrella, like USA and Bravo, are not expected to appear at launch due to disagreements between Apple and NBC's parent company Comcast.

As recently as last year, Apple was said to be discussing a set-top solution in partnership with Comcast, but negotiations supposedly broke down.

Apple has for years been rumored to be working on a bespoke Internet-based service for its Apple TV set-top streamer, but was met with resistance from content providers at every corner. The idea is to grant users access to TV programming over the Web, a move that would both sidestep cable and enable mobile device connectivity.

Monday's report lines up with rumors that claimed Apple was working on hammering out details for an over-the-top, Web-based service in February.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 186
    Not gonna work well if it's just mini-cable. I want to get to pick what channels I pay for.
  • Reply 2 of 186
    vqrovqro Posts: 66member
    sign me up.
  • Reply 3 of 186
    Too many dollars, too little content.
  • Reply 4 of 186

    TV Anywhere.  This is great!  Count me in.

     

    Also it's not just the content but how you get the content.

    Can't wait to see the new user interface.

     

    I imagine it will have SIRI integrated, Apple Watch or Remote controlled.

     

    Awesome.  How do I sign up?

  • Reply 5 of 186
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,259member
    Fix the box: Apple TV with an A8X. That way in 4 years when you actually offer a newer version people will feel they got their money's worth, not to mention you need a device that pushes far greater than 1080p within the next 18 months.

    Make it dual A8X or the upcoming A9.
  • Reply 6 of 186
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,378member

    I don't see the major sports leagues buying into this; they aren't going to lift the local blackout rules.

     

    That's really the showstopper: live sporting events and a lot of first-time broadcast events.

     

    There's nothing wrong with the current Apple TV hardware for the typical viewer (I just bought a refurb for $59). It's the content that comes up shorthanded. After all, you're only watching one video stream at a time. A three-year old Apple TV is perfectly fine in presenting 1080p content.

     

    Joe Consumer doesn't really care about the TV hardware. They care about the programming, what they can watch, not CPU generations like dork wads.

  • Reply 7 of 186
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,223member
    Maybe this is tied up with buying Boeing Communications. Apple satellite receiving rabbit ears and no internet required. ????
  • Reply 8 of 186
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,614member

    It's a lot cheaper than the $110/mo I pay right now for Comcast HD and I barely watch it except for a few local programs.  Give me decent local network programming on ATV, for $30-$40 (hopefully less) and I'll cut that cable for good.  I'm tired of paying what I am, and not being given the option of more modern options.



    While you're at it Apple, get out that new ATV box will ya?  Sheesh!

  • Reply 9 of 186
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

     

    I don't see the major sports leagues buying into this; they aren't going to lift the local blackout rules.

     

    That's really the showstopper: live sporting events and a lot of first-time broadcast events.

     

    There's nothing wrong with the current Apple TV hardware for the typical viewer (I just bought a refurb for $59). It's the content that comes up shorthanded. After all, you're only watching one video stream at a time. A three-year old Apple TV is perfectly fine in presenting 1080p concert.

     

    Joe Consumer doesn't really care about the TV hardware. They care about the programming, what they can watch, not CPU generations like dork wads.




    I agree.  The Apple TV is more than enough to stream video especially of the H.265 High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) or H.264 Advanced Video Coding (MPEG-4 AVC) variety.  This stuff can be easily streamed over 4G/LTE because it is so efficient.  Apple will most certainly have sports amongst the 25 or so providers.

     

    The best part will be the user interface.  SIRI/HomeKit controlled TV anywhere, anytime on your iPhone, iPad or Apple TV is just incredibly awesome.  Once this is fully in place, Apple can go after the big screen with PrimeSense technology integrated.

  • Reply 10 of 186
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    A) This sounds believable to me for many reasons:
    1. This seems like the next logical step for content.
    2. We just saw this happen last week with HBO on the Apple TV (which I believe was done publicly and before there was a complete lineup in place specifically to scare the crap out of all the other content providers)
    3. The Apple TV price was reduced by 30%. Not because they don't care about the platform, but because that model is EOL.


    B) I wonder if what they are doing warrants using the Apple TV name for the next product. I believe the branding is positive but I wonder if it has the graviitas for what I hope is the next generation in-home Apple appliance. I'd like to see several stages of devices for the home.
    • Stage One: A primary device, likely connected to your primary television. This is the machine that will do the heavy lifting for the home. I'd like to see it have a USB-C port and support for an external drive or RAID (Note: This assumes that it would also be your iTunes Library hub which can be accessed via an iCloud web portal and/or an app portal on your LAN, like you can with the AirPort appliances).
    • Stage Two: Dumb devices that connect with your Stage One device to access your connect and stream it to the other televisions in your house.
    • Stage Three: (I know people scoff at this) but I'd love to see an Amazon Echo-like device from Apple that can be a true digital personal assistant that that you can casually ask questions and make requests to as your passing through a room. Apple has earned our trust more than Amazon et al., and can use their years of experience to create a refined product. Amazon Echo works so much better than Siri in both comprehension and speaking, but that is probably something Apple could so with better HW, which simply isn't an option in the portable HW we're used to with Siri.

    Fix the box: Apple TV with an A8X. That way in 4 years when you actually offer a newer version people will feel they got their money's worth, not to mention you need a device that pushes far greater than 1080p within the next 18 months.

    Make it dual A8X or the upcoming A9.

    I don't care what it has so long as it can adequately support [email protected] and HVEC/H.265.
  • Reply 11 of 186
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    The Apple TV is more than enough to stream video especially of the H.265 High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) or H.264 Advanced Video Coding (MPEG-4 AVC) variety. This stuff can be easily streamed over 4G/LTE because it is so efficient.

    I don't understand what you're trying to say. Would you mind restating or clarifying?
  • Reply 12 of 186
    robbyxrobbyx Posts: 479member
    I'm only interested if it's commercial free. Otherwise, what's the point?
  • Reply 13 of 186
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    robbyx wrote: »
    I'm only interested if it's commercial free. Otherwise, what's the point?

    Content is the point.
  • Reply 14 of 186
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post





    I don't understand what you're trying to say. Would you mind restating or clarifying?

    The Apple TV boxes have built chips to decode H.264 / H.265 video coding.

    Note that H.265 HEVC is what allows Apple to do FaceTime over cellular very efficiently with high quality.

     

    You can check wikipedia for details.

    "HEVC is said to double the data compression ratio compared to H.264/MPEG-4 AVC at the same level of video quality. It can alternatively be used to provide substantially improved video quality at the same bit rate. It can support 8K UHD and resolutions up to 8192×4320."

     

    H.265 the standard codec for iOS and gives Apple a huge advantage for video streaming.

  • Reply 15 of 186
    justbobfjustbobf Posts: 261member
    Personally, I would like to buy individual shows, as opposed to individual channels.
  • Reply 16 of 186
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    The Apple TV boxes have built chips to decode H.264 / H.265 video coding.
    Note that H.265 HEVC is what allows Apple to do FaceTime over cellular very efficiently with high quality.

    I'm well aware of what HEVC's capabilites, what I have yet to see is any evidence of HEVC en/decoding in the Apple TV. I'm only aware of this support for FaceTime HVEC between two iPhone 6 series devices.

    The current, 3rd gen Apple TV (A1469; 3,2) is from March 2013 which was only a lithography change over the March 2012 3rd gen Apple TV (A1427; 3,1) , but are a Apple A5 series SoC which included a PowerVR SGX543MP2 (A1427) or PowerVR SGX543MP4 (A1469) and 512 MB. Are you saying these have had HVEC HW all this time?
  • Reply 17 of 186
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post





    I'm well aware of what HEVC is capable of, what I have yet to see is any evidence of HEVC en/decoding in the Apple TV. I'm only aware of this support for FaceTime HVEC between two iPhone 6 series devices.



    The current, 3rd gen Apple TV (A1469; 3,2) is from March 2013 which was only a lithography change over the March 2012 3rd gen Apple TV (A1427; 3,1) , but are a Apple A5 series SoC which included a PowerVR SGX543MP2 (A1427) or PowerVR SGX543MP4 (A1469) and 512 MB. Are you saying these have had HVEC HW all this time?

     

    I believe A5 and A6 have H.265/HVEC.

    H.264 is more than enough for efficient streaming.  H.265 is a blowout since most people don't have 4K let alone 8K TVs.

     

    iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and iPad Air 2 will be ideal for watching TV over cellular or WIFI.

    The upcoming 12" iPad will make an ideal TV.  Would be even nicer with PrimeSense technology integrated.

  • Reply 18 of 186
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    I believe A5 and A6 have H.265/HVEC.

    Do you believe it, or do you know it and can prove it? What H.265 HW decodes were available 3 years ago en masse? I don't know of any.
    H.264 is more than enough for efficient streaming.

    If H.264 was more than enough then we wouldn't need H.265, now wold we.
    H.265 is a blowout since most people don't have 4K let alone 8K TVs.

    H.265 doesn't require 4K UHD content, hence FaceTime between iPhone 6 series devices. 1080p with H.265 will drop the size to below 50% their current size for the same quality content. That benefits users greatly and yet we've seen no change in iTS content.
    iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and iPad Air 2 will be ideal for watching TV over cellular or WIFI.

    That sentence has no barring on whether HVEC HW is included in the 3.5 year old Apple A5 SoC. You might as well have written, "I like turtles."
  • Reply 19 of 186
    robbyxrobbyx Posts: 479member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post





    Are you 12 years old? I mean seriously.



    What does age have to do with the question?  Why pay for a service that doesn't allow you to skip commercials?  I'd rather just pay for cable and get a DVR.  Cable and satellite companies now all have ways to watch content on mobile devices if you're a subscriber, so there's no incentive to get a TV over the Internet service if you already have cable.  I don't think people who pay for cable or satellite will also subscribe to this service.  So that leaves "cord cutters".  If the content is limited and commercials are mandatory, it's not particularly interesting to me personally.  Right now I use Hulu and tolerate a few short commercials because Hulu is dirt cheap.  I wouldn't tolerate commercials on Hulu for $40/month.  At that point I'd just get cable again and use a DVR.

  • Reply 20 of 186
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post





    Do you believe it, or do you know it and can prove it? What H.265 HW decodes were available 3 years ago en masse? I don't know of any.

    If H.264 was more than enough then we wouldn't need H.265, now wold we.

    H.265 doesn't require 4K UHD content, hence FaceTime between iPhone 6 series devices. 1080p with H.265 will drop the size to below 50% their current size for the same quality content. That benefits users greatly and yet we've seen no change in iTS content.

    That sentence has no barring on whether HVEC HW is included in the 3.5 year old Apple A5 SoC. You might as well have written, "I like turtles."

     

    Even if H.265 is not built into the SOC, it can be implemented in software.

    H.264 & H.265 will both be in use for a very long time.  

    The Apple TV is designed to work on wifi or wired ethernet not cellular.

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