Apple TV offered as set-top cable box alternative in France

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited May 14
Vivendi's Canal+ Group on Monday announced plans to offer Apple TV 4K as an alternative to traditional set-top cable television boxes for subscribers in France, marking one of the first deployments of Apple's device from an established pay-TV provider.

Apple TV 4K


Starting May 17, Canal+ customers in France will be able to rent Apple TV 4K for 6 euros per month ($7 per month), the same fee currently charged for cable TV set-top boxes.

Through an arrangement with Apple, Canal+ will directly distribute the Apple TV 4K streaming devices to customers, who can use the equipment to access their subscription channel lineups. Since Apple TV lacks coaxial cable support, subscribers will likely need to download the MyCanal app for full functionality.

In addition to cable TV content, users who opt for Apple TV benefit from access to Apple's tvOS App Store, Siri voice control and first party Apple apps including Apple Music.

Frank Cadoret, deputy manager of Canal+ France, touted the Apple partnership in a statement provided to Variety.

"Apple TV is the perfect showcase for our premium content exclusives, in particular cinema, sport and our original creations," Cadoret said.

For Apple, the Canal+ integration could be the first of many pay-TV deployments. The growing number of mobile apps from premium content providers legitimizes Apple TV as a direct cable box replacement, not an over-the-top alternative.

"We believe that Canal customers will love using the Apple TV 4K as a decoder," said Apple VP of Apple Music and international content Oliver Schusser. "Customers will be able to benefit from a rich and user-friendly experience to watch their favorite Canal programs, as well as accessing Apple services, including the App Store and Apple Music."

Rumors of Apple's interest to market Apple TV as an over-the-top product have been circulating for nearly five years.

Reports claimed Apple was looking to strike deals with content owners, bypassing cable TV middlemen to offer customers reasonably priced streaming channel bundles. That strategy could change if Apple is able to reach distribution agreements with major pay-TV companies, an arrangement could position Apple TV as a replacement for millions of installed cable boxes.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,548member
    Congrats to Vivendi.

    AT&T's DirecTV Now has offered the AppleTV for sometimes now and it is very good.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 28
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 776member
    Apple TV 4th Gen & 4K are the future for television.
  • Reply 3 of 28
    bshankbshank Posts: 141member
    Does this mean that activist group ATTAC will be legally able to break into people’s homes now to protest Apple?
    edited May 14 radarthekatjbdragonwilliamlondonwatto_cobralkruppSpamSandwich
  • Reply 4 of 28
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,736moderator
    AppleTV is the tortoise.  The race is long.
    [Deleted User]watto_cobraStrangeDays
  • Reply 5 of 28
    Here in the UK companies like Sky, Virgin and TalkTalk provide smart tv boxes that are far more capable than  TV. I have difficulty justifying buying an  TV when I receive a free box that can record multiple channels at once as well as access Netflix and download or stream movies from the provider. I can’t see any UK provider offering  TV in place of their own tv boxes.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 6 of 28
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 213member
    "Since Apple TV lacks coaxial cable support, subscribers will likely need to download the MyCanal app for full functionality." - How does an app compensate for the lack of hardware? I'm not being rhetorical, I have no idea what the author is saying here. On another matter, does the Apple TV app know what's playing on the MyCanal App? And is the MyCanal App simply a streaming app, or can you pick and choose what you want to watch and when?
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 28
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,138member
    "Since Apple TV lacks coaxial cable support, subscribers will likely need to download the MyCanal app for full functionality." - How does an app compensate for the lack of hardware? I'm not being rhetorical, I have no idea what the author is saying here. On another matter, does the Apple TV app know what's playing on the MyCanal App? And is the MyCanal App simply a streaming app, or can you pick and choose what you want to watch and when?
    The MyCanal app probably streams live whatever channels it offers. This is internet TV. 
    williamlondonStrangeDays
  • Reply 8 of 28
    mike54mike54 Posts: 268member
    I wish Apple would put more effort into the AppleTV. Not all streaming apps work with the TV App. The App Store and its settings really needs some serious overhaul.
    The AppleTV could be a good gaming device but Apple has let that wither.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 28
    lukeilukei Posts: 326member
    Here in the UK companies like Sky, Virgin and TalkTalk provide smart tv boxes that are far more capable than  TV. I have difficulty justifying buying an  TV when I receive a free box that can record multiple channels at once as well as access Netflix and download or stream movies from the provider. I can’t see any UK provider offering  TV in place of their own tv boxes.
    I can. Would enable a lower cost of service and a lower box cost to subsidise. Catch up/on demand services are getting to the stage where recording programmes won’t be needed. The BBC/ITV etc have announced they are going to re-engage on a consolidated video on demand service. 

    Bear in mind that under 25s now watch more Netflix content than BBC. 


    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 28
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,138member
    As for recording that is up to the app. If the MyCanal app allows you to download future episodes then it is a recording app same as any other. Apple probably need an Apple TV with 1TB to keep up with some of the offerings. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 28
    MaurizioMaurizio Posts: 22member
    Another European case, Salt, a Suisse company, but owned by a French entrepreneur.


    Their hardware offer is based on a router plus a media box (as many offers in France), and they substituted the media box with an Apple TV.

    By the way, often functionalities are shared between the router box and the media box; for example for the provider that i have (Free), recording and storage
    is included in the fiber optic modem/router, so it would be easy to move the media box to an apple tv today without losing functionalities.

    Maurizio
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 28
    croprcropr Posts: 865member
    lukei said:
    Here in the UK companies like Sky, Virgin and TalkTalk provide smart tv boxes that are far more capable than  TV. I have difficulty justifying buying an  TV when I receive a free box that can record multiple channels at once as well as access Netflix and download or stream movies from the provider. I can’t see any UK provider offering  TV in place of their own tv boxes.
    I can. Would enable a lower cost of service and a lower box cost to subsidise. Catch up/on demand services are getting to the stage where recording programmes won’t be needed. The BBC/ITV etc have announced they are going to re-engage on a consolidated video on demand service. 

    Bear in mind that under 25s now watch more Netflix content than BBC. 


    Do you really think that an Apple TV has a lower cost that the traditional settopbox?   What a joke.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 13 of 28
    smileydudesmileydude Posts: 108member
    cropr said:
    lukei said:
    Here in the UK companies like Sky, Virgin and TalkTalk provide smart tv boxes that are far more capable than  TV. I have difficulty justifying buying an  TV when I receive a free box that can record multiple channels at once as well as access Netflix and download or stream movies from the provider. I can’t see any UK provider offering  TV in place of their own tv boxes.
    I can. Would enable a lower cost of service and a lower box cost to subsidise. Catch up/on demand services are getting to the stage where recording programmes won’t be needed. The BBC/ITV etc have announced they are going to re-engage on a consolidated video on demand service. 

    Bear in mind that under 25s now watch more Netflix content than BBC. 


    Do you really think that an Apple TV has a lower cost that the traditional settopbox?   What a joke.

    The last time I was quoted a replacement cost for a standard STB, it was around $500. Given that I could buy a couple of Apple TVs for that price at retail, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the ATV ends up being much cheaper for cable companies to deploy. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 28
    lukei said:
    Here in the UK companies like Sky, Virgin and TalkTalk provide smart tv boxes that are far more capable than  TV. I have difficulty justifying buying an  TV when I receive a free box that can record multiple channels at once as well as access Netflix and download or stream movies from the provider. I can’t see any UK provider offering  TV in place of their own tv boxes.
    I can. Would enable a lower cost of service and a lower box cost to subsidise. Catch up/on demand services are getting to the stage where recording programmes won’t be needed. The BBC/ITV etc have announced they are going to re-engage on a consolidated video on demand service. 

    Bear in mind that under 25s now watch more Netflix content than BBC. 


    ...and we still have to pay the outdated tv-licence tax regardless.

    We tried going all-in on onDemand services but it's just not the same or anywhere near as quick. We ditched Sky Q for a mix of Amazon Prime, Netflix and TV Player subscriptions plus the free on demand services. Having to jump between the services and not having a true cross-platform search and library hindered things greatly. Both the Apple TV and Amazon's Fire devices will search across and show you whats on which service; search for Peppa Pig for example and it'll offer you season 1-4 on Netflix, 1-5 on Prime, 1-2 on Ketchapp (total guess btw) etc. etc. Having to jump between and launch new players each time is precious lost seconds that doesn't compare to opening your planner/recordings and pressing play on something. Also, those amalgamated search services are still in their infancy and struggle with the different naming schemes each provider uses; "S01" vs "Season 1", "Ben and Holly" vs "Ben & Holly" for example. Roku also has a search facility but it doesn't work IN-apps, only from the Roku homescreen which gives very limited results.

    We still use onDemand primarily but I've hooked up a few Freesat receivers to the old sky dish to keep the family happy for now.
  • Reply 15 of 28
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,138member
    cropr said:
    lukei said:
    Here in the UK companies like Sky, Virgin and TalkTalk provide smart tv boxes that are far more capable than  TV. I have difficulty justifying buying an  TV when I receive a free box that can record multiple channels at once as well as access Netflix and download or stream movies from the provider. I can’t see any UK provider offering  TV in place of their own tv boxes.
    I can. Would enable a lower cost of service and a lower box cost to subsidise. Catch up/on demand services are getting to the stage where recording programmes won’t be needed. The BBC/ITV etc have announced they are going to re-engage on a consolidated video on demand service. 

    Bear in mind that under 25s now watch more Netflix content than BBC. 


    Do you really think that an Apple TV has a lower cost that the traditional settopbox?   What a joke.
    well traditional set top boxes tend to have lots more memory. 
  • Reply 16 of 28
    jeromecjeromec Posts: 60member
    The MyCanal app is already available for most Canal+ subscribers, including for the Apple TV 4/4K.
    It used to be awful (for example it sometimes switched back to live when you skipped forward 10s while watching a delayed live channel) and is now acceptable.
    It correctly switches my Apple TV to 50Hz (the framerate of TV in Europe) for live channels but not for on-demand content.

    Canal+ clients usually receive its offers through their ISP boxes, or through a satellite receiver.
    They launched an Over-The-Top offer and box 3 years ago. http://www.csimagazine.com/csi/CanalPlus-launches-OTT-box.php
    I am pretty sure it is more efficient for them to provide an Apple TV with software they should develop anyway, than develop the hardware and software for their cutom OTT box.
    edited May 15
  • Reply 17 of 28
    welshwizwelshwiz Posts: 32member
    Here in the UK, I have dropped my cable/sky tv provider. I have no aerial and purely use my wifi for streaming all my TV viewing using the apple 4k tv box. I am no longer constrained as where to locate the TV in the living room, all the apps provide me with my tv requirements. Itunes, Amazon, Netflix, BBC & the ITV hub give me more than enough choice.   
    williamlondonwatto_cobralukei
  • Reply 18 of 28
    ajmasajmas Posts: 552member
    Here in the UK companies like Sky, Virgin and TalkTalk provide smart tv boxes that are far more capable than  TV. I have difficulty justifying buying an  TV when I receive a free box that can record multiple channels at once as well as access Netflix and download or stream movies from the provider. I can’t see any UK provider offering  TV in place of their own tv boxes.
    For recording functionality you may be right. For everything else they are all solvable by providing a software solution, in this case an app for the AppleTV.

    My provider (Bell Canada), which provides an IPTV solution, provides an app that allows me to watch all the channels they offer, their on-demand content and even offers PVR functionality (the latter being in beta). So, with the right software any hardware can be you cable client. In France, Free.fr even allows you to use your PC for this. 

    Any company that demands you use their hardware exclusively, is very quickly going to look out of touch. 
    edited May 15 williamlondon
  • Reply 19 of 28
    supadav03supadav03 Posts: 404member
    I’d kill for this option with my cable provider but U-Verse is horribly slow about adding new features. I guess as cord cutting continues this will be less of a need. I’d jump to DirecTV Now myself but still not satisfied with the reliability. Had too many issues with live sporting events where it buffers, pixelates, or just doesn’t play and I’m not willing to miss parts of the super bowl or nba playoffs because of that. 
  • Reply 20 of 28
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,138member
    ajmas said:
    Here in the UK companies like Sky, Virgin and TalkTalk provide smart tv boxes that are far more capable than  TV. I have difficulty justifying buying an  TV when I receive a free box that can record multiple channels at once as well as access Netflix and download or stream movies from the provider. I can’t see any UK provider offering  TV in place of their own tv boxes.
    For recording functionality you may be right. For everything else they are all solvable by providing a software solution, in this case an app for the AppleTV.

    My provider (Bell Canada), which provides an IPTV solution, provides an app that allows me to watch all the channels they offer, their on-demand content and even offers PVR functionality (the latter being in beta). So, with the right software any hardware can be you cable client. In France, Free.fr even allows you to use your PC for this. 

    Any company that demands you use their hardware exclusively, is very quickly going to look out of touch. 
    Well in this case that French crowd are using Apple TV only.

    You are right that the only issue is recording, which in fact can be solved in software too, but the issue there is not software ( since recording can be set in an app) but the relatively paltry storage size of the AppleTV and the fact that the app itself will be sharing space with other apps. So you may be ok with the tenth and oldest episode of Poirot being deleted because of a new episode in an existing internet setup box, but in a shared environment it may be deleted because you downloaded some game, or the game didn't download and you needed to launch the TV app, or the specific vendor app to delete some episodic content manually.   

    People don't want to worry about memory management. 
    edited May 15 williamlondon
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