Will the Vision Pro headset disrupt the high-end TV market?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited June 2023
Apple is hoping its new Apple Vision Pro headset will shepherd in the era of "spatial computing," but apparently the company's aspirations might include replacing TVs, too.

Apple TV+ series
Apple TV+ series "Foundation" with Vision Pro

Which, if you watched Apple's demonstrations for the VR headset, makes sense. The company leaned on the ways people can enjoy a range of media, from movies and TV shows to games, while wearing the hardware on their face.

And the company certainly has an argument to make, especially for the folks who might not have a way to equip their home with a big TV or an assortment of house-shaking speakers. Indeed, Apple showcased an individual in an apartment that otherwise might not be able to really enjoy a TV show like Apple TV+'s "Foundation" if it weren't for the headset on their face.

Another example-- say you've got a covered balcony with a swing out there, and you wouldn't mind sitting out there during a stretch of nice weather to watch a movie or show. What might require a lot of rewiring, installation, and so much more isn't necessary if you have a Vision Pro. And you don't even need to worry about interfering with the neighbors.

Or on an airplane for that matter, one of the situations Apple showcased at the Vision Pro unveiling. Though, future users can't forget that the portable battery pack will only power the Vision Pro for a couple of hours. Not quite enough time to watch a lot of movies out there.

There are use cases for this, and most of them make sense. Maybe you're traveling and the hotel room you're staying in doesn't have a great TV, and obviously no surround sound or subwoofer. Strap on the Vision Pro headset and you're suddenly ensconced in a personal movie theater, with a screen as big as you want, and spatial audio pumped into your skull.

Apple's Vision Pro on an airplane
Apple's Vision Pro on an airplane

The fact that Vision Pro can do so much, all in a single package, is a major boon for the headset. Yes, it can help you enjoy a movie or show or sports match in a whole new way. It can also help you send a message without leaving that experience, or check your email and so on.

But, it's a lonely endeavor. Even a quick scan of Apple's showcase for Vision Pro presents a lot of individuals using the headset. Having a whole room of headset-equipped people wandering around might be too "Black Mirror" for Apple, but that is the future Apple envisions and is trying to kick-start.

So much so that this is probably the reason why, even with so many rumors hovering around for so long, Apple didn't actually make a TV. They've been working on Vision Pro for almost a decade now, and if at any point they had the collective realization that the headset makes for a better TV, that would be the end of those plans.

So is the TV market just one more area Apple is looking to "disrupt?"

Is the TV market sweating yet?

The question at hand is if the Vision Pro can make a dent in the TV market, like the iPhone did to the digital camera market. Could Apple's headset, and future versions of it, usher in the quiet death of the TV?

I certainly hope not, but I'm a purist when it comes to movies, but less so for TV shows. I want the TV with Filmmaker Mode and the ability to tweak settings to present the best possible picture. I want the subwoofer that shakes the couch at all the right times.

Even more than that, I don't want to lose watching those films or TV shows or whatever else with the other person or people in the room with me at the time.

Technically speaking, even if the other people in the room are watching the same movie with their own headsets, they are still there. Still present, still watching the same thing. But it does still feel isolating, a bunch of people on their own personal islands.

It may not be something the TV manufacturers are concerned about right now, considering the headset retails for $3,499. That $3,499 will buy a large, nice television that multiple people can watch at the same time.

But that price tag will go down and the features will keep improving. Maybe it's more about reading the tea leaves and preparing for what's coming.

There are times where the Vision Pro makes sense, as mentioned above. The idea of having a personal movie theater always with me is pretty awesome.

But I'm not sure I'm ready for a VR headset to replace my home theater setup -- or even just my TV. At least today.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    omasouomasou Posts: 606member
    In watching the demonstration, I think it will.

    Not having to mess w/screens, projectors and x.1 sound systems could be huge.
    williamlondonCluntBaby92lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 37
    mikethemartianmikethemartian Posts: 1,428member
    Not at all.
    williamlondoncoolfactorgrandact73CloudTalkinchelinbaconstangmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 3 of 37
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,729member
    omasou said:
    In watching the demonstration, I think it will.

    Not having to mess w/screens, projectors and x.1 sound systems could be huge.
    Watching TV / movies is predominantly a social experience enjoyed with friends and family.  Unless the Vision Pro can maintain that social aspect, it will not be upending the TV market especially considering that Apple has brought FaceTime to Apple TV.
    edited June 2023 mknelsonwilliamlondonCloudTalkinchelinbaconstanggatorguygrandact73watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 37
    baka-dubbsbaka-dubbs Posts: 177member
    Not in any large percentages.  For the truly high end enthusiast, they are not going to want to stream content at lower bitrates.  They may be 4k screens per eye, but the area the TV will  be taking up won't be 4K.  For audiophiles, they aren't going to get the base/volume clarity out of the built in speakers.  No sitting with family/friends/significant others.  I am not going to invite friends over to watch a game and expect them all to have AVP's so we can watch on different big virtual screens...

    I am very excited for its potential, but I really think this is a supplemental device in its current state.  I use VR headsets, you will hit a limit on how long you can comfortably wear this headset, even as light as it is.  It is going to squeeze your head to stay in place, you would not want to work all day wearing this headset.  Based on the hands on I am reading, this is a device that blows away prior AR/VR experiences, but it still has some of the same shortfalls of other headsets.  
    williamlondonmuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 37
    AppleishAppleish Posts: 700member
    I was planning on getting an 80-90" new OLED to replace our 65" one later this year. My family doesn't really care about getting a bigger TV, so I'm putting that plan on hold until I can try a Vision Pro out.
    williamlondoniOS_Guy80lolliverbadmonkwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 37
    CloudTalkinCloudTalkin Posts: 916member
    I think it's unlikely to disrupt the high end TV market; or any end of the TV market for that matter.  As @Canukstorm mentioned, TV/movie consumption tends to be highly social.  The VP is decidedly the opposite of social.  If anything the VP will most likely augment the high end TV market as another toy in the toybox.  Just as an audiophile might have a listening room brimming with speakers, they'll also probably have various headphones - open back, closed, over/on ear, iem; etc.  Videophile might have a state of the art home theater and still have an iPad handy for casual watching.  The VP would fit somewhere in between.  

    Unrelated.  Why have no outlets said a word about the top strap head accessory for the Vision Pro?  I'm guessing it's there to relieve fatigue after long viewing sessions. idk.  I do know it looks like an afterthought.  For anyone not familiar with what I'm referencing, look at Apple's video where the dad is filming his kids wearing the VP.  It sports an inelegant top strap.
    image
    gatorguyFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 7 of 37
    It has the potential to disrupt BOTH the TV and computer monitor market down the road. There's no question about it. Just looking at it from a materials perspective makes a compelling argument for both the company selling it and the consumer buying it. Two postage stamp sized screens versus the materials involved in making PC monitors and TVs of today? A headset that you can put in a drawer replacing a big screen TV AND a multiple monitor set-up?
    williamlondonlolliverbadmonkwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 37
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 1,105member
    "Will the Vision Pro headset disrupt the high-end TV market?"

    No. Nobody wants to watch movies or sports with friends/ family and everybody wearing scuba gear.
    williamlondongrandact73baconstangmuthuk_vanalingamDibiase
  • Reply 9 of 37
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,884member
    I agree that the social element is important and it's the main reason why the Vision Pro won't impact the high end market. 

    However the 'social in a virtual world' angle has been available for years. You choose your avatar, pick your film and time, and off you go. You are in the 'cinema' with your friends right there 'with' you. They could be on the sofa right next to you or halfway across the world but you turn your head and see them in the next seat. 

    The big question is if that habit could displace the real experience and if it is worthwhile in a family setting where multiple headsets would be needed. 

    Another reason is that if you have enough money for one or more headsets, you probably have more than enough for a high end TV too because I can't imagine anyone wanting to wear a big head mounted device for regular viewing. 



    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 10 of 37
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,729member
    It has the potential to disrupt BOTH the TV and computer monitor market down the road. There's no question about it. Just looking at it from a materials perspective makes a compelling argument for both the company selling it and the consumer buying it. Two postage stamp sized screens versus the materials involved in making PC monitors and TVs of today? A headset that you can put in a drawer replacing a big screen TV AND a multiple monitor set-up?
    The computer monitor market, sure.  The TV market, I'm not convinced at all.
    williamlondoncoolfactorFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 11 of 37
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 3,212member
    They may be 4k screens per eye, but the area the TV will  be taking up won't be 4K.
    Vision Pro provides more than 4k per eye. Combined with the fact that most people don't sit close enough to a 4k TV to see the individual pixels and that the VP allows the user to make the screen seem as massive as they want--along with 3D capabilities, spatial sound and the option of visual isolation from one's surroundings--the Vision Pro should offer a very competitive viewing experience.
    watto_cobraFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 12 of 37
    I think the same thing is happening as when the iPhone was launched: complaints about the very high price, many said that it was a device that was going to fail, etc. and in the end we see how the iPhone now dominates. I think Vision Pro will follow a very similar path, it will continue to improve, reducing its size, increasing its capacity, reducing more and more doubts about its viability in different areas because it will continue to demonstrate its usefulness and, step by step, it will become popular, disrupting the entertainment industry once again. The video game industry is practically ready for this device, since most of its games are in 3D and now they will be more immersive, as if the player were in that virtual world. The horizontal video format will regain its throne. I have no doubt that Apple may be producing its movies for some time now in the Spatial Video format for the day of its release. Imagine the porn industry must be licking their fingers to try this technology. I, as a content producer, see a great future for this product. time will tell.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 37
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 3,097member
    tyler82 said:
    "Will the Vision Pro headset disrupt the high-end TV market?"

    No. Nobody wants to watch movies or sports with friends/ family and everybody wearing scuba gear.
    No. And I can't remember the last time I watched TV sitting next to someone also watching.
    iOS_Guy80williamlondonDoctorQwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 37
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 2,293member
    Not at all.

    Agreed. Two different experiences that can co-exist.

    grandact73iOS_Guy80williamlondonmuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 37
    hydrogenhydrogen Posts: 314member
    Steve Jobs clearly explained the reason why Apple stood away from TV market : much too slow renewal cycle
  • Reply 16 of 37
    Not next year but eventually it will. Socializing won't be an issue for long. There are already VR cinema apps available on Quest 2. So Apple giving the ability to share your living room with friends and family to view a movie, seeing their avatars on your couch and talking with each other won't be far off. I am looking forward to 3D filming: keeping family memories in 3D would be awesome. It might disrupt a lot of things. If you have one Apple Vision already, why would you buy a monitor, an iPad, a TV, a sound system, etc. Like when the iPhone was unveiled, nobody knows how it is going to turn up in the future, but one thing I am certain, it is going to be plenty disruptive.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 37
    boboliciousbobolicious Posts: 1,153member
    ... I also wonder about panoramic photography ...

    ...perhaps redefining 'immersion' if the UWA image quality is sharp enough... <hint>
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 37
    iOS_Guy80iOS_Guy80 Posts: 851member
    When I go to to the theater (not very often these days) with someone I don’t talk or interact with them, I’am watching and listening to the movie. Same when at home when watching a movie. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 37
    baconstangbaconstang Posts: 1,125member
    Headset or not, gotta have a sub woofer!
    williamlondonJP234watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 37
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,729member
    A clip of SJ from 2005 regarding his views on VR


    22july2013williamlondonwatto_cobraFileMakerFeller
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