[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Patrice” for the heads up.]
While it may be argued that recording/time shifting was never what Apple TV was about – after all, it’s meant to be a wireless link from iTunes to your TV – there are a few things that can be done besides adding DVR capability that would help sales:
• Let iTunes rip DVDs as it can rip CDs for music.
• Let Apple TV users buy TV shows, movies, videos, and music content directly from the iTunes Store; eliminate the need for the computer (Just like the new iPod touch and iPhone can now do with music). Having the computer stuck in the middle of the process is a needless PITA – no matter what kind of computer you use.
• Get the networks and studios to sell more content.
• Offer a monthly subscription plan a la (gulp) cable that lets users watch some amount of programming per month (iTunes Store’s current Season passes sort of accomplish this for individual shows (too expensive for mass appeal, though), but how about subscribing to a network for a monthly rate or maybe selling an hour or blocks of content (ex. 10 hours or even 10 episodes (up to an hour each) or 10 movies per month at reasonable prices)? Unlike music, people tend to watch TV shows and movies once, there is no need to “own” (and have to store) such content (beyond the few special movies people might want to own to watch multiple times).
• Stream live events (including, but not limited to CEO Steve Jobs’ keynotes and special events presentations)
• Upping iTunes Store content to HD (somehow overcoming the time-to-download factor)
Apple TV is good for watching a TV show episode that your DVR missed (which happens fairly often with the various crap DVRs offered by cable providers), watching P2P content of a serialized TV show that some network pulled midseason without notice (cough, Daybreak, cough), showing photos to family and friends, listening to music (if you have it hooked up to some decent speakers), audio and video podcasts, checking out movie trailers, and watching YouTube vids, but it could be so much more.
There’s nothing wrong with Apple TV that software updates and open-minded content providers couldn’t fix.
There are other ideas people have bandied about that range all over the place: from that always-mentioned DVR capability to offering porn (both of which may have the equal chance of never happening). Of course, Apple TV’s big road block remains the content providers, not Apple. We believe that Apple is severely constrained due to content use restrictions and unrealistic pricing demands by TV networks and movie studios.
Let us know if you have other ideas below.