Analysts say Apple TV intriguing as cable alternative

Apple Online Store“A published report Tuesday that Apple Inc. is ramping up a subscription-video service that could compete with cable and satellite TV is intriguing, analysts said, though a competing online video effort already underway could create obstacles for the initiative,” Rex Crum and David B. Wilkerson report for MarketWatch.

“Shaw Wu, an analyst who covers Apple for Kaufman Bros says, ‘Some sort of a la carte business model with iTunes could make a difference in how Apple expands into TV. The issue is going to be getting the networks to go along in a way that doesn’t cut too much into their business,'” Crum and Wilkerson report.

Crum and Wilkerson report, “Harry DeMott, a former media analyst who now runs the venture capital firm Riva Ridge Ventures [remarked that] the main appeal of Apple’s new service — and all of the online video services — to the networks may be the possibility of finding entirely new consumers. ‘If you look at a lot of the people who watch Hulu or ABC.com … I think those are people who have sort of been lost to the networks to begin with.'”

Full article here.

12 Comments

  1. “online video effort already underway could create obstacles for the initiative”

    Yeah, stop apple, they could force cable companies to offer better pricing and services just like they did with mobile phone companies and Microsoft.

  2. I’d consider this. I like FIOS TV, but let’s face it, I don’t need all the crap channels. If I could have TV shows served up at a moment’s notice for only $30/month, Apple wins.

  3. So, I think this still isn’t the way to go. I think you put Boxee (or a similar program) on aTV, and then access all networks’ programs from their respective sites, ie. aTV accesses ABC.COM, which provides a simplified interface navigable with a remote. This maintains the current ad-funded programming that everyone is used to. It keeps the networks profit structure in their hands (as opposed to the middlemen of Apple or Comcast, etc), and if you take it further, you can argue to the networks that their ads would be far more effective for two reasons: 1, they’d ultimately control the software the user is viewing their programming with, meaning you can’t skip commercials (unlike TIVO and other DVRs) and 2, because you’d be going thru an IP address, you could use ads powered by google to direct the more relevant ads to you (ie, I wouldn’t have to sit thru erictile dysfuction commercials as a 28 yo).

  4. AppleTV as a concept is intriguing, AppleTV hardware is crap.

    It needs to support 1080p with BluRay disks. Who wants to fork out big money for an HDTV and then play low-res H.264 video.

    720p download content is probably acceptable, but still won’t match the quality of OTA ATSC broadcasts.

    Apple needs to add DVR and an ATSC receiver, along with the BluRay disk.

  5. Don’t need a turner. Don’t need DVR. Don’t need BluRay.

    All this shit already exists elsewhere, and if included in an AppleTV, I’d just pass.

    This is supposed to be a replacement for broadcast / cable, and physical discs, not a companion to.

  6. @Gary

    Adding a BluRay to Apple TV is a good idea today and yesterday, but not tomorrow. As broadband speeds increase, BluRay will be retired to the ashcan of historical technical terms like VHS, Beta, CD, and DVD. Everything will come through dumb pipes or through the air. Disks will be for playing Frisbee only.

    Speaking of dumb pipes, I cannot wait until Comcast and the other cable TV companies assume their rightful roles in the universe. That role being an owner of a dumb pipe.

  7. Hey, I love my ATV……use it frequently. Course I do not have cable or satellite and do not have a desire to watch a lot of TV any way but it is a great product and the picture seems better than the DVD’s….just my opinion.

  8. @Gary: Funny how you say “720p download content is probably acceptable…” meaning, you haven’t actually used an Apple TV, have you.
    Just last night, I hooked up my Apple TV to a brand spanking new 40″ Sony Bravia XBR9 (top-of the line). For grins, I decided to rent from the Apple TV iTunes Store “Transformers: Rise of the Fallen” to give it a test. It looked and sounded spectacular! I don’t have Blu-Ray yet, and was only considering getting a new PS3 sytem for that functionality. But I was thoroughly surprised by the Apple TV download quality, which was ready to play within 5 minutes on my RCN internet service (which I also highly recommend if it’s available in your area). I think I’ll hold off on getting that PS3/Blu-Ray player. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  9. Apple TV will be the key component to Apple’s anywhere anytime streaming service – music, videos, movies, TV shows, podcasts, YouTube videos, etc. streamed to you anywhere on any Apple device.

    Steve Jobs claiming it’s just a “hobby” is similar to his previous claim that no one wanted to watch video on an iPod.

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