Apple’s big TV test: New rules for the ways we watch

“Competition is storming out of every device and connection, and consumers have choices and leverage they never dreamed of,” David Carr reports for The New York Times. “But network television continues to waltz along, attracting advertisers in big numbers. Cable had a great year, and media octopuses like Time Warner and News Corporation continue to find plenty of profits. Big media companies still rely on huge, well-entrenched assets that include brands, distribution and capital.”

“[But] the inertia that has kept consumers from bolting from traditional content providers is beginning to erode as a new generation remakes media in its own image. Device companies and search outfits are intent on manufacturing their own content. And the migration of movies, music and video to the cloud could change the weather in a hurry,” Carr reports. “Steve Jobs taught us a bunch before he exited, but one of his most current lessons could be the one with the most far-reaching implications. Content has a price tag, which is reassuring, but the old dividing lines between television, radio, Web and print disappear within the four corners of a tablet.”

Carr reports, “The iPad is a screen on your lap that makes it easy to navigate toward a completely personal experience. That screen on your living room wall is going to have to perform the same way to remain relevant. As it has in many other areas of technology, the smartphone will point the way… When I switched from the first iPad, which took a few seconds to boot, to the iPad 2, which stands ready for duty every time I lift its cover, my use more than doubled. I expect that other devices will greet me in similar fashion. Navigating is as easy as a swipe of the finger or, in the case of the new iPhone, a verbal request to Siri… And everyone, especially the people at Apple, knows that the consumer response to its next big thing — iTV anyone? — will be a referendum on whether the company can prosper absent its visionary in chief.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Ellis D.” for the heads up.]


  1. I just love how clinging to old computer technology keeps showing the new luddites for what they are.

    Just for an example, how about SSHD? It’s solid state storage, but there’s no disk to drive. So whether you call it Solid State Hard Disk, or Hard Drive it doesn’t describe the system.

    Time to move on , people. Disks are dead.

    1. I think hard disks are far from dead.

      Nothing touches them when it comes to cost per gig and overall reliability.

      Solid state flash memory may never reach parity with them.

      I think SS makes sense in consumer devices but the ringing of the death bell for the spinning platter isn’t even in sight.

    2. I am not aware of anyone who calls it a Solid State Hard Drive. The standard nomenclature is SSD for Solid State Drive. That is still a bit of a misnomer, I suppose, but a reasonable adaptation of Hard Drive or Hard Disk Drive which differentiated it from the Floppy Disk.

      It seems a bit petty of you to call a bunch of people “luddites” just because the common technical nomenclature still includes aspects of older terms. Do you ever use terms or phrases such as limelight, pass the buck, bushed, lock, stock and barrel, rub the wrong way, spill the beans, cracked up, wrong side of the bed, etc.?

      Any you are a bit premature in saying that HDDs are dead. I have a 2TB HDD in my iMac. I would not want to pay the price for four 500GB SSDs to replace it.

  2. MDN, your poll should be: Should Apple make a 7.8 inch iPod? Steve Jobs has already said a 7.8 inch tablet can’t work. However apps and websites optimised for 3 inch iPhones would work on a 7.8 inch iPod. Full websites would not work on a 7.8 inch table unless you want people to file down their fingers.

  3. Once again: Many of us (at least in the US) get our Internet thru a cable company. The cable companies require, and will continue to require, that customers sign up for cable TV service before they can sign up for Internet service.

    Until this linkage is broken, it is a fantasy to think that these changes to TV distribution models will change.

    1. I had Verizon FIOS triple play until I found out this summer that an inexpensive rooftop antenna can bring in the only broadcast television I’m interested in watching, in Digital HD. I ditched Verizon’s bloated TV offering immediately. Now I pay $89.99/mo. instead of $109.99/mo., and I’m not paying the monthly fees for the 3 or 4 cable boxes, a savings of another $30. I’d say that’s a pretty decent savings, and no one at Verizon required that I keep TV in order to keep Internet and telephone.

    2. AT&T’s U-Verse offers internet as a stand-alone product and doesn’t require one to subscribe to their television programming.

      Additionally, there are hundreds of ISPs offering internet cheaper than the cable companies, so why you continue to prop up the cable giants is beyond me.

    3. Currently pay 30 a month to time warner for “high speed” internet. no cable television and 35 a month unlimited cricket mobile phone. 7.99 for netflix streaming and 7.99 hulu plus. I could live without hulu plus, but it’s something I hope improves with time.

    4. I have Cable internet…. and Satellite TV.

      not required to buy them both from the cable company.
      When they call, they tell me Cable is much better than Satellite. So I ask them to explain to me how I can watch my Cable TV in my RV going down the highway. They say I can’t, and I tell them they are useless.

    5. I am not aware of any US cable company that *requires* signing up for TV service in order to get internet service.
      They will offer lower prices to those who sign up for both, but the option to go with just internet is available.

  4. People still don’t get it. Apple will not tackle something if they don’t think they would be able to create something that will result in a great user experience. Steve Jobs said himself during his solo visit with All-Things-D interview of Walt Mossberg, Steve indicated that, because of the current state of the TV industry, Apple is not ready to tackle this area or be able to create something value-added given the environment of monopolistic TV networks. Just because an industry should be revolutionized, doesn’t mean it will be, especially if it is done half-ass— which Apple doesn’t do.

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