Apple iTV, AirPlay and why iPad is the new TV apps platform

“In my humble opinion, the entire debate over whether Apple ships an actual TV set and introduces some updated iTunes video package is a complete sideshow for a broader and bigger phenomenon and transformation for how we all use TV, and that this transformation is already being rolled out by Apple,” Jeremy Allaire, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Brightcove, writes for AllThingsD.

“Apple will not anytime soon launch a competitive subscription video product to cable. There are deep structural and contract rights issues that limit their ability to do so, and Apple does not want to buy their way into premium content from top-tier broadcasters who are collectively making hundreds of billions of dollars worldwide from subscriber fees shared from Multi-Channel Video Programming Distributors (MVPDs — e.g. Cable, Telco, and Sat TV),” Allaire writes. “Given this, I believe Apple will seek partnerships with the top cable companies for them to open up their APIs for their EPG, VOD libraries and Network DVR infrastructure so that Apple can offer a superior user experience on top of those services, in a carrier/operator independent manner, much as they did with the mobile telephony services of the leading telephony carriers in the world.”

Allaire writes, “While this is likely the path Apple will pursue in the mid-term, I believe they are unlikely to get any of the very top-tier TV operators like Comcast and Time Warner to go for their proposal… To understand where I think Apple is headed, one really needs to step back and re-conceptualize how one thinks about TV. In my view, TV is the last screen to fall as a computing platform. What do I mean by this? That we should think of TV screens and monitors as the final frontier in Internet-based software applications, not as devices to watch and consume video content.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.


  1. If Apple can make the iPad the personal TV for users this would increase iPad sales. Imagine Mom watching her gardening program, Dad watching a sports program, Susie watching a film, Tommy watching a documentary, and Grandma watching the news from their own iPad with programming distributed from a central hub. Of course, the 55-inch TV will still be there when the family gathers to watch the same program.

    1. Most cable companies already allow this. My provider is Cablevision and we can watch any channel we subscribe to on multiple iPads as long as we are at home.

      1. Yes, but what if the service provider is Apple? I’ve give up on cable because the product provided by my local monopoly has no value and the service is nonexistent.

    2. This begs the question “If everyone has a personal TV, what is the purpose of that big thing on the wall?” Is another industry about to collapse in an unanticipated direction?

  2. I have the AppleTV and a Mac mini connected to the audio and video hub in my house already. Last night I AirPlayed last Friday’s GBTV video from the Glenn Beck TV app. I miss an episode of Bones, House, …, I just switch to the Mac mini HDTV connection, grab the mouse and pull it (WITH VERY FEW COMMERCIALS) from the CBS, NBC, FOX, … web sites. Does someone really think that a Siri powered app can’t do this for me easier? Really?

    So, I don’t need a phone line really now. Could drop the media content monthly fee. I just need the high speed internet access. I bet I could save more than $100 or $150 every month.

    Come on Apple. It is time to drop the hammer!

  3. Cable TV started as simply a way to re-distribute available tv. Later, taking advantage of increased capacity (bandwidth) they ventured into their own content distribution. All were based on the passive viewer (which is the vast majority of users). Audiences like their tv to be passive consumption. It will be difficult to make profits for Apple in this area. Despite all of the gross dollars being mentioned, none of the large content providers make income in the gross target that Apple traditionally works in. Besides, as Tim Cook stated, they like to own the core technology.

    1. I think they are going to create their own internet channels, and just like we now have radio apps for hundreds of internet radio stations, I think we will have hundreds of internet TV stations as well.

      You just download the iTV app, for a given “independent” TV Channel, and voila, you have a new channel.

      It will change everything. Soon we can get our news from independent sources (anyone who produces a iTV Channel App, and we will no longer have to watch Fox News, MSNBC, nor CNN.

      I believe all those channels are controlled propaganda any. I can’t wait until Apple re-enables our democracy by once again allowing free speech.

      I believe as soon as the Independent Internet News channels are unleashed, all the propaganda TV will die quickly.

  4. All of this is moot as bandwidth will stand in the way and last I checked cable companies do make money on our increased demands for bandwidth. Listen Apple this, Apple that, is like a sci fi movie with one villain who can overtake the world. I use as much Samsung goodies as I do Apple and they oth have great apps for TV’s that are on a network. Imediashare is one of those apps. Sony, and others will not watch the parade go by without a fight on anything that is a derivative of television as they all have phones and tablets too that they can incorporate into their respective smart TV’s. Try out the remote on the Sony Tab…it is to die for.

  5. > I believe Apple will seek partnerships with the top cable companies… so that Apple can offer a superior user experience on top of those services, in a carrier/operator independent manner, much as they did with the mobile telephony services of the leading telephony carriers in the world.

    This guy most have read my previous comments on MDN… 🙂

    It solves all the problems everyone keeps bringing up.

    No Internet bandwidth issue, because the “iTV” is using the existing cable “pipe,” not the Internet.

    No “Apple lacks content choices” issue, because Apple is using the SAME existing cable content and enhancing the customer’s experience with accessing that content, by working with the cable companies, not against them.

    No “why would anyone pay more for it instead of a cheap HDTV + Apple TV box” issue, because the cable TV enhancement feature will only come with the complete iTV, not the $99 Apple TV box. The customer’s simple choices will be.

    (1) Use you own HDTV and cable box, and add an Apple TV box. Cable box connects to Input A and Apple TV connects to Input B, of the HDTV. Switch between the inputs to access desired content; keep using your cable box for cable content.

    (2) Get an iTV and enhance your WHOLE TV experience. No more ugly and annoying cable box interface. No more separate remote controls for HDTV hardware, cable box, and Apple TV. Everything fully integrated into an elegant Apple-designed interface that features a TV-centric version of Siri.

    It would be a big advantage for the cable company to have the “iTV option” (like it’s a big advantage for a wireless carrier to have iPhone), versus non-cable choices such as AT&T U-verse and DirecTV. The cable company would be willing to subsidize iTV (like with iPhone). That would lower the upfront cost to customers to the level of “regular” HDTV dumb monitors. The cable company can collect the subsidy back (and more) with a monthly fee that replaces the current “rental” fee for the cable box, which would not be needed.

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