Apple TV becoming a cable accessory, not a cord cutting device, but bigger plans lie ahead

“Yesterday, Apple released two additional networks onto Apple TV: CNBC and Fox Now,” Mark Reschke writes for TGAAP. “While both have clips or what often amount to short promo videos of full length shows, neither network ads much value without a key or a cable or satellite subscription. Without a TV subscription service, these, and dozens of other networks, on Apple TV are virtually useless.”

“High value networks such as EPSN, CNBC, HBOGO, ABC, Disney Channel and over a dozen other networks all require TV subscriptions to access popular content,” Reschke writes. “Apple TV is being manipulated by carriers into a cable TV accessory.”

“The cable industry thinking goes like this: If a user has a cable TV subscription, they can puchase an Apple TV and gain network content in a second or third bedroom, adding value to the cable subscription, deepening the dependence on it,” Reschke writes. “More and more channels are appearing on Apple TV, and while it is not doing anything to promote cord cutting, it could be that Apple is setting the stage for a much larger play. The first step is launching an updated Apple TV ‘hockey puck’ product. The new Apple TV would include an app store, and be capable of downloading – or at least – playing 4K (UHD) games via other iOS devices.”

Much more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple TV updated with FOX NOW, CNBC channels; FX NOW with ‘The Simpsons’ coming – July 29, 2014
Apple TV could finally unlock its full potential this year – June 19, 2014
Apple’s Metal to take flight in Apple TV? – June 5, 2014
Apple working on Siri for future Apple TV device, iOS 7.1 code reveals – April 23, 2014
Apple TV sales topped $1 bilion in 2013, becoming Apple’s fastest growing hardware – February 28, 2014
Tim Cook and Apple TV: A ‘hobby’ no longer – October 7, 2013
Apple TV dominates digital media receiver market with 71% share – May 29, 2013


  1. It would really help if those of us who don’t use one of the big six cable providers could actually subscribe to any of these nets on AppleTV. Oh well, there’s always EZtv.

    1. Not gonna happen. Cook has (rightly) changed strategies. He’s now joining forces with cable companies rather than positioning Apple TV as a cord cutting instrument, which is destined to fail. Cable is here to stay and Apple has given up trying to beat them.

        1. Apple TV should be the cable box, and let cable companies sell their bundles of channels to people outside the geographical areas where they actually have cable installed. That would take things one step toward better competition.

        2. Good, very good Nevermark.

          Now that may be, in fact be Apples’ plan eventually. Apple TV, as the hub for all networks to enter your home, regulated on an Apple device; why??? Because, the all new Apple TV will manage media content better, a far better interface, a familiar easy UI – possibly one that uses voice commands or siri, or motion control UI — all to find, play and record tv channels. But better still the Apple TV to be able to play and install iOS games, Airplay other iOS devices, etc etc etc — An awesome product – one that the cable companies could never make.

    2. Even though the US market is huge, the AppleTV business model, some how, has to be replicated around the world. So, buying the cable provider or the content provider is not a good strategy.

  2. Hoping Apple is playing the Long Game with this device. I’ll never not own one but the Roku 3 abilities seem to outshining it right now. Seems like all Apple has to do is flip the switch on Apps and it’s Game Over.

    1. Agreed, if BlueStacks can run in emulation an Android phone – and let you actually run Android apps on your Mac (ugh or on a Windows PC – ick) Well then, why can Apple not soon offer iOS apps to RUN on the MAC… better yet, on the A6 A7 A8 enabled iOS running Apple TV???? it will happen and it will be a far better device than Roku 4/5/6.

  3. Sadly, Apple TV has never been given the development it needs to become more than an accessory. Enabling apps would be a huge leap forward, but for some inexplicable reason Cook doesn’t want to expend the effort.

    Apple apparently hasn’t been able to make any headway negotiating with content creators to offer a-la-carte pricing, so the end user is stuck with an even more inconvenient way to subscribe to his desired programming than the mega-bundles that cable companies force onto consumers.

    Apple also made the mistake of removing the internal memory that could have been used for DVR/Tivo functionality. One of these years Apple needs to offer a basic and a deluxe version. Don’t say it’s impossible, either, because Apple already offers Airport and Time Capsule side by side — if you can find them somewhere buried on Apple’s website.

    Bottom line: no development, no hardware updates, no website exposure, poor support, and zero marketing = still just a hobby.

    Apple could be far better than Roku, but face it, the current stale limited Apple TV just isn’t getting it done.

  4. I agree that it is becoming another accessory. I don’t have cable (TV), so I have to watch Netflix or Crackle or all the stuff I can get from YouTube (lots of full movies that can be downloaded from there). Occasionally, the Yahoo channel has some good SNL skits.

    1. You can also buy a WD MyCloud, and Airplay all your content to your Apple TV. Works in conjunction with your iPad, iPhone or iTunes form your Mac. Also, works well, the My Cloud using Android and Air Buddy or AirCast – if no iOS device. Your phone becomes a remote controller to your WIFI router and accesses the WD MyCloud, streaming locally to your phone, hit Airplay and you send the stream to Apple TV. really nice.

  5. Can people PLEASE stop with the “AppleTV streaming 4K content” crap. Current broadband download rates simply cannot provide a good user experience for downloading 4K. A lot of AppleTV content is still 720p for crying out loud!

  6. This is a consequence of Apple’s strategy, going back to Jobs, of trying to accommodate the gatekeepers, more than overthrowing or bypassing them.

    If iPod & iTunes, and of course the iPhone, had proceeded down this path, we’d never have seen the explosive growth of Apple over the last 10-15yrs.

    AppleTV needs to become a device of liberation from the cable companies – not lock-in.

    Give me an easy way to rip & store my DVDs. Give me DVR of legal broadcasts capability. Give me push-to-iDevices of my owned content.

    The rest is Apple playing footsie with a school of pirhanna. We consumers will be bit first (always are), but Apple will get it too. Just watch.

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