A breakthrough looming for Apple TV?

“Ever curious about what the next chapter holds for Apple, some in the tech world are predicting a plot twist: a breakthrough with Apple TV,” Julia Love reports for ContraCostaTimes.

“A small but growing chorus of analysts and developers say Apple seems close to cracking the code for TV, a device that has long stumped the company,” Love reports. “In a letter released Thursday, activist investor Carl Icahn said there is ‘good enough reason’ to expect that Apple will debut an UltraHD TV set sometime next year or 2016.”

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year that Apple was negotiating with Comcast to deliver Apple’s TV service over a dedicated part of Comcast’s wires, in addition to haggling with media companies for TV programming rights. The talks have been slow to bear fruit,” Love reports. “Fighting to win back young viewers who question the need for cable, pay-TV providers and media companies might be inclined to hear what Apple has to offer. But the companies are loath to erode their profit margins by giving Apple a cut, said Mike Paxton, an analyst at SNL Kagan. What’s more, pay-TV providers are comfortable with Apple TV as an accessory to their set-top boxes, but not something that displaces them, Paxton said.”

Read more in the full article here.


        1. No. I think Apple will own the satellite and if they purchase a broadcaster like DirectTV or Dish, they will get access to all the content they need. Then replace all the set top boxes with TVs and transform how we discover new programming and manage content. That’s my 2cents anyway

    1. The issue of paying for hundreds of channels even through most people only watch on at a time is horrendous enough, I also hate the set top fee.

      Cable TV is mired in the sixties and seventies. Remember then? For the kiddies reading this, back in those prehistoric times. Household typically had only one TV!!! I know, shocking, but it gets worse kiddies, that was the only device in the household that could display video!!!!! So Cables model of charging by the TV set made a little sense. The reality today is many families have way more TVs devices than people. And Cable still insists on charging by the TV set. How in the world can the Cable companies think it makes sense for me to pay a monthly fee for every TV I have? I can only watch one at a time. Does the Cable company think that the TVs are watching themselves?

      However, I realize as stupid as the fee schedule for cable is, a more rational model wouldn’t help. Say you could chose only the channels you wanted and didn’t have to paid per TV, the Cable company would just charge more per channel and for the connection. Having a monopoly, means the cable companies can decide how much money they want to make and set up the fee schedule to reach that. Sure there is a tiny bit of competition in the satellite providers, but the system is rigged against the consumer.

  1. I honestly don’t see what Apple selling a TV screen will do. We’ve seen how expensive their monitors are, and they will have to sell multiple sizes because people have different sized homes, and multiple rooms in their homes which are suitable for different sized screens. I can’t see them wanting to get involved in making lots of different models.

    In addition, an internet only solution just will not work. Most connections struggle watching a single stream, add in multiple tv’s and other devices and they just can’t cope. Rights wise they’re not going to be able to cover everything so other services will still be needed. Factor in all the different services worldwide and it becomes a nightmare.

    Including a screen just adds an extra layer of expense to a device that is not going to be a one stop solution straight away.

      1. That’s my point. Any solution is ultimately going to be about the interface, but no matter how good that is, they’re not going to be able to offer all content to all people around the world (or even in their typical launch markets). People will still need access to broadcast material, so at best any Apple solution will have to be supplemented by other services. Including a screen of the quality Apple are know for just makes that a much more expensive solution and the screen itself won’t offer much tangible benefit. We have 5 TV’s in our house, with 2 Apple TV’s I’m going to add a couple more Apple TV’s and upgrade the existing 2nd gens but there’s no way I’d buy 4 entirely new screens to do that.

        1. I agree with you. I think Apple has another solution that I have not heard discussed.

          An AppleTV box with HDMi input(s) to seat between say a set-top box and your TV will allow Apps to control how and what one watches on a TV screen, easily switch between media from different sources and enhance what is on screen. For example, press a key or say something to SIRI and it will instruct AppleTV to reduce the TV picture size and make room for additional information on the screen for say the story line, or for twits about the program, or about the actor/s, location, related programs, etc..

          Apple should be able to provide app developers with API for many capabilities so they can focus on added value and not having to perform the basic functions such program identification, face recognition, source id, etc…

          AppleTV with a new processor, more memory, microphone, a camera, more local storage (supporting iCloud DVR), and it already has bluetooth so joystick of various forms and keyboard are a piece of cake. The microphone and camera can be used for user recognition, jester control, FaceTime (very popular conf tool for Apple families).

          1. The problem with that is that I think most HDMI sources have copy protection preventing any sort of pass through solution.

            A screen would be the only way to make Apple’s interface the one used 100% of the time. The thing is, that whilst most TV’s are pretty rubbish, most of the time you’re not using their own interface, they’re effectively just monitors attached to whatever device you’re using. As such, the TV itself is not in the same dire position that Phones were before the iPhone. TV’s are cheap, even iPhone and Mac owners don’t spend on TV’s in the same way. Apple sell monitors but they’ve never aggressively competed for the market. So why should they with other screens?

        2. Well then it is time for all viewers who are hostages to cable/sat companies to start lobbying for a Freeview/Freeview HD type of broadcast system. It works so well in the UK now, with almost 100 channels, and rising, that I am ready to cut the cord. It is a digital system which is received via your old-fashioned TV antenna and the A&V quality is just fine. All we have to pay is a modest annual licence fee to the government who don’t care how many TV sets you have in your home.
          Why is America so late on this decade-old technology?

          1. The main factor is Sport. It’s not a mistake that you need all the other packages to get the sport package on SKY. Even if you got everything else by other means, many people will still want the sport. This is going to be the ongoing problem with all the services like Amazon, Netflix, etc making their own content. Paying £5 a month for each of them starts to tot up.

  2. No TV display. Disintermediation of video entertainment will come. Think of TV’s weaknesses: self-interested channel bundling rotten for consumers, “1000 channels, yet nothing’s on”, sorry search, eager producers & consumers held apart by the middle.
    Critics are so short-sighted. When Steve Jobs said they had “cracked TV”, it didn’t mean he had fully implemented the solution, just that he saw the path to the solution. Now we see it come to fruition (Now, I hope. If not now, at some future announcement.)

      1. Good word! I learned a new word today! In layman’s terms, disintermediation is “cutting out the middle man.”

        Let’s hope Apple can keep putting the pressure on. There’s no good reason I should have to buy fifty channels I have zero interest in to get the five channels I am interested in. Better yet, let me just support the programs I like and ignore the rest. In the TV entertainment industry, there’s simply way too much consolidation and homologation, and way too many layers between the content producer and the consumer.

    1. Absolutely right, never understood why people presumed after what SJ said that all aspects of the solution were already in place. I never presumed that it would come to fruition in less than 3 years and very likely longer, it’s not some easy fix its bound to be a multi faceted solution that will technically and comercially be very tough to bring together. Hopefully they may have been able to do so at least to a degree.

  3. Customers have little interest in maintaining a companies profit margin. The media delivery companies need to think in terms of their “value margin” rather than their profit margin. Focus on profit over value gets you a Samsung over an Apple. Profits come as a result of the delivery of value.

      1. To be honest, botvinnik, there have been several times when I thought we might be in violent agreement on a topic, but couldn’t get past the labels we attached.. People are seldom cut from whole cloth, they’re not completely wrong all the time and never completely right.

  4. I think the answer is in the software, not the TV. No matter how good a new TV is, I am not going to replace my high end TVs until it breaks. I am not even going to replace my mid quality TVs.

    Unlike phones, TVs don’t get replace very often. The answer is a box that will connect to all TVs.

  5. Think Apple TV customized with a Cable input, you get it from your cable company, it has all the functions of Apple TV + an interface into what the cable companies provide that is user friendly. It also needs a connection for Antenna for cord cutters.
    This would be a set top box with Apple’s great user interface design.

  6. The leapfrogging that enabled Apple to overcome the Windows monopoly is here for the taking for Apple. Forget about old programming and the begging necessary to procure them from networks. The money is in new programming, not reruns on tired network shows.
    Apple has the opportunity to democratize the big screen and leapfrog television. Apple TV should allow anyone to create their own channel and provide content. Whether it be a big player, medium or small
    Democratize television the way the internet opened up huge opportunities to the masses. The leapfrog moment is here, just gotta forget aboutbthe status quo because they tie you down and will drown you if they can.

  7. When I can get the channels I want without the Cable Cartel and it’s bundles- give me a call.

    Currently, I am paying for crap CONcast requires me to buy the get the handful of channels I want.

    HBO, BBC World News, TCM, ESPN and pass through of local PBS. Really do not watch the others. Note that all except ESPN are essentially commercial free? I hate TV ads.

  8. “Hockey puck shaped device…”

    This is not the first article wherein I’ve read the AppleTV compared to a hockey puck. Last I checked, my AppleTV was square, and hockey pucks were round. I think it’s always been that way.

  9. Apple could have made AppleTV indispensible if it had used a piece of its giant mound o’ cash to buy the exclusive rights to the NFL, just as Murdoch did for English Premier League soccer in 1992. Fans pissed and moaned but ultimately they all subscribed to Sky and it’s been pay-per-view ever since.

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