Apple and a TV guide alternative

“Apple clearly has a difficult time figuring out how to conquer the living room. At one time, it was thought that Apple might be building a TV set. That emerged from a Steve Jobs quote in Walter Isaacson’s authorized biography of him,” Gene Steinberg writes for The Tech Night Owl. “Jobs announced the discovery of the greatest TV interface ever, and that surely freaked the industry.”

“There were reports over the years suggesting that Apple had sampled TV prototypes, but eventually abandoned the project because they couldn’t devise a viable marketing plan,” Steinberg writes. “But Tim Cook continued to repeat the claim that Apple was deeply interested in the living room, so how would that present itself? One possibility was to build a subscription TV service to provide an alternative to cord cutters.”

“Supposedly Apple tried to cut deals with the networks, without success,” Steinberg writes. “Well the new wrinkle is that Apple might just offer up the fourth-generation Apple TV as a partial replacement for TV Guide. So instead of using a DVR, you’d use the apps provided by TV networks for Apple’s streamer, and rely on that interface to provide smart TV listings, driven by Siri. You’d still need to cut a deal with the cable/satellite services or the dedicated streaming services, but it would all appear within Apple’s unique interface. In other words, Apple might become a TiVo alternative.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Fits and starts.

Apple won’t be buying TiVo, they’ll be killing them – along with every other DVR-maker out there. — MacDailyNews, August 17, 2012

Apple’s new TV plan is a TV guide – August 4, 2016
TiVo releases $49.99 over-the-air DVR for cord cutters – August 25, 2014
TiVo founders unveil $49 Qplay; aims to present unified interface for hundres of sources – February 25, 2014
Why doesn’t Apple just buy TiVo already? – August 17, 2012


  1. Apple should be able to pick up TiVo for a song. Not to make a DVR but to license the guide and to hold DVR IP. With streaming the DVR is going to die. However with that said TiVo has a well rooted interface and user following. I think it would be a good deal.

    1. When TiVo added APPs and Comcast On Demand to the main menu – the use of our AppleTVs dropped like a rock!

      I don’t have to switch inputs now to get HBO GO, Netflix or Hulu – it’s right there on the same menu as my recorded programs – with interfaces that look and perform very much like the AppleTV versions.

  2. It is UNFORGIVABLE that in 2016 consumers still have to deal with four remotes (TV, cable/satellite, DVD/BluRay, and AppleTV) to navigate the different inputs/channels. The non-AppleTV remotes are complex beasts. I consider myself technically literate but even I have trouble working with some of the functions of these monstrosities. It’s stupidity unbound. The engineers and product VPs responsible for releasing such horrible interfaces should have been kicked out on their rear ends years go.

    If the senior leadership of the cable, satellite and electronics companies had spent as much time trying to simplify their interfaces and work to develop a common standard as they have spent trying to do everything in their collective power to block Apple from entering the market, they would not have to be worrying about Apple in the first place. The leadership of these companies are made up of short sighted buffoons who are only interested in enriching themselves as opposed to making a better experience for the customers who have made them right. So undeserving!

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