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back to article Apple angling to transform TV?

Apple is reportedly talking with CBS and Disney in its search for content partners for a planned US subscription-based television service. Word of the discussions comes from "people familiar with the matter," according to a report (subscription required) in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal. Details of the much-rumored service …

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Not wanted here in the UK.

Unless any Apple offering supports BitTorrent/RapidShare as a content-acquisition mode, it'll never get mass-market sales.

[For any kind of UK-acceptability it'd also have to play nicely along with FreeSat, BBC iPlayer, Virgin Media and Sky+ boxes]

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WTF?

It's True!!!

Mickey Mouse wears an Apple watch!!!

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i would love to only have to pay for the channels i watch.

right now i need to pay 85$ a month just to get BBC world and National Geographic in the package. I also get 307 other channels that i never watch on top of that...

I'm all for it.

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The cable companies will fight dirty

We had a startup called Look that offered pick what you want TV and the cable company killed them. They offered free service for 6 months to a year for anyone to switch back from Look and before long Look was dead.

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Headmaster

Apple to patent IPTV!

You herd it hear first from Pontifico the Prognificator!

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Jobs Horns

"of course, Apple isn't talking"

Not that they would to El Reg anyway!

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It'll cost more - a lot more

iTunes is currently selling TV episodes at £1.49--£2.49 an episode. 2 hours a day (that's conservative), approx. 30 minutes per episode.. that's between £178 and £300 a month. I would never consider paying that for TV.

I never thought anyone could make Sky look cheap, but apple have managed it..

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volume...

I expect they're working to a model that involves more subscribers than they currently have as regular purchasers. Overly optimistic as ever, but if anyone can pull off wild plans, it's Apple.

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Paris Hilton

Not that far off standard

To be fair, BT Vision charges ~99p an episode so watching an entire series can be quite costly. That said, if you pay for the TV package then even if you watch half a 24 ep season a month you've saved money.

Don't even get me started on the price/quality of the 'adult' section!

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JWS
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Won't be cheap

The problem they will have is if the price for X channels you want is say £5~£10 a month less compared to having over 300 to pick from, you may not watch them all the time but it is nice to know they are there. Unless of course every channel is pay per view and thus you do have access to all 300+ and just pay for what you watch... But being Apple they'll just assume they can charge more and the fan loyal will cough up.

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@Tony Hoyle

Did you not read the article? It's about a rumoured subscription model rather than the current episode purchase model. The whole point was that people normally only follow a limited number of shows (do you really have 14 hours of favourite shows per week?) that they'd be prepared to pay for. Depending on the model offered it *could* be cheaper to go with the (rumoured) Apple model than to buy a package of channels from your cable/satellite provider.

How on earth you think you can predict how expensive the new model might be based on the amount it costs to purchase individual episodes today is beyond me.

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Jobs Horns

of course it will be expensive

"How on earth you think you can predict how expensive the new model might be based on the amount it costs to purchase individual episodes today is beyond me"

It is from Apple, you know it will be expensive (without even taking into account the individual episode pricing).

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FAIL

UK website.

as this is a UK website can you please refer to anything that is US only in the title. apple tv will do nothing over here. most english people are well aware that apple products are crap and expensive, due to us being ripped off by yanks over the pond. i for one will not subsidise products so they are cheaper for them than us. plus, virgin tv is cheap as chips anyway. they would have to charge about 5p an hour to compete. plus over here we already pay a TV tax (sorry, i mean TV license!) tv in the uk is very different from US tv although we are getting more and more drivel so it might be catching up.

you yanks always seem to think that USA == the world

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Paris Hilton

Tut...Tut

Pining for the bygone days of the Empire are we? Well, at least you have the Commonwealth.

As regards to the "U.S." expecting the rest of the world to subsidize its products by charging more overseas, you need a lesson in capitalism. It was Jolly Old Blighty who pioneered the whole process you so bitterly complain about today. When the Royal Red bled over a quarter of the globe, the English routinely pillaged local economies for dirt cheap commodities so they could then produce hideously expensive manufactures and sell them back to the same besotted colonies at a fat margin. And this doesn't even include the horrendous taxation exacted by the British Government to pay for colonial "administration."

It may not work out for you now that Britain no longer calls the shots, but it did for almost 300 years. Besides, you should compliment us yanks. After, we learned from the best colonial pillagers of all -- you folks!

Paris, because she's always expects her friends to pick up the tab.

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Anonymous Coward

@Steve Todd

But the problem with that is, it doesn’t really differentiate them from cable or satellite, yeah at the moment they have packages, and you can’t pick what channels you want (not all countries, some allow you to make your own package up and add specific channels). But if apple did it on a per channel basis, a cable or satellite company could do the same, offer deep discounts, and that’s it, apples out. Also, why would apple need to be in negotiations with these providers, they say they would like their channel, and they can give it to them for a fee / % of their revenue, or not. If they wanted to do a subscription based upon shows that would be more user friendly. Better than the per channel, as it would be, ok show A is on channel 1, show B is on channel 12, Show C is on channel 44. Before you know it you have 20 channels, and might as well have gone with a cable or satellite provider and paid a few £ more and got 300 channels.

If Apple did a per show subscription, it would be better, but it would also compete with themselves, you could go to I-tunes, and buy a season of a show for £20, or pay £2 / month, per show, or £15 / month for 10 shows, something like that. But would Apple want to do that, would it bring in more money than the per episode basis of itunes, would they then show it at a specific time, or be on demand, would you be able to move it to you ipod/iphone, would that cost extra? This is the only way that they could differentiate themselves from any other provider. Apart from of course, them being apple, so it must be good, no matter what it is, or that it’s been done before.

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@Citizen Kaned

"most english people are well aware that apple products are crap and expensive"

That statement is not backed up by consumer satisfaction and reliability results in the UK or anywhere else, quite the opposite in fact.

BMWs and Mercedes cars are expensive. All that means is that some 'successful' people can afford them and low achievers can't. Maybe you can't afford an Apple because you are a low achiever, or maybe you are a low achiever because you are not using Apple products.

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FAIL

@ Joey

"Maybe you can't afford an Apple because you are a low achiever, or maybe you are a low achiever because you are not using Apple products."

Or maybe he's right and most "high achiever's" realise that most of Apple kit is x86 hardware, a bog standard mobile phone with half the features removed or DRM crippled media files delivered via the biggest pile of bloat they call "software". All wrapped up in something pretty for the simple minded folk but double the price.

Apple? Wouldn't touch it.

P.S. I own a BMW

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Many of my clients are

high achievers, some are in the Sunday Times Rich List - odd then that they have houses fully equipped with Macs.

P.S. I used to own a BMW - but it's maintenance costs were similar to Windows. Now we have a Vauxhall and a Toyota.

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@Citizen Kaned

Apple's reliability went out the door a few years back. New iMac 27" are nothing but a crock, ask all those who had them shipped with broken screens and are still getting screen tearing and flickering even after an update. Then there was the special "coma mode" Apple built into the iPhone updates and the wiping data "feature" that was reported in OS X 10.5 and still managed to appear in 10.6!

Apple are no better than anyone else.

Yes, I use Mac's but I know there very many limitations.

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Megaphone

Nice Idea

It will be interesting to watch what happens here stateside. But we already have Hulu which provides much the same functionality with limited ads plus the fancy desktop app which is for PC, Mac, and Penguin.....for free to work with whatever TV you have or monitor....

As I said shall be interesting to watch

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IT Angle

"And multiple signs point to an impending launch of it's next hardware foray..."

its

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@AC 13:03

How about if Apple were to offer a per-show package, but with the programs being watched using the same model that Apple use for film rentals? That's to say you get 30 days after you download them to start watching, and 24 hours after you start watching to finish.

There you go, a model that allows cheaper pricing but doesn't kill the sales market (just like iTunes movie rentals don't kill movie sales).

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Go

Internet TV - will Apple get the consumer desire correct?

I purchased a PC & equipment which I tried to run scanners, printers, and post-script to PDF rip engines on - just to find out that Microsoft Windows NT only supported one rasterizing engine at a time, meaning I had to de-install my normal printer in order to run my post-script rip... not to mention that my scanner would not work at the same time as my laser printer, which meant I needed to unplug one before using the other... I also had zip drives at the time, that were also required juggling - even though I had enough ports, due to silly driver issues. Well, I bought a Mac and all my previously purchased components (with the exception of the Windows NT PC) all worked out-of-the-box. Never looked back at a PC.

I had 2 different phones, which had internet connectivity, and subscribed to data packages. They required some special markup language that made regular web sites look terrible. I started the process of building my own web site in order to get some business applications working. I canned it all, because the portable telephone vendors and network providers could not make it easy. Bought an Apple iPhone (first generation), it worked GREAT, out of the box. No special markup languages.

Cable companies and Satellite providers both provide hundreds or thousands of channels I don't want, charging an outrageous fee for what accounts to about 3 channels that I am interested in. I shut all that junk off and moved to purchasing DVD sets of the seasons of the shows that I want - because it is cheaper. Telephone companies started offering television packages, but they use the same scam to give you content I do not want to watch. If Apple does just the channels the consumer wants for 1/2 the price (not hard to do)... or adds decent content control (scan for PG-13 or lower) at a slightly lower price - they will give what the consumer wants and do well, just as they did with other markets.

The industry has not been able to get it right, yet, with many individuals feeling like they are held captive to whatever service they are participating in. (If this was not the case, many advertising campaigns like "ditch the disk" or such would not be so effective.)

If Apple does not get the streaming video right, well - someone else will.

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Can't call it iTV though

At least not in the UK - It's one of the national broadcasters.

perhaps iTelly

if they started selling sweets would it be iCandy?

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