Secretive Apple has inked a secretive deal with a major entertainment-info supplier that has revived speculation that Cupertino is readying a living-room putsch push far more aggressive than its Jobsian hobby, the Apple TV. "We believe this announcement is further evidence that Apple is developing live TV and DVR features for …
Of course there will be...
It makes sense.
All this talk about online video and codecs must have a longterm reason and reasoning but will it be the Apple that gets there first or will it be ... ?
The next big thingy must be a computer that has such a wonderful UI nobody really recognises it as a computer? If so, the Apple seems well placed with maybe a three or four stage evolution it ints bespoke hardware handling with much refined operating system evolutions down the line and never to underestimate the power of intel on (embarrassing?) ketchup catchup?
Apple DVR huh?
I am not sure that the Apple faithful really think they are going to bring to the party here. Current generation recording gear already deals with the main technical hurdle that comes with S1 generation Tivo gear. While they probably do better at Microsoft at creating a better DVR for dummies, they probably are unlikely to do better than Tivo. Even if they do, they still are left with the same problem that Tivo has.
Cable companies are the gatekeepers of their own walled gardens and they aren't about to let Tivo or Apple in. 3rd party solutions will continue to be more expensive and at a competitive disadvantage to cable companies.
Trying to kill Big Cable is probably a better approach (as much as it pains me to say it) for Apple.
With the release of the Ceton InfiniTV4 cable-card tuner Windows Media Center is looking better and better. Coupled with Windows 7 Embedded, a plug'n'play Media Center replacement for Tivo would be sweet.
Live TV, DVR???
Seriously, there are already 100 f'ing ways to do Live TV, DVR and, more obscurely, access "Premium Internet Content" from one place (look up Tversity Pro - http://tversity.com/support/premium-websites/). They might be a pain in the ass compared to whatever sure-to-be-slick approach Apple is cooking up, but compared to paying $2/show for shit that was already broadcast for free off the public systems or on your already-subscribed-for cable... I'll go the cheap route any day.
What someone (maybe Google, you listening big brother?) needs to do is to compete head-on with the cable companies and let you subscribe to a channel with access to their scheduled lineups as, more or less, a playlist and everything on-demand post-original-broadcast in the very likely event that you miss a show at its original airtime. *
The only reason for live-anything these days is really sports (maybe business news if you're a day trader, or regular news if you just have too much time and joi de vivre). Nobody wants to plan their lives around when Desperate Housewives (or whatever you're into) comes on.
When you purchase cable, in the states at least, everything comes in these great big bundles. My last cable bill was, I think, in the neighborhood of $70/month for probably 300-400 channels and equipment (HD DVR, extra box or two) - probably $55 or so before equipment. Of those 300-400 channels, we *might* have watched 30 (if even that) on a somewhat regular basis, which would put us in the neighborhood of, at most, paying around $2/channel for what we really used... or $0.13 a channel if you average it out across everything ($0.17 if you include equipment).
Anyone who thinks this business model will survive a charge the same (or an 1,100% premium depending on how you want to look at the numbers) for a single episode vs. access to the entire channel through cable is daft. Unless you only watch a handful of shows (which, with two kids in the house quite fond of their Disney channels, definitely doesn't apply to me) this makes no economic sense for the customers... which is usually a pretty decent indicator for the viability of a business model.
iTunes has been doing decent charging reasonable prices (about the same as a real cd) for mp3s. In the movie rental business Netflix and Redbox are slapping the crap out of everyone because they somehow managed to provide content for *really* cheap compared to on-demand through cable providers who charge the same, more or less, as brick and mortar rental stores. Digital content can be successful but the problem here is that they're going in the other direction - charging more for their service where you provide the bandwidth and you purchase the hardware, than if you went the traditional route.
It reminds me of the article here (I think) recently about an online source for renting some obscure TV series that was charging more for the online rentals than it costs to buy the DVDs. Why would anyone sign up for that???
* I claim patent pending, copyright and for good measure a trademark on all ideas presented in this post and any derivative works thereof :D
"And besides, after a future fanboi finished watching Jersey Shore on his Rovi-enhanced 42-inch Apple iVue, he could use the same premium-priced device to make a FaceTime video call to grandma while simultaneously sending her a video of Junior's first steps — shot, of course, with his iPhone. "
Now I'm scared
DVR is a dead end
Have a look at the specs on the ATV, it's never going to record video, it's future is as a gateway to your owned/rented/subscribed or free online content and as a big screen destination for streams from local iProducts, photo's, video and audio are obvious, but the Trojan horse will be airplay games.
ATV doesn't have to be the DVR in the traditional sense
There is a cable company somewhere (US I think) that hosts their DVR functionality in a hosted, cloud-like infrastructure for their customers. Because of rebroadcasting rules, they have to maintain separate copies of every client's DVR'd show - so if they have 1,000 customers who DVR the latest "American Idol" (or whatever) they have to host 1,000 copies of the same show. Apparently it's still cheaper to deploy this streaming, "cloud" based DVR's than deploying traditional DVR's with local hard drives.
When genetic engineering goes wrong
Gene Munster? Really?
Apple brand DVR or TV, don't think so
I expect it's just meta-data / program guide for the Apple TV box.
I think Apple plan to get a ton of content for the Apple TV box by playing up to the media companies wet dream of pay per view. People who have basic cable and would like to watch a couple of shows that would require them to buy a big bundle of crap (or are now paying $70/month for a big bundle of crap they don't watch) to get them might be better off paying for them on Apple TV. With a lot of people on caped internet + the price per show I don't see a lot of people paying large amounts each month to Apple, but it might cut into cable companies bundle scam a bit.
Mine is white...
I would like to refer the Rt. Hon. gentleman to the reply I gave earlier.
In the Apple TV review thread...
"If Apple are desperate to do something with TV, they should make an actual telly which looks like a giant iMac or iPad, runs a version of iOS (that you could optionally control with your small iDevice), and integrates the Apple TV gubbins. They could then charge twice the price of a normal set because of its shiny-Apple-ness, it would still sell to all who value an integrated Apple lifestyle, and push Apple TV towards being some sort of standard."