back to article No Apple TV this year: Media moguls still won't cough up content

Media execs unwilling to sign a deal with the suits at Cupertino HQ have scotched hopes for an Apple TV in 2012, Bloomberg reports. Wrangles for control in such areas as the user interface have kicked Apple's TV plans into the long grass, and we won't see a TV of any sort in Apple's 12 September reveal, according to the site. …

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jai
Silver badge

shame

I'd love a device where FreeView, VirginMedia, or whatever, were just apps alongside 4oD, iPlayer, etc, and YouTube, Netflix and streaming from my desktop machine. Ideally, an interface that did away with channel numbers and just presented me a way to browse everything that's showing live right now, or switch to a different app to stream from iPlayer or whoever.

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Anonymous Coward

Fragmentation

With the fragmentation of media and the decline of TV advertising you would think that these execs would jump at the chance to get their stuff out there.

But no, brinkmanship and power plays are the order of the day. Another few years when they need the revenues they will agree but the deal will be worse for them.

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Linux

Re: shame

If you are prepared to a small amount of fiddling, I understand that MythTV is quite good and also there is XMBC

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Re: shame

more like an EPIC amount of constant fiddling to the point where the wife will ban it and demand return to regular media centre that she can use...

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Holmes

Re: shame

You really should have finished fiddling with it before you replaced the regular media centre.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: shame

This is why I like piracy, you can consume the content you want in the manner you want. I have a simple web interface knocked up to procure the content from a variety of sources (…, youtube-dl, get_iplayer etc), and a similar one to allow me to choose what to watch from my phone (well, any browser).

I regain my moral ground slightly by paying for TV license, full Sky packages and Spotify. I figure that net spend of around £100/month is plenty.

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Silver badge

Re: shame

But downloads via my HDHR don't come off my internet allowance.

If you treat myth as an appliance, you don't really need to fiddle with it much. Its the desire to constantly upgrade which will get you into trouble. If you like to do that sort of thing, I recommend using a VM which excludes the main filestore but which includes the database. Then you can snapshot and rollback very easily.

Just set up something which monitors the mythbackend daemon and restarts it if required and you'll be fine. A couple of versions ago I had issues with stability, but recently it seems all fine.

But I do have to agree. The networks in Oz seem to think you won't come back if they go to an ad-break without a cliffhanger. That usually spoils the dramatic tension completely at the worst times - pirate content is just a far better experience.

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Re: shame

XBMC is nice and easy to set up, and has loads of on-demand content available for it.

MythTV is a nightmare to set up, BUT once you have it set up, you have incredible PVR capabilities that you will never see on the open market.

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Annoying

The technology is all there and squabbling over whose snout goes furthest into the trough is holding it up.

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Re: Annoying

The media companies have observed (and in some cases affected by) the fruity retailer taken a fairly hefty margin in music, ebooks and applications for what is a essentially a shop window cum delivery agent. They're not going to be particularly keen to give up another 30% or whatever of their revenue for having an Apple Branded portal into their content.

I do wonder what their approach to money making is though - do a subscriber revenue split with the cable TV companies, or charge the media owners for showing content, or do a pay-per-view model where the consumer takes the hit.

Interesting times.

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Shame The Pirate Bay went down really

Wouldn't it have been hilarious if Apple had launched their superTV with integrated hard drive etc and then started coughing loudly when people asked where its content was going to come from?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Shame The Pirate Bay went down really @mending

Curious - I was just checking TPB this morning and it was fine.

Oh - of course, you'll be using one of the "puppet master" ISP's for your internet.

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Bronze badge

They ain't broke yet!

Movies are not on such a downward spiral compared to music.

Apple will surely wait until more desperation kicks in.

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Happy

I suppose

Jobs asked for a lot of money from the Media because he was kind and willing to help them distribute their content.

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££££££

If Apple are that serious about it why don't they use some of their vast cash horde to buy one of the cable companies?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ££££££

Because that would be very poor value- they're on the wane, which would provide very poor ROI.

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Silver badge
Facepalm

Apple Logic..

We *need* your stuff to make our product actually work, so we'll let you provide us with your content at the friendly rate of 30% of your gross.

What do you mean: "Go pull the other one, it's got bells on?"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple Logic..

Actually its 30% of retail and Apple don't have the infrastructure costs of running a cable network, which means they could easily be competitive.

More likely, the content providers don't want to upset the current distribution model and customers.

Retailers often take 50%, so 30% isn't that bad. I set up selling sw licenses for firewalls and got 25% straight off as a one-man-band with no negotiations and no "expected sales" figures.

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Replace Cable and Satellite

Am looking forward to a replacement for traditional cable and satellite. Will require some sort of on-demand solution to break the monopoly of ABC/Disney/ESPN who can dictate what channels of theirs one must carry all of, or nothing, for every subscriber. ESPN adds at least $5/mo to my satellite bill and as a red blooded American male I find it as useless as MTV and VH1.

Commercials have gotten excessive. 5 minute comercial breaks are common, 6 minutes are not uncommon. I know based on how many times I have to press the 30 second fast-forward button.

I think there is an opportunity to provide internet delivery of DVR material on a bandwidth-available basis. "Subscribe" to a weekly sitcom or whatever, and material will be downloaded to your machine but locked until 7 PM or whenever the program "airs". Much better than have everyone try to stream it at the same time. Provides for those who do not have bandwidth for full HD resolution, so what if it takes 3 hours to download a 1 hour program?

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Anonymous Coward

I'm rocking with WDTV streaming player. I get Netflix, so many shows are available. I can watch my own collection of movies, listen to music, view photos, and what I don't get on there I can get on my laptop and it links with the device wirelessly, so I can play online content on my laptop and view it on my TV. My cable and internet are on the same bill, but I haven't turned on my cable box in over a month.

There is no one device, one service that accounts for all media. I don't think there ever will be. To have it all, your gonna have to pay quite a bit, and you still wont get all of it.

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Silver badge
Mushroom

BBC Sport

Hell, I'd just like to be able to pay my fair share for BBC Sport, as they produce an absolutely incredible program (at least for MotoGP)

I wish I could show you guys just how crap American TV is, with 30% commercials and very little content. You'd fall over in shock.

You think American beer is bad, the TV is much much worse. Discovery Channel is about the only thing halfway watchable.

Icon for what I'd like to do to NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, /CNN, ESPN, SpeedTV, MTV, VH1, etc

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Devil

Re: BBC Sport

Think I'd rather sit through several minutes of commercials than watch BBC Sports, or what you call sports overseas, but hey, to each his own....

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Silver badge

Re: BBC Sport

Yes indeed. I've often thought that instead of threatening us with detector vans, fines and prison times, all the BBC has to do to get everyone to willingly cough up the licence fee is to devote one night a month to the kind of programming we'd get if they didn't have it.

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Pint

Re: BBC Sport

American beer is fantastic; the good stuff just doesn't make it across the pond.

There's >20 microbreweries in the Chicago area alone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: BBC Sport

"American beer is fantastic;"

I believe you may be referring to Lager.

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WTF?

Roku, anyone?

I dropped my basic Dish network subscription for a Roku box, a Netflix account, and a Hulu+ account. That saves me somewhere north of $80/month. In addition to those two channels, that little Roku box gives me access to more than 300 other channels, including NBC's news, the WSJ, CNN, etc.

Add in a OTA antenna for local live broadcasting, and I'm set. Why on earth would I want to step into Apple's walled garden when I can get so much more from other vendors?

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Joke

Perhaps CBS should set up an online shop which is the only place Apple are allowed to sell their tvs that support CBS and then charge them 30% for the privilege.

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Anonymous Coward

When it comes to media companies and phone networks, it's Apple who are trying to kick this horrible unimaginative people into shape.

They'd like it to be simple to just get access to a TV show or flip your phone contract to a another provider at the touch of a button. No port codes, SIM swaps, temporary SIMs with temporary numbers.

Computer companies change faster, it's just a shame they're not getting anywhere.

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Anonymous Coward

Ca$h

Sony bought a movie studio to get content. Apple could do the same (they have enough money). I know Pixar made Jobs & Co. very rich, maybe they could buy a media company...

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Anonymous Coward

iTunes business model

I have been wishing Apple could apply the iTunes business model to TV for YEARS--I would HAPPILY pay $1 to $1.50 for every episode of TV that I watch. Cheap enough to deter me from pirating content and a few $ per night is cheaper than what I'm paying for cable now.

With the right ease of use, pricing model, and selection, it would be a win for everybody. The TV content producers could make millions or tens of millions of dollars per episode of a popular show, assuming the devices/service have enough market penetration.

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Thumb Down

The cable companies don't need Apple

The cable companies can stream content to your phone or tablet right now without Apple. Apple isn't needed in order to view cable content. So the cable companies have no incentive to bend over for Apple, and Apple doesn't bend over for anyone, so it just isn't going to happen.

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Bronze badge
Trollface

Easy solution

Couldn't Apple just sue the media moguls, by claiming it "invented" Hollywood, or something?

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Happy

hmmmmm

Bet there is some Music Executive somewhere who told Jobs that they knew more about the music business thansome upstart computer manufacturer.

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Silver badge
Facepalm

"it was arguments over who gets to design the user interface – which includes ways in which the viewer might access other content supplied by the media companies – that scotched this particular round of talks"

Lets see, should we pick a company known for building novel, easy-to-use and pretty user interfaces to design the UI, or should we go with the bloated media monopolists that wouldn't know a usable UI if it came up to them and sued them for patent infringement?

Basically negotiating with these idiots won't get you anywhere - Apple and Google have both failed. They need to use their vast finances to buy content and bypass the monopolists completely, if they want to succeed in this market.

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Even Apple Can't Crack That Nut

If Apple's hoping to get cooperation from cable providers, they haven't been paying attention to the Cable Industry. Cable providers in the USA were pretty much forced to use common ATSC-supported protocols for transmission, and they had the "CableCard" also legislated on them, which would in theory allow any box or TV to connect to any network. They typically engineer their own STBs (usually though contractors like Motorola or Scientific Atlanta), which give them the technologies they want on their network, and only those technologies. They've done end-runs around CableCard, pretty much everything to keep cable networks effectively proprietary (and satellite is worse).

A few companies have had small success in deal with cable, like TiVo. More devices are like the current AppleTV -- they're just IPTV devices. It's clear Apple would like to deliver a box that does for STB what the iPhone did for cellular. It's also pretty clear the cablecos have seen the power Apple got out of that deal, and have no interest in having that repeated in their captive market.

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The obivous solution for an 800lb gorilla

I'm surprised they just don't buy a couple of the main companies/content providers (e.b. HBO) then get on with it.

Meh....probably too simplistic....

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