4 posts • joined 3 Sep 2010
Land of the free
For fans of truly world class hypocrisy, there's a splendid youtube moment http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUctxdsKk9Q from 11 April where the White House spokesman explains how China's evil for not allowing UN access to prisoners... and then confirms that the US won't allow UN access to Bradley Manning.
Apple's key to the home is AirPlay with an IOS device as controller e.g. a DVD player with AirPlay and an IOS app for the UI. You don't encourage widespread support by consumer boxes if you plough straight in and deliver one of them yourself, especially the dumbest, most generic part of the system. In Apple's world a TV is a monitor, nothing else.
Frankly I can't wait to exchange my (beloved) Humax freeview hard disk recorder for one that wirelessly streams with a nice app for the UI.
Really .... only Apple?
Sorry, amidst the adolescent vitriol I missed you telling us which other company has an installed base of handheld devices with screens. That, for the hard of thinking, was the point of my post. It is Apple's differentiator and so one would expect their strategy to take advantage of it.
If we want a complete internet experience on the TV we're going to need more than a dedicated remote. But it sounds like you're happy with ITV or FOX or whatever.
You say “The Apple TV offering requires that you actually have a TV or another device to stream the video to in order to watch it, whereas any device with a screen, such as the iPad, would have been the logical and ideal client for this directly, without it going through the Apple TV.”
Is that right? Apple says that (with AirPlay) “Just tap to start playing content on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, then tap again to instantly stream whatever you’re watching — or listening to — directly to Apple TV.” (http://www.apple.com/appletv/#remote)
This detail matters because of the bigger picture. Endless companies have tried to reinvent the TV but only Apple has an installed base of handheld devices with screens. The question for Apple TV is not the scope of the initial content distribution deals but how will they exploit this asset and whether it will make a difference.
With every other company, once the set top box is sorted we have a discussion about the remote: wand, buttons, mouse, magic pad, touch screen, voice, waving or whatever. With Apple, the remote IS the device that matters – the set top box arguably exists purely to mirror what’s in the user’s hand – iPod touch, iPhone or iPad. All these already have access to the internet… so there is no shortage of content. It’s just a commercial decision about how Apple can exploit this.
Apple could limit the resolution of content played outside iTunes but I doubt they’ll bother. They want the critical mass of users. Instead, over time, iTunes’s established billing system and being featured on iTunes suggested playlists (aka TV channels) will be enough of a draw for anyone with video to sell.
Everyone’s talked about making TV smarter. The genius of Apple’s approach is that it keeps TV dumb – it’s just a monitor. The smarts are in your hand.