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Apple's iTV Still Seems a Bit Experimental

By - Source: The New York Times | B 14 comments

Apple seems to be using Apple TV as a testing ground for the rumored iTV.

The New York Times tells the story of Apple and its efforts to revolutionize the TV. As it stands now, it may be a long while before we see any kind of "iTV" from the fruity company as it experiments with this, experiments with that, and so on. The company is trying to re-imagine the television, to reinvent the way we watch our favorite shows and movies just as it reinvented the way we use a mobile phone. Yet at the same time, Apple also needs to play nice with content owners else all its efforts are in vain.

To land deals with cable companies and content providers, Apple is learning that it must cooperate instead of compete or dictate. Part of that cooperation has begun to appear on its set-top box, Apple TV. The company recently launched apps for HBO, ESPN and even Sky News, the latter of which brings the British-based news channel onto the TV sets in 13 million homes nationwide -- without the need for cable company negotiations.

Apple is also soon launching Time Warner Cable's TWC TV app for Apple TV. This app allows subscribers to watch live and on-demand programming. It has a programming guide far more superior than what Time Warner provides, according to the paper, but currently it doesn't provide Time Warner's complete channel lineup. Based on the report, that's likely to change, allowing subscribers to depend solely on the Apple TV device instead of TWC's hardware.

Sources claim that Apple has talked with other big content distributors about similar apps. The goal, according to the sources, is to collect a fee from distributors in exchange for "enhancing" their television programming. In turn, this enhancement is expected to keep subscribers willingly tied to their cable subscriptions. This backs up previous reports that iTV would provide a plethora of content-based apps presented in a way that's similar to what we have on the iPhone and iPad.

Sources also told the paper that Apple has proposed ad-skipping technology. This tech may compensate networks for the skipped ads by charging users directly (via the credit card number stored in their iTunes account most likely). Many channel owners briefed on the tech were actually "intrigued". After all, networks make a good chunk of their revenue selling advertisement space – ad-skipping technology would keep those streaming commercials firmly planted in your face.

For now, it seems that Apple is beefing up its set-top box, a device that's currently only a small part of its business. But the set-top box also seems to be testing grounds for what is to come. Unlike Google, Apple's plan was never to compete directly with Time Warner Cable and other subscription models, but as sources described it, "enhance" the TV experience overall for a new millennium. Currently it's "too much like ten or twenty years ago" as CEO Tim Cook said at the All things Digital conference in May. Current TV watching is "not an experience that I think many people love."

Over the last several years, sources have claimed that an iTV prototype actually exists. This device will supposedly feature iOS, Siri and motion detection for easy navigation. This latter aspect was heated up earlier this week thanks to rumors that Apple planned to acquire PrimeSense, the company that developed the 3D sensor for Microsoft's original Kinect. The valuation of the acquisition was expected to be between $280 and $300 million. Naturally PrimeSense refused to comment on rumors.

1 Mainstream, the company behind the Sky News app, said it has been a "learning year" for Apple and content providers as they determine how to transform the TV experience. "It’s a learning year for all of us, to say, O.K., what really does work?”

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  • 2 Hide
    anything4this , July 21, 2013 5:16 PM
    "from the fruity company"
    Ha!
  • 1 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 21, 2013 5:19 PM
    It is not iTV in any shape, form or fashion - that name is in use and has been for half a century - continuing to call it that is adding strength to the inevitable theft that is likely to happen, same as the Apple logo, iPhone name and iPod menu - please don't add iTV to the list
  • -2 Hide
    cmartin011 , July 21, 2013 8:52 PM
    That will be the day a true tech user watches revolutionary television from apple. Everyone watching might be between a stump or just about to try some thing different because that shit is getting old lol
  • Display all 14 comments.
  • 4 Hide
    hrhuffnpuff , July 21, 2013 9:06 PM
    "Sources also told the paper that Apple has proposed ad-skipping technology. This tech may compensate networks for the skipped ads by charging users directly (via the credit card number stored in their iTunes account most likely) ".....Skip an ad and they will still charge you???? FUCK YOU CRAPPLE!
  • 0 Hide
    otacon72 , July 21, 2013 9:26 PM
    @back_by_demand You mad bro?..lmao
  • 1 Hide
    Lummex , July 22, 2013 1:17 AM
    @otacon72 I think what back_by_demand is saying, is that here in the UK since 1955, the name 'ITV' has been in use by a TV network. Obviously Apple can't exactly claim that people wouldn't get confused...
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 22, 2013 2:00 AM
    Lummex is spot on, but not getting confused never stopped them stealing before, the iPod menu was stolen from Creative Zen players, the iPhone stolen from a Cisco ip phone, all related. Websites like this one continuing to call it iTV allow it to sink into the psyche of the population as if they already owned the name. Stop it.
  • 0 Hide
    antilycus , July 22, 2013 7:04 AM
    the media companies wont survive much longer. People aren't paying 30 / month for HBO. That's a rip off. Same for showtime, cinemax, espn etc. I haven't missed a single show that I've wanted to see on premium cable in over 10 years. And I don't even own a TV.
  • 0 Hide
    IAmVortigaunt , July 22, 2013 10:23 AM
    So they're basically trying to catch up to the Xbox.
  • 0 Hide
    robochump , July 22, 2013 10:39 AM
    TV market is not profitable. Apple is a high-end brand and will only come out with 4K iTVs and even then will have minimal profit because the Asian TV brands will do all it can to undercut Apple and will sacrifice profits to do so. For Apple to be successful in the TV market it will need a serious kill app. Good thing will be that iPhones/iPads can interact with the iTV but I think it will need more than that to succeed.
  • 0 Hide
    robochump , July 22, 2013 10:41 AM
    TV market is not profitable. Apple is a high-end brand and will only come out with 4K iTVs and even then will have minimal profit because the Asian TV brands will do all it can to undercut Apple and will sacrifice profits to do so. For Apple to be successful in the TV market it will need a serious kill app. Good thing will be that iPhones/iPads can interact with the iTV but I think it will need more than that to succeed.
  • 0 Hide
    dalethepcman , July 22, 2013 12:07 PM
    I still think Microsoft / Google have this one in the bag. For $200 or less you can get a gaming console with tons of web tv functionality. Honestly I can watch channels like epic meal time all day and at least with YouTube, the add's are usually something I'm interested in.

    There is a limit to how many panty liner and prius commercials any man should be subjected to...
  • 0 Hide
    Usersname , July 22, 2013 4:52 PM
    What's the betting iWatch is not a wearable IOS device but a TV? Nice bluff if it is.
  • 0 Hide
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