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iTV an evolutionary step towards Apple HDTV, says analyst

updated 01:40 pm EDT, Mon August 16, 2010

Set-tops, live TV seen as obstacles

If legitimate, the rumored iTV upgrade of the Apple TV could still be just a bridge towards a full-scale HDTV, argues Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. Apple may try to launch one in the next two to four years, he suggests, using the company's North Carolina data center as a key anchor. The site could be used as a hub for an iTunes streaming service, making it possible to watch a catalog of movies and TV shows without having to keep local copies.

Claimed to be two "primary" obstacles to Apple success are live TV and set-top boxes. At June's D8 conference, CEO Steve Jobs complained that the Apple TV was hampered by free or low-cost boxes provided alongside channel subscriptions. The only way that might change, he suggested, is to "go back to square one, tear up the set-top box, redesign it from scratch with a consistent UI across all these different functions, and get it to consumers in a way that they're willing to pay for it." He suggested there was no way of accomplishing this at the time.

If Apple does have a workaround, says Munster, the company may launch an iTunes TV subscription, costing anywhere between $50 and $90 a month. Supplementing this would be apps from the App Store, granting access to currently-available services such as Hulu Plus and Netflix. As for the TV itself, the analyst suggests that it might cost between $1,800 and $2,000, less overall than a comparable 40-inch TV when paired with a DVR, Blu-ray drive, receiver, game console and cables.






by MacNN Staff

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  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    OK...

    Claimed to be two "primary" obstacles to Apple success are live TV and set-top boxes.

    Bah! They just need to inform consumers why Live TV is overrated. And since the AppleTV is a set top box, it is kind of hard to call set-top boxes an 'obstacle'.

    At June's D8 conference, CEO Steve Jobs complained that the Apple TV was hampered by free or low-cost boxes provided alongside channel subscriptions.

    First, I'd like to know of what lame-a** company is offering free cable boxes. Any company doing that needs to be excommunicated from the Cable-TV alliance.

    Second, how is this hampering the AppleTV, since the AppleTV does nothing with broadcast television, which is what all these boxes are. Again, Apple more needs to educate consumers why they should drop tv for the AppleTV.

    The only way that might change, he suggested, is to "go back to square one, tear up the set-top box, redesign it from scratch with a consistent UI across all these different functions, and get it to consumers in a way that they're willing to pay for it."

    That makes no sense. What are all these 'different functions' that need to be redesigned with a consistent UI? How about some better paragraph writing?

    If Apple does have a workaround, says Munster, the company may launch an iTunes TV subscription, costing anywhere between $50 and $90 a month.

    $50-$90 a month? And why would anyone pay that much when they could get cableTV for the same price?

    As for the TV itself, the analyst suggests that it might cost between $1,800 and $2,000, less overall than a comparable 40-inch TV when paired with a DVR, Blu-ray drive, receiver, game console and cables.

    I still have no clue why Apple would even want to get into the TV market. But I love how the analyst tries to put a smiley face on it by saying "Look, it would cost less than if you added all this other stuff to a comparable TV!". Since when is a TV, even an Apple TV, ever going to replace a 'receiver'? And if you're one to use a receiver, you're not using the one in an AppleTV.

    As to replacing the 'DVR', that's good only if Apple's TV is actually going to include a DVR, and not just replacing it by letting you watch stuff 'on-demand' from the service. Half the goodness of the DVR is to pause and rewind live tv, not just off-load stuff until later.

    As for the Game console, sorry, but the AppleTV and Apple themselves would need a huge power and investment boost before they got games that rivaled the consoles.

    Finally, there's only a small minority of people who have a DVR, receiver, Blu-Ray DVD player and game console. (And did this guy actually add 'cables' to the list of costs? Seriously?).

  1. mattack

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    You contradict yourself about live TV

    First you say live TV is overrated, then you say "Half the goodness of the DVR is to pause and rewind live tv". Which is it?

    I think they mean live TV as in CNN or sports. I definitely want breaking news on TV. I don't watch sports, but a lot of people keep cable/satellite subscriptions BECAUSE of sports.

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -3

    What is the point?


    Google TV is launching soon.

    Buh bye Apple TV, iTV or whatever you end up calling yourself....

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Re: You contradict yourself about live TV

    First you say live TV is overrated, then you say "Half the goodness of the DVR is to pause and rewind live tv". Which is it?

    No, I didn't say it was overrated. I just said Apple needs to explain to the consumer why it is overrated. You know, the same way they've explained why Blu-Ray is not needed. Steve puts out a statement, then the faithful pick up on it and repeat it ad nauseum until it becomes 'fact'. (a la "Blu-Ray is a world of hurt").

    I think they mean live TV as in CNN or sports. I definitely want breaking news on TV.

    Well, you're not going to get any good breaking news on TV. Esp. if you're watching CNN, Fox, MSNBC, or the other 'news' networks. Unless you consider politics or a boy in a balloon to be 'news'. And a lot of that you can get on the web.

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