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iTV to be a minor part of Sept. announcements?

updated 01:30 pm EDT, Wed August 25, 2010

Mobile TV should be real emphasis, says source

Contrary to some expectations, the iTV set-top will only play a small part at an Apple press event in September, a source for BusinessWeek claims. The company is instead expected to place the emphasis on 99-cent TV show rentals, with the idea that people can watch them on iPads, iPhones and iPods. An essential component may be the introduction of an iPod touch with a Retina Display, allowing Apple to say it has HD (or near HD) resolution on every device.

At the same time Apple is expected to avoid overhyping TV rentals, particularly as studios have limited how far the company can take mobile TV by resisting show subscriptions. Rentals will allegedly be marketed under the aegis of "catch-up viewing," as a way of seeing missed episodes, or shows recommended by friends. Studios and networks are being pitched with the idea that rentals could bring billions in incremental revenue without threatening contracts with cable companies.

Video has been a week pillar of the iTunes Store. As a whole, movies and TV shows have generated far less money for Apple than music and apps. Some obstacles to expansion have included DRM restrictions, negotiating international rights, and the fact that Apple videos are limited to 720p.






by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -6

    OOoohhh


    I smell a lawsuit heading Apple's way.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Huh?


    The company is instead expected to place the emphasis on 99-cent TV show rentals, with the idea that people can watch them on iPads, iPhones and iPods.
    ...
    At the same time Apple is expected to avoid overhyping TV rentals, particularly as studios have limited how far the company can take mobile TV by resisting show subscriptions.


    So a special event emphasizing rentals. How is that not overhyping? "Hey, we've called you all over here to talk up TV rentals! It's great! But not too great! Pay attention, but not too much attention. Don't go front-page on this, but make sure you mention it!"

    Studios and networks are being pitched with the idea that rentals could bring billions in incremental revenue without threatening contracts with cable companies.

    Of course, they're "pitching" the idea as "More billions for you, no contract issues with cable companies!" Easy for Apple to say that. What will the cable companies say?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    Video Issues...

    Video has been a week pillar of the iTunes Store. As a whole, movies and TV shows have generated far less money for Apple than music and apps. Some obstacles to expansion have included DRM restrictions, negotiating international rights, and the fact that Apple videos are limited to 720p.

    I seriously doubt 720p has been much of an obstacle to video income, compared to all the other problems. Anyway, 720p isn't the problem, Apple's limitations on so much of their HD content that it can only play on an AppleTV is a problem.

    BTW, you missed some of the good reasons:

    1. Movie competition. Apple has actual competition here. While the iTMS for music was the first 'big' deliverer of digital music, Netflix already delivered video to your home. Now it has on-line video, as does Amazon, for those needing that 'immediate' satisfaction. And why spend $5 for a movie at Apple when $10 at Netflix will give you the option to watch dozens of movies in the month?

    2. TV competition. TV rentals might help a little (can't say how much, as $1.99 isn't that expensive to think 99 cents will magically bring in the viewers). However, they're far down on the options list, starting from:
    - Watch it live when it airs
    - Watch the episode on your DVR (if you've got it) since you probably recorded it
    - Watch it when it is rerun one of 20 times during the week (cable shows only)
    - Use your cable company's OnDemand feature to watch it.
    - Have you determined you still care enough to watch it?
    - Go to iTMS.

    And I'm sure there's stuff missing in there. But the iTMS is going to be low on the list.

    3. The AppleTV "failure". Apple has never pushed their AppleTV very hard. They still call it a hobby, and have not convinced the public at large that their singular solution is better than any other solution out there, especially since there are so many other solutions people might have (for example, there isn't much the AppleTV can't do that you can't do with a TiVo, xBox, playstation, and possibly some cable boxes).

    I'm sure Apple is hoping that the 'new and improved' iTV will fix problem 3. Especially if they add application support (though no one has really explained why I'd want to run many iPhone/iPod apps on my TV - I'm sure farting over a 5.1 system is really cool and all), it will deal with some of the issues. But it still hasn't reached the 'replacement device' stage yet (as the iPod caused so many disc and tape players to be replaced).

  1. russellb

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    I think you miss the powerful possibilites

    Apps on the Itv and on your TV is POWERFULL

    The biggest problem with trying to use all the scattered collection of TV web sites and other sites to go watch catchup TV is that

    1) i have to go to my computer

    2) I cant get it on my TV easily

    Hey presto and IOS device allowing apps for my TV ... now all those TV stations can have an app that will let you get to all your catchup content, they can do in app sales etc and all found in one place , one easy GUI ... the itv !!!!!

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    Re: I think you miss

    The biggest problem with trying to use all the scattered collection of TV web sites and other sites to go watch catchup TV is that

    1) i have to go to my computer

    2) I cant get it on my TV easily


    If by the 'all the scattered collection' of web sites being the Hulu's and whatever, yes, you are right. But that's just a small part of the TV universe. In fact, I didn't even mention it in all the options a viewer has.

    And alot of those other devices out there have hooks into the various web sites, or allow software to run to do that. In fact, you can do it now on the AppleTV, assuming you feel like 'jailbreaking' it.

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -8

    Another iFail in the making


    Apple is too late to the game.
    Like the original Apple TV, iTV or whatever = iFail

    Options? Two words boys.

    Google TV

    'Nuff Said

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Android is dead. Google TV is next to go.

    Let's see. Some new devices are actually still shipping with obsolete Fragdroid 1.x and 2.x, Oracle is suing Google for Android Java non-compliance (and the suit has merit), and Sergey Brin has publicly stated that Chrome OS is Google's future. At Google I/O no less. Fragdroid is getting the bum's rush from top Google brass already.

    Google is being forced to p*** Chrome OS out the door before all Fragdroid software is "impounded and destroyed." Same with Google TV. It's a frantic attempt to re-capture some of their lost Fragdroid AdMob revenue. And I wonder if Google TV will come with un-deletable apps forced on the user by the networks, the way un-deletable spam apps are forced on Fragdroid users by the carriers. What a joke.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -5

    Re: Android is dead

    The FUD monster is alive and well!

    Some new devices are actually still shipping with obsolete Fragdroid 1.x and 2.x,

    OMG! How dare it be that not everyone has the latest and greatest out there! Next thing you know, you'd complain that these phones have the latest OS, but it doesn't support all the new features of the OS (or, "why'd they upgrade when they can't take advantage of all the features?").

    Oracle is suing Google for Android Java non-compliance (and the suit has merit),

    Of course it has merit. Only lawsuits against Apple are meritless.

    and Sergey Brin has publicly stated that Chrome OS is Google's future. At Google I/O no less. Fragdroid is getting the bum's rush from top Google brass already.

    Um, you do realize Android is open source, right? Anyone can use it. Who cares what is Google's future, or do all the phone makers have to always just follow what Google says.

    And when Apple talks up iOS, isn't that basically saying OS X is dead meat and we should stop using it?

    Google is being forced to p*** Chrome OS out the door before all Fragdroid software is "impounded and destroyed."

    FUD, FUD, FUD. Android software cannot be impounded nor destroyed, nor would it ever happen. Sun wants cash, that's all they want.

    Same with Google TV. It's a frantic attempt to re-capture some of their lost Fragdroid AdMob revenue.

    Wow, who knew they're losing revenue on AdMob due to all that fragmentation of Android. And the fragmentation must be real. I keep reading about it on MacNN.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -6

    Re: Google TV is next

    And I wonder if Google TV will come with un-deletable apps forced on the user by the networks, the way un-deletable spam apps are forced on Fragdroid users by the carriers. What a joke.

    What? Undeletable apps? You mean like every one of Apple supplied apps for the iPhone and iPod touch. No matter how completely useless or space consuming, you're still stuck with them? You mean those apps?

    Oh, those apps are OK, I bet, because they aren't forced down our throat by the networks or carriers. They're just forced down your throat by Apple. But they know every one with a phone needs a stock app. And a you tube app, because who with an iPhone doesn't want to see sleepy kitties. And, if there's one thing that's really important, it's the need for a Clock app. Who doesn't need to know what time it is in 5 different countries at the same time.

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