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No new Apple 'TV product' in 2012 due to stalled talks

updated 09:59 am EDT, Thu September 6, 2012

Cable providers major stumbling block

Apple won't be releasing any new "TV product" in 2012, according to a Bloomberg source. The person says that Apple is still stalling in talks with content and cable providers, who don't have much cause to surrender any of their current revenue schemes. Cable companies are said to be creating a particular obstacle, since they want control over the software on Apple's rumored set-top box, and are disputing whether or not they would get to distribute the peripheral instead of Apple selling it directly.

A group of Bloomberg sources support the set-top rumors, suggesting that since the mid-2000s, Apple engineers have been working on a product that would let people quickly find TV shows and movies, live or recorded. The device would recommend new content based on previous interests, and integrate with Apple's other hardware, for instance supporting the use of an iPhone or iPad as a remote control. The current Apple TV set is limited to a handful of online streaming services, and content from iTunes, whether on Apple's servers or on a local computer. iPhones, iPads, and iPods can be used as remotes, but only on a very basic level.

Negotiations with cable companies have allegedly been ongoing since the launch of the first Apple TV in 2007. In recent times Apple is said to have concentrated on companies willing to allow Apple live content for streaming, above all Time Warner Cable. Bloomberg's sources suggest that Apple may in fact be hoping to hook TWC as an initial partner in the same way that it pulled in AT&T for the iPhone. It's believed that people using the set-top would be forced to pay a standard cable bill.

Apple is meanwhile said to be chasing down on-demand content, but facing opposition from media companies, who are reportedly worried about losing control of their content, and/or the channel bundles sold through the cable providers. A-la-carte channel selection has been a long-standing demand of TV watchers, but media conglomerates have found it much more lucrative to require providers to sell several channels together in a package.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Mr. Strat

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 01-23-02

    The cable and satellite companies just ain't gettin' it. People don't want their packages loaded with crappy channels. People want a la carte. They want to watch what they want when they want to watch it. And the biggies like Comcast just don't see the changes taking place in content delivery.

    We have no live TV service...just the Apple TV. Why would I pay big bucks each month to watch the crap that's being broadcast. The whole trend with reality TV is aimed at idiots.

  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: 11-15-06

    The only way to force cable companies to adapt a la carte style is if there are serious 80% drops on cable subscriptions. Otherwise, it will never going to happen.

  1. efithian

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-21-04

    Use over the air for most content and use Apple TV for the cable channels. Starve them to death. It is the only thing they understand. EyeTV can act as a DVR for the over the air channels. Watch what you want, and when you want to watch it.

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