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Old Dec 17, 2012, 10:55 AM   #1
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Brightcove CEO Envisions His Dream Apple Television and Set-Top Box




In a guest post on AllThingsD, Brightcove founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire offers a thorough look at his ideals for a television initiative from Apple. While Allaire has no direct knowledge of Apple's plans, his perspective gained by leading one of the major online video platforms for mainstream media offers an interesting basis for discussion on what Apple may wish to do.

Allaire describes three "key values" that he expects Apple will bring to consumers with its television initiative: an integrated system for delivering all types of television content including broadcast, video-on-demand, Netflix, and Youtube; the "ultimate game console" leveraging the existing iOS ecosystem; and innovative app experiences enhancing existing App Store apps with dual screens. He argues that Apple will need to offer both integrated television sets and a set-top box in order to make the necessary impact in the market.
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To do this, Apple needs a two-pronged strategy:

1. A new companion device for TV that starts at $149, attaches to nearly any existing TV, and does not require customers to buy an expensive new monitor. This is crucial for quickly establishing and maintaining platform dominance quickly and even stand-alone could be a $5-10 billion opportunity.

2. A new family of ultra-thin TV monitors that bundles all of the capabilities of the companion device and includes beefed up computing power. These large-screen monitors will be a direct assault on the global TV monitor industry, a market worth hundreds of billions annually, albeit with slightly slower replacement cycles of four years versus two years for smartphones and tablets. This gives Apple that additional $30 billion+ revenue stream it needs.
The set-top box Allaire envisions a relatively thin bar-like design to sit above or below an existing television, based on an A7 quad-core chip and offering several cameras and sensors, HDMI, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, substantial storage, and Lightning ports for power and a coaxial cable dongle.

As for the television set itself, Allaire's scenario includes 46-inch and 60-inch models with multiple HDMI ports, an optical audio port, Ethernet, and dual Lightning ports for connectivity. The sets would include onboard storage of either 1 TB and 3 TB, and of course incorporate a high-end display in a package carrying the usual Apple design aesthetic.

Allaire goes on to describe an Apple TV app for iOS that would serve as the hub for interacting with the system, delivering guide information, on-demand libraries, and iTunes Store access to an iPhone or iPad, as well as allowing the device to serve second-screen content while viewing on the television set. Apple would also deliver APIs for third-party input devices such as game controllers, as well as tools for helping delivers create both dedicated apps for the TV and expand their existing iOS apps to address new possibilities opened up by the larger-screen environment.

Allaire's vision is of course entirely speculative and seems to be more of a "wish list" rather than a serious proposal for how Apple will bring cable operators onboard and integrate a host of features into a set-top box starting at $149 or a television set starting at $1499, but some of the proposals offer interesting food for thought about directions Apple could be aiming for.

Article Link: Brightcove CEO Envisions His Dream Apple Television and Set-Top Box
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 10:58 AM   #2
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 10:59 AM   #3
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These large-screen monitors will be a direct assault on the global TV monitor industry, a market worth hundreds of billions annually, albeit with slightly slower replacement cycles of four years versus two years for smartphones and tablets.
People replace their television set every 4 years?! I do very well for myself, and I think my replacement cycle is nearly double that.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 11:00 AM   #4
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All that, plus FaceTime, me thinks.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 11:04 AM   #5
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The most amazing addition would be wireless IR sensors to put on other devices (Blu-Ray Player, DVR, Stereo, etc) so that your AppleTV could control all the devices using an iPad Mini.

I have the Harmony 1100 now, but the interface is lacking, the sensors are all wired. Leaves major room for improvement.

That would make it complete IMHO.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 12:50 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mediaboy View Post
The most amazing addition would be wireless IR sensors to put on other devices (Blu-Ray Player, DVR, Stereo, etc) so that your AppleTV could control all the devices using an iPad Mini.

I have the Harmony 1100 now, but the interface is lacking, the sensors are all wired. Leaves major room for improvement.

That would make it complete IMHO.
Might not need it if the equipment is in the open- the Harmony Link magically bounces IR signals off the walls. I have it sitting under my TV and it somehow controls all my devices without direct line of sight.

Doubt it though- Apple doesn't want you using a blu-ray, and this would replace your DVR. Stereo control is a huge deal for me though so I would be more than excited about some sort of device control, and wireless IR receivers sounds pretty nice- could be a third party add on if API allows it.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 01:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by mediaboy View Post
The most amazing addition would be wireless IR sensors to put on other devices (Blu-Ray Player, DVR, Stereo, etc) so that your AppleTV could control all the devices using an iPad Mini.

I have the Harmony 1100 now, but the interface is lacking, the sensors are all wired. Leaves major room for improvement.

That would make it complete IMHO.
Not in a million years.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 03:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mediaboy View Post
The most amazing addition would be wireless IR sensors to put on other devices (Blu-Ray Player, DVR, Stereo, etc) so that your AppleTV could control all the devices using an iPad Mini.

I have the Harmony 1100 now, but the interface is lacking, the sensors are all wired. Leaves major room for improvement.

That would make it complete IMHO.
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Originally Posted by bretm View Post
Not in a million years.
Or, you know, already taken care of.

http://www.iruleathome.com/

http://www.globalcache.com/products/itach/

It'd be cool if Apple had their own TV, receiver, etc. and they all had wifi built in, saw each other automatically, and let you build your own custom interface. It's kind of like what the above is, except the functionality is already built in and simplified. Some manufacturers are half-way there (Pioneer's apps for the iPad aren't half bad) but they always only get you half way there.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 11:06 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by mrfoof82 View Post
People replace their television set every 4 years?! I do very well for myself, and I think my replacement cycle is nearly double that.
Ditto!

Our last TV was purchased about 5 years ago, and it's still going strong. If there's nothing wrong with it, it doesn't get replaced. You'd be a fool to buy a new TV just for the sake of it. They really dont change enough to warrant purchasing a new one.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 11:37 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by rmwebs View Post
Ditto!

Our last TV was purchased about 5 years ago, and it's still going strong. If there's nothing wrong with it, it doesn't get replaced. You'd be a fool to buy a new TV just for the sake of it. They really dont change enough to warrant purchasing a new one.
I was of the same opinion with my Panasonic plasma professional panel that I bought exactly 6 years ago. It’s a 50’ 720p but wonderful picture quality, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it except for it weighs about 80 lbs and eats electricity like crazy. I stopped by a Best Buy yesterday and saw an 8000 Series Samsung 55’ LED screen. I could not believe the difference - it’s gorgeous, it’s light, it’s thin, it has a built-in camera for Skype and for gestures that you can control the TV with, it has Wi-Fi and a bunch of apps, including a web browser, and it eats $17 worth of electricity per year.

The Samsung is expensive for sure - $2,500, but there’s a huge difference between that TV and my Panasonic plasma. So, as long as 55’ TVs cost $2,500, there’s no way people will be replacing them every four years, but if the price drops to $1,000, it’s very possible that most current HDTVs that are 2 years old and older may be replaced within the next 2-3 years. I don’t know about the future replacement cycles though because that Samsung LED 8000 screen looks absolutely flawless. I really do not know how it can be improved so dramatically that someone who bought that screen for this X-mas would want to replace it in 4 years.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 12:29 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by rmwebs View Post
Ditto!

Our last TV was purchased about 5 years ago, and it's still going strong. If there's nothing wrong with it, it doesn't get replaced. You'd be a fool to buy a new TV just for the sake of it. They really dont change enough to warrant purchasing a new one.
A lot of people have only recently been able to afford the TV that they really wanted. So yes the replacement cycle is increasing to four or five years. Think about how expensive a big HD tv was 6 years ago. Lots of folks couldn't afford one then but can now. Now you can get a 50 inch 1080p for under $600! If that is the top of the market that you can swing, what did you buy for $600 five years ago?

So actually, yes I can see the more well to do not replacing their TV because the top of the market TV that they got five years ago still hasn't been improved on by that much. But the low end has changed dramatically.

Also as good TVs get cheaper, folks add them to more rooms.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 02:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by rmwebs View Post
Ditto!

Our last TV was purchased about 5 years ago, and it's still going strong. If there's nothing wrong with it, it doesn't get replaced. You'd be a fool to buy a new TV just for the sake of it. They really dont change enough to warrant purchasing a new one.
Same here. I bought my current TV about 3 years ago now and don't plan on replacing it any time soon. All the new TV's have to offer is better color/contrast and black levels...which honestly I could care less about on my TV. The resolution is the same and really the only other difference is thinness, but my TV is on a cabinet so it won't really make a difference for me. Maybe if I wall mounted it I might care.

I'd be happy with a new Apple TV box if it had a new input method (Voice/gestures?) and third party apps.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 11:08 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by mrfoof82 View Post
People replace their television set every 4 years?! I do very well for myself, and I think my replacement cycle is nearly double that.
Mine is when one breaks.

I may look into a revolutionary new device if available.

In general I like small stuff to lift and carry around (like a projector)
instead of a 52 inch or larger TV.

Plus, the cinema experience (really big screen) you can only get with a projector depending on you home's/apartment's wall sizes:-)
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 11:59 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by mrfoof82 View Post
People replace their television set every 4 years?! I do very well for myself, and I think my replacement cycle is nearly double that.
I thought the same...
4 years replacement cycle is just a waste of resources, money and so much more...
Heck I even keep my computers for longer as main system.

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Old Dec 17, 2012, 12:43 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by mrfoof82 View Post
People replace their television set every 4 years?! I do very well for myself, and I think my replacement cycle is nearly double that.
Same here. We had a 65" rear-projection HDTV from 2004 that we just replaced this year. The picture still looked great, and there was nothing wrong with the TV, other than the fact that it was enormous and took up too much space in the living room (big flat screens were still prohbitively expensive in 2004). We have a 37" flat-screen HDTV in our bedroom from 2007, and we have no plans to replace it before it dies a natural death. It's fine for watching the news and such before bed time.

The only reason I replace phones and tablets every two years is because the technology is still evolving rapidly, and such devices become annoyingly slow after a couple years. New models often have compelling new features, too. The iPhone 4's Retina display and high-quality camera were major reasons I upgraded from my iPhone 3G, in addition to the fact that the 3G had become slow. I'm still happy with my iPhone 4, but I'm going to upgrade to the 5 because AT&T sold a couple of cell towers in my area, and their 3G reception dropped from acceptable to awful. As for computers, I have a five-year-old Mac that I'm about to replace because it's very slow for what I use it for.

In other words, I don't upgrade frequently just for the sake of it. It's one thing to spend $300 on a new iPhone every couple years, but replacing an expensive TV? I don't think so. And if I knew going in that a three- or four-year-old Apple television probably wouldn't run the current OS very well, then I don't think I'd buy one in the first place.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 01:05 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by mrfoof82 View Post
People replace their television set every 4 years?! I do very well for myself, and I think my replacement cycle is nearly double that.
Yep. Whenever mine breaks, I will get a new one, and I sure as hell won't be paying $1500.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 01:21 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by mrfoof82 View Post
People replace their television set every 4 years?! I do very well for myself, and I think my replacement cycle is nearly double that.
I'm still using a TV i got back in 2002
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 07:30 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by mrfoof82 View Post
People replace their television set every 4 years?! I do very well for myself, and I think my replacement cycle is nearly double that.
Standard replacement on TVs is usually once in a generation barring failure, so most people who bought an HD tv, might have bought an early 1080i set, and upgraded to a 1080P set, and might now be looking at a 3D set.

I am waiting for Glasses free 3D before i look at buying a 3D set, possibly combining that with 4K resolutions, i see no need , baring failure, to replace my current TV set when new "features" are added by connecting a little box to it
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 10:27 AM   #19
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Standard replacement on TVs is usually once in a generation barring failure, so most people who bought an HD tv, might have bought an early 1080i set, and upgraded to a 1080P set, and might now be looking at a 3D set.
I think it's even slower than that - normal people who bought a 1080i TV are probably still perfectly happy with them and have not upgraded to 1080p or even 3DTV.

People only upgrade if the technology changes radically, i.e. rear-projector/DLP -> LCD. Even 3D is slow because of the need for glasses. Perhaps once glassless 3D becomes mainstream, people will jump on board 3D.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by wyrmintheapple View Post
If Apple really want to dominate the home media and TV market then they need to do something that seems to be unique in the market..... make it work with all my existing stuff, and by that I mean my existing movie files. Nobody wants to reconvert all of their existing media. Ever.

Xbox360, PS3, smart TV's, AppleTV..... Most support their own prefferred formats, a few extra ones like old DivX's and Xvids... and that's it. No codec support either.
You still reconvert your video files? Do you have an ATV? Only Apple TV cannot play multi-media formats and requires iTunes (major bummer).

DLNA compatible devices (Xbox, PS3, TVs, etc) can transcode via a media server (i.e. Plex), although most newer devices support a decent range of codecs.

However, if you really want a multi-format player, there are plenty of those, Boxee, XBMC, WDTV, etc.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 10:59 AM   #20
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It should be made of chocolate.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 01:06 PM   #21
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It should be made of chocolate.
Sorry, Microsoft already has a patent on chewy, edible technology.

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Old Dec 17, 2012, 11:01 AM   #22
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The sets would include onboard storage of either 1 TB and 3 TB
No way, Apple is all about streaming content, they won't go anything bigger than needed, 8-16 GB Max.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 11:04 AM   #23
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I think most are excited about the TV set, not another set top box. (please don't just be another set top box)
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 11:07 AM   #24
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I think most are excited about the TV set, not another set top box. (please don't just be another set top box)
I wont be interested if its 60". That's just stupid. They need about 4 different models:

32" 36" 42" and 48"

Any bigger and its no longer a TV, it's a cinema.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 11:15 AM   #25
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I wont be interested if its 60". That's just stupid. They need about 4 different models:

32" 36" 42" and 48"

Any bigger and its no longer a TV, it's a cinema.
You could say it the other way around: 32" isn't a TV, it's a monitor.

Seriously though, 4 sizes is a lot of options given that Apple usually has a streamlined lineup to minimize the costs of components through economy of scale and maximize profits.

The original article has more realistic expectations than yours. Apple products are high-end. They're desired by rich people. 48" is smaller than what a lot of people would buy. That's what I have and I don't feel like it's a huge TV by any means. If I were richer I'd definitely get something bigger.

It's not like the mobile market where too big of a screen means less portability. Modern LED-backlit TVs are so thin it doesn't really matter whether they're 40" or 60". Just use a wall mount if you want to save some space. It's really more of a money issue for people, but since Apple is used to get a near-monopoly of "premium" products it shouldn't be a problem. It's easier to have a large margin on expensive products.
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