Apple in Talks to Build Cable Set-Top Box to Display Live Television

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001


    The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has a set-top box in the works that would allow viewing of live cable television as well as other content.
    The WSJ suggests Apple's set-top box will be an aftermarket item that could cost "hundreds of dollars" rather than $10-$15 per month for the standard one provided by cable companies. Companies such as Tivo already provide similar boxes to independently replace your cable box by utilizing CableCARD technology.

    By following this path, Apple would avoid having to license content directly from providers and instead piggy-back on existing cable television distribution. The report also notes that this technology could eventually find its way into a standalone Apple television set.

    Apple is said to have considered a set top box as long as 2 years ago, but Steve Jobs had previously dismissed the market due to the lack of national-providers. Meanwhile, cable companies are reportedly reluctant to give up some control and revenue by allowing Apple into their set top boxes.

    Article Link: Apple in Talks to Build Cable Set-Top Box to Display Live Television
  2. macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2011
  3. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2007
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2012
    In an ethereal plane of existence.
    Well, the last I heard TV subscriptions have decreased, so either they step out of their comfort zone or they face fading into oblivion. Not that it matters to me. Netflix makes me happy.
  5. macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2011
    The PAC 12 Networks would have a hand in my wallet if they'd make them available ala carte.
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2010
  7. macrumors 68020

    Apr 2, 2008
    The TV industry really needs a shake up and Apple are the perfect corporation to do the shaking.
  8. macrumors regular


    Oct 17, 2008
    One box to stream everything from your computer and to display your iPad's screen and to view live television? This will change everything.
  9. macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2010

    I want Sunday Ticket on apple tv.
  10. macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2006
    Interesting idea. I always thought it unlikely they would make stand alone TVs (for various reasons such as obstruction by cable/internet companies, TV cost, non-computer market, has to integrate with set top boxes etc).

    A set top box would allow them upgrade the Apple TV to get live shows and possible a la carte programming without overtly alienating cable companies who provide the programming and date; they could still get a cut of the action. It would also let them keep the apple TV as a comparatively lower tier product. And it would decrease the amount of boxes on a TV stand while guaranteeing the box would work with your provider.

    It would also be the same plan they they used with the iphone; superior product and plan on an existing service/data pipe. I am sure thats what they would point to during deals; I would.

    All they need is a great deal on content and data, but Apple has a track record of that.
  11. portishead, Aug 15, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012

    macrumors 65816

    Apr 4, 2007
    los angeles
    I doubt this is true, but I really wish Apple would release a set top box like Tivo. They could do it a lot better than anything that is on the market. I love my tivo, but too many ads, interface isn't great, and expansibility is almost zero.

    Plus even though Tivo is decent, most DVR's from your cable company suck, and you pay $20 monthly for them. It's more expensive up front, but you save money by purchasing a DVR. It takes money to make money (or save I guess).

    They could include:
    DVR Functionality
    Multi Stream Cable cards
    Offline iPad/iPhone/computer viewing
    Up front cost only (ditch monthly fee)
    UPnP/Airplay support
    App store (imagine an Apple DVR with Plex!)
    Unfortunately it will probably be locked to just playing mp4 or mov and no mkv or open format types.
  12. macrumors 6502


    Apr 25, 2012
    Port St Lucie FL
    Having live TV through apple tv is about the only major feature preventing 100% usage for me. Google tv (spare the hate) has a nice feature set and passes through live tv for a seamless transfer between NAS, Netflix, amazon instant, web, and cable content. I like how google integrates all those sources all in one device on one input. Hope something is planned for apple tv as well as a set top box option.
  13. macrumors 68040


    Dec 19, 2004
    This would be great if it replaced my current leased Comcast DVR or was something you pay for from Apple with CableCard 2, dual tuner recording and simultaneous playback. Along with full networking support like the AppleTV adding the ability to transfer quickly recorded and compressed 1080 content.

    Plus features like saving the guide so I don't have to wait hours after a blackout to have the guide rebuild.

    I'd rather it be something I buy with CableCard 2 support for full cable features without the function neutering the cable company does.
  14. macrumors 68020


    Jun 22, 2006
    The thick of it
    I don't think this approach would produce "the simplest interface you could imagine."
  15. macrumors 601


    Oct 1, 2010
    I like this to get rid of my cable boxes.

    Hopefully it will work with the wireless cards in TV
  16. macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2011
    I for one have had it with the big cable companies pushing us around and taking advantage when there are limited-to-no other options in the area.

    On that premise, I recently cancelled cable (retaining internet). I COULDN'T BE HAPPIER... I went from $125/month for cable/internet to $50/month high speed internet. That's $75 PER MONTH that I am saving. That leaves me PLENTY of money for netflix, hulu, pandora (all of which I now subscribe to), Amazon prime, a TV mount and a fancy antenna for local stations.

    Be careful who you partner with Apple... I liked the talks of a standalone apple branded TV set rather than a new cable box for my non-subscription...
  17. macrumors 68020

    May 1, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    An Apple television never made sense to me.
    This however seems a perfect match.
    Live TV and iTunes all in one box that anyone and their granny could hook up and use in minutes
  18. macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2005
    If only the corpses that run the cable companies would let go and let the technology leap forward.
  19. macrumors 65816


    Apr 17, 2007
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Mr Fusion

    May 7, 2007
    This is all so wrong... :rolleyes:

    I want a box that helps me CUT THE CORD with cable companies, not a box that keeps me with them!!! :mad:
  21. macrumors 6502

    Billy Boo Bob

    Jun 6, 2005
    Dark Side Of The Moon
    I would do the same, but I'm out in the boonies to where I can't get anything at all on HD antenna.
  22. macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2009
    The lack of coax input on the Apple TV has always been the dealbreaker for me. I don't care about paid TV, but I want an antenna input for recording and watching live TV.
  23. macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2012
    (i've no idea what i'm talking about, take it w/ a grain of salt)

    given apple's $ reserves, i'd LOVE to see apple break the back of this awful standard of major broadcasters are for cable providers only.

    if they could, i'd imagine this would be the first step towards a la carte programming, which is pretty freaking huge.

    basic cable for me costs around $20 in boston for a bunch of broadcast channels. i can't imagine they're getting much of a kickback. any kickback is probably bs too since i theoretically can get it OTA with an HD receiver. it must be existing contracts slowing this down.

    does anyone know which? that may give a date when all of this is possible. i think dishnetwork recently had a contract w/ the NFL effectively blocking out a lot of customers.

    i feel like all of this is inevitable, and apple knows damn well of it. what gives?

    as a side note, if and when apple or someone else achieves this, that's when the net neutrality war really begins. it's ****** enough seeing at&t apply a surcharge for facetime users.
  24. macrumors 65816

    Sep 16, 2007
  25. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2007
    Sounds like one of many options Apple might be trying out, aimed at appeasing cable operators, who also seem to be ISPs. I don't think it would be the only option Apple would pursue, just a fishing expedition, to see if they'll bite.

    Has merit, but I can't imagine it would be any more than an app or integrated feature of the current tv, or any future Apple television, for that matter. Describing it as a set-top box, may be a way of disguising Apple's intentions.

    An iPod, a phone, and an internet communicator… are you getting it?

    This whole, every distributor/channel/publisher has their own App is just ludicrous, unwieldily and so last-century. That's the thing Apple's got to fix.

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