Another TV Show Arrives... Microsoft Competition?

MacRumors

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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple and ABC have posted another television show to the iTunes Music Store today. Commander in Chief is now available on iTunes.

NBC has also promised that new shows would be added along the way.

Meanwhile, there are reports that Microsoft is not taking Apple's success lightly and plans on launching a subscription-based TV download service. The service would presumably offer either unlimited downloads or one with a high limit for a flat monthly fee similar to Napster's present music subscription service.
 

Jeromie

macrumors member
Jan 28, 2005
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The subscription based method might actually make sense for television shows. After all, people are used to television being a transient medium. Subscription versus pay for download seems to be the distinction between replacing your cable connection and replacing your DVD collection. I think there is room for both in the market, and it will be interesting to see if consumers agree with me.
 

DavidLeblond

macrumors 68020
Jan 6, 2004
2,198
286
Raleigh, NC
I agree. Subscription for music, I scoff at. Subscription for TV shows? Well, I already subscribe to TV shows by paying for cable. So if you deliver the shows I want at a lower price than cable? Yeah, I'd like that.

Pity the Microsoft approach would probably not work on my Mac. Dealing with Windows ain't worth it.
 

Wonder Boy

macrumors 6502a
Feb 18, 2003
833
0
South Windsor, CT
i can see a subscription model work for tv shows. i tried writing something to explain myself, but it just came across as bad writing. i'm too tired to think. but for some reason, only known to me, i think the subscription service could work.
 

Mr_Ed

macrumors 6502
Mar 10, 2004
443
8
North and east of Mickeyland
I personally don't see the appeal of watching a TV show on a 2" screen, but if it means Apple is breaking ground once again, great. As for M$ getting in the game, I have not seen any previous attempt to compete with Apple (such as in the on-line music arena) amount to much of anything. They just don't seem to have it in them to do anything original and compelling anymore . . . (did they ever?)
 

Chundles

macrumors G4
Jul 4, 2005
11,981
364
The more TV shows the better in my opinion. Not that we can get TV Shows over here but hey, it's nice to know they are available somewhere - it means they might be available here someday.

Yep, Microsoft download service will most likely equal WMP 10 involvement and that means that it will have zero impact on my downloading habits. Not to mention it will probably not work at all with the iPod and therefore is a bit of a waste of time on MS's behalf because as of this moment there are no really strong competitors to the iPod. You need a good product before you can deliver the content. Apple got the iPod in our frame of mind ages before launching the iTMS.
 

andiwm2003

macrumors 601
Mar 29, 2004
4,325
379
Boston, MA
microsoft often says they will enter this and that market but then nothing happens. i don't think the revenues in the tv show market will be high enough to justify setting up the infrastructure from scratch. itunes/ipod already existed so the setup wasn't too expensive for apple. but any other competitor would have to pay upfront for the set up. and for years to come the market will be relativley small because the cable/satellite subscriptions will remain.
 

ifjake

macrumors 6502a
Jan 19, 2004
562
1
Apple is more like the DVD route just faster and lesser quality. i imagine that maybe being different than the normal way you get TV would be better. in my mind, if it's subsription, i might as well get cable and a DVR.

i think the main reason why FOX hasn't and probably won't sign on is because their DVD sales do so well. offering each episode individually up for sale could mean instead of buying the Simpsons season 6 DVDs you only buy a handful of episodes that you especially like. kinda like what happened to music.

i still think ABC should put Alias online. i think if the had, i might have been dumb enough to get every episode as it came out given that i don't have a TV right now.
 

Super Dave

macrumors 6502
andiwm2003 said:
microsoft often says they will enter this and that market but then nothing happens. i don't think the revenues in the tv show market will be high enough to justify setting up the infrastructure from scratch. itunes/ipod already existed so the setup wasn't too expensive for apple. but any other competitor would have to pay upfront for the set up. and for years to come the market will be relativley small because the cable/satellite subscriptions will remain.
Agreed. Why sink the capital into a market even more dubious than the music one? Microsoft can't keep throwing good money after bad in a half-butted attempt to take a tiny piece of Apple's pie. They're going to have to focus on their core competencies of business software, Xboxes and...servers?

The days when Microsoft could enter any market they chose (or pretend to enter any market) and frighten the competitors away are long gone.

David :cool:
 

Stonecoldcleric

macrumors newbie
Dec 9, 2005
26
0
Boring

Yeah - who cares about each and every show as they appear available in ITMS. At some point that story will be old - it already is to me.

I agree wholeheartedly about the fact that we already are 'subcribing' to tv shows. most of us have the upgraded dv recorder provided by our cable company so we can do that anyway. Only a few people would be interested in having those shows on the road. This video ipod is great in a novelty sense, but not for regular viewing of shows. We still want to watch good shows on a 60-inch plasma.
 

DavidLeblond

macrumors 68020
Jan 6, 2004
2,198
286
Raleigh, NC
ifjake said:
Apple is more like the DVD route just faster and lesser quality. i imagine that maybe being different than the normal way you get TV would be better. in my mind, if it's subsription, i might as well get cable and a DVR.
It all depends on the price for me. Right now my cable costs $70/mo (and thats not including Road Runner) and all I get for that is Standard cable with a DVR. And the DVR isn't always flawless, because if the show comes on the same day as a football game, you're guarenteed to only get to see the first 15 minutes of the show, if that. Hell Sunday night I got to see a whole 10 minutes of Family guy because our prez decided to beat his chest about the Iraqies voting.
 

Photorun

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2003
1,216
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NYC
Wait, I'm shocked... SHOCKED... I tell you! Apple comes up with an idea and Microsoft copies it? That NEVER happens!

(COUGH)

Maybe someday M$ will, you know, actually innovate... nah, why should they, they've got a really big R&D department at 1 Infinite Loop.:rolleyes:
 

ph0rce

macrumors 6502
Jun 25, 2005
303
0
iTunes has it for music and i am pretty sure it will have it with video becuase of the iPod Video. Not many people are going to want a media player other than the iPod. because the iPod is cool. creative suck because theres are copies of apples products and they just try sueing apple becuase they are bad loosers. Microsoft is similar :) bad loosers :)

i say, bring it on microsoft, but be prepaired for apple to crush you in to a little ball and then feed you to a powermac!
 

Websnapx2

macrumors regular
Apr 24, 2003
236
97
As much as I hate to admit it, the subscription service from M$ makes sense, but not focused with a portable player, this would be really cool through their media centre. Watch the show you want, when you want, then by extension move it over to a portable device to continue an interrupted viewing experience (if you have an appointment, for instance). This would really mess up cable television services as we know it, so hopefully Microsoft Won't get too much support from the network. Then that will buy apple more time.
 

Chundles

macrumors G4
Jul 4, 2005
11,981
364
If we eventually get TV shows on the iTMS over here it could really be quite revolutionary. Cable TV here is not widely subscribed to, it's expensive, it doesn't offer anything all that necessary and all the good shows are on free-to-air.

Most people are just using regular old analogue TV for our 5 TV channels and don't complain cause all the big shows are on and they don't have to fork out a fortune to watch it.

My family is the first I know of to own a digital set top box with a built in HDD recorder so we can watch standard definition digital TV (still the same 5 channels plus two extra ones that are offshoots of two of the five). HD signal here isn't offering much over SD at the moment and the HD set top boxes are in the $700 range so for the average joe it's too bloody expensive.

So for the convenience of not having to set a VCR (yep, we still use VCR's and I don't see them going anywhere fast) we could just download to an iPod and plug it into the telly it would be nice to be able to access the TV shows on iTunes.

A subscription service here wouldn't go over too well as none of us subscribe for any of the shows already available on the US store (except Battlestar Galactica - I don't know if that's on cable or not here) so if they were ever available on some subscription service it would probably be fairly poorly received. We're most likely to just buy the odd show that we missed.
 

evomac

macrumors newbie
Dec 19, 2005
20
0
Charlotte
HD Quality

If it can't offer HD quality then why bother. Plus they have no viable device to play them on (other than the PC).

I personally would rather have a DVR box.
 

SiliconAddict

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2003
5,889
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Chicago, IL
Honestly when movies/TV shows are concerned I would be very interested in an all you can eat $14.99 buffet. Just not at the quality available on iTunes. I do have some standards and anything downloaded from iTMoviesS looks like complete crap on my 24” display. I either have to watch it all pixel like full screen or sit 1’ away from the screen watching it in a Window. Umm thanks but no.

If Microsoft comes out with a higher res that isn't more expensive then iTMovieS I'll prob use them. I don't really care about DRM in thise case because I'll prob watch it once, maybe twice and delete.

evomac said:
If it can't offer HD quality then why bother. Plus they have no viable device to play them on (other than the PC).

I personally would rather have a DVR box.
HD isn't going to be possible for a while. Do you have ANY idea how much bandwidth would be required. The investment on bandwidth alone would kill any potential profit. Crap at this point I would settle for SD TV res.
 

blilly

macrumors member
Aug 2, 2005
61
0
Microsoft plans!

It seems that Microsoft is also not taking the success of the Swiss Ski Team lightly . . . and plan to create their own ski team. And they will also be creating their own version of The Wiggles! . . and their own online bookstore! and a reliable hybrid car!! And the Colts are having a good season . . maybe they will create a football team!

And . . and . . . wait . . . they'll come up with SOMETHING people will care about! . . . no, really.
 

evomac

macrumors newbie
Dec 19, 2005
20
0
Charlotte
Agree!

SiliconAddict said:
HD isn't going to be possible for a while. Do you have ANY idea how much bandwidth would be required. The investment on bandwidth alone would kill any potential profit. Crap at this point I would settle for SD TV res.
I completely agree, but you can get HD out of a DVR box. I'm simply stating that the downloading of TV Show service, while fun, is too far behind IMO:eek:
 

SiliconAddict

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2003
5,889
0
Chicago, IL
Photorun said:
Wait, I'm shocked... SHOCKED... I tell you! Apple comes up with an idea and Microsoft copies it? That NEVER happens!

(COUGH)

Maybe someday M$ will, you know, actually innovate... nah, why should they, they've got a really big R&D department at 1 Infinite Loop.:rolleyes:
You mean like people coming out with MP3 players and then all of a sudden Apple's all over the market as if they invented it? :rolleyes: No biasness here. None at all. :rolleyes:

In this case the possibility exists for MS to come in and do it right. What Apple has put out so far isn't right. It’s a hodgepodge of shows, low resolutions, and a small screen on a single device.
 

Websnapx2

macrumors regular
Apr 24, 2003
236
97
Actually, I just got the AV cables from apple for my iPod and the video look quite decent, not quite dvd, but quite good. You don't have to watch on your screen, ordinary video on a high resolution monitor (like a comp monitor) never looks perfect. That's just fact.
 

Porchland

macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2004
1,071
0
Georgia
Wonder Boy said:
i can see a subscription model work for tv shows. i tried writing something to explain myself, but it just came across as bad writing. i'm too tired to think. but for some reason, only known to me, i think the subscription service could work.
Apple may be headed the same direction. I have a hunch we may see some sort of a "season pass" for content on a Mac mini media center, maybe for "American Idol," "24" or "Scrubs" or a whole lot of shows.

There are obviously some issues to be worked out for how you market content that you could download to your TV and your iPod: Do you use the cable model and allow all you can eat for a flat fee and a little extra for premium content? Do you use the iTunes model and continue to charge $1.99 per show? Do you split up what works on your TV from what works on your iPod and use different models for each?

This is basically the same issue Apple faced when Napster started getting some buzz for the subscription model, and Apple came down on the side of the per-download model.

The per-download seems less workable for content that you would watch on your TV, since nobody's going to pay $1.99 a pop to watch 30-minute and one-hour shows on their TV. (Even if you replaced your cable completely, watching an average of two shows a day would cost you $120 a month. That is just not going to happen.)

Big decisions coming if Apple is going to get into the set-top market.
 

SiliconAddict

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2003
5,889
0
Chicago, IL
evomac said:
I completely agree, but you can get HD out of a DVR box. I'm simply stating that the downloading of TV Show service, while fun, is too far behind IMO:eek:
Yah. DVR's are the way to go. I don’t have one yet but that is simply because its cost prohibitive to run another long from the DirectTV dish for now. Actually I've always thought the NetFlix method is the way to go. In between being a DVR and a NetFlix system using the net as the mailing medium. So you plug in your Apple Mac Mini. Connect it to the net. Bring up the iTMS and the all you can eat option. Select 10 or more movies \ TV Shows you want to view. The first 3 movies \ TV shows start downloading at a high transfer rate. Once those are downloaded everything after that downloads at a much slower rate. Almost 56k modem speed. Day and night. As long as you have your movie list stocked you should be fine. Its not video on demand but its close.