Anything Less and iTV Won't Change Anything

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by MICHAELSD, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040


    Jul 13, 2008
    It seems very likely that Apple will release a new, significantly updated Apple TV renamed "iTV." It seems a lock that there will be little local storage space and that most content will be streamed to the iTV. There will also likely be an App Store. How TV shows are purchased and how the App Store works are the major make or break points for the iTV. Here are the options iTV has to have at least one of to really be revolutionary.

    Option 1:

    A $14.99/month subscription service that includes all but the newest seasons of TV shows from every major network, including HBO and Showtime. The subscription would also allow users to rent $.69 720p (preferably 1080p) episodes from a current season minutes after an episode airs. Additionally, an ability for live programs to be purchased/rented in advance, then streamed in real-time.

    Option 2:

    Allow users to pay per network for a channel(s) with the same content as standard cable, but with reduced or no ads. So, for example a 41 minute episode may air in a 60 minute block with little or no ads, and a user can choose to replay the episode from the beginning anytime after the block starts on cable TV. The episode is not actually part of a continuous stream, but the episode file is individually streamed to each user. Apple receives copies of episodes in advance before they air, and all content from TV networks is an individual .mp4 file that is broadcast in sync with a cable network minus ads. This would allow users to view every season of a TV show that airs on a network they're subscribed to, including the most current season, and users have full control over content once it's done airing on a cable network (so you can restart an episode, of i.e. House during its 8pm-9pm timeframe, but you can't fast forward and see the ending before cable TV does).

    Continuing the idea above, the only time episodes wouldn't be streamed individually would be for live content, such as sports or contests, etc. Ads would have to be present in live content since dead space would be difficult to fill and would be most conveniently filled with advertisements. Instead of having ads take up 20 minutes of every hour you watch TV otherwise, you pay for each network to get this super-premium service. Anything that airs on the network you would have full access to. So, since Fox has access to the first five seasons of The Office even though it's NBC's show, you would also be able to watch any episode Fox has access to without subscribing to NBC, though a NBC subscription would also allow you to watch the newer episodes that Fox doesn't have yet. You pay $6.99-$9.99 for a service such as HBO or Showtime and get access to many of the episodes of the shows the network owns On Demand, and there's no commercials even on the multiple channels you get access to.

    Why not have the option to pay $6.99-$12.99 per network to get access to every episode a network owns without ads? If a network gets 10 million premium subscribers, that would roughly be about a billion per year from that, plus advertisers would still be paying since the majority would still be watching shows with ads and annoying commercial breaks. Splitting up a TV episode into parts and taking 3-4 minute breaks between them gets annoying and pulls you out of an episode. This service would render DVR's useless and annoying. As DVR's become more common, advertisers will realize that their ads are fast-forwarded through in the modern day, so they'll begin to find new ways to advertise and networks will need to come to this option some day soon, anyway. DVR's have to be managed by the user, with this option, whatever content you want (and pay for) is just there.

    Paying $70 per month for a commercial-free Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS, Showtime, and HBO among others with access to every episode the network owns as well sounds infinitely more appealing than $70/month for comparable cable that includes ads. Who knows, that plan may also include Nickelodeon for the kids, and some niche channels that don't cost nearly as much to operate. You always have free OTA cable (a lot of it available in HD) for any niche shows not on those networks. Streaming each episode individually and allowing users to access any episode a network owns commercial-free would absolutely revolutionize television and wouldn't hurt the networks at all when they're getting paid $6.99-$12.99 per month and they also still have a significant amount of people watching ad-supported TV.

    I would love this option. I can't stand commercials at all, especially after really getting into cable network shows and using Netflix Instant Watch for most of my summer TV viewing. Make it happen for the 2010-2011 season, :apple:.
  2. iSee macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2004
    I like the options, but I think the price points are unrealistically low for no-ad content.

    I think live or same-night streaming is coming eventually (sooner rather than later) but will most likely always include ads. Ads pay a lot of bills and I think advertisers are going to demand this because it's the one time where skipping ads is hardest to do and demand for the content is likely to be the greaest. Of course they'll also insist on players don't allow convenient ways to skip the ads.
  3. w00master macrumors 65816

    Jul 18, 2002
    Love all of these ideas, but this ain't gonna happen.

  4. MICHAELSD thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jul 13, 2008
    I don't think the price-points are bad. I'd expect about five million people to pay Fox $9.99-$12.99 per month by the end of the year if they were able to have the network on the iTV service. That's around $500-$700 million dollars, and ads will still be in full effect on the regular Fox network, if anything a little cheaper because they'll be reaching less people, but Fox would have the money to support that from iTV subscribers.

    If iTV doesn't finally change the way we watch TV, it's gonna fail as a revolutionary product, but succeed in providing value. A $99 media server with an App Store sounds good, and I'd buy that mainly due to the value, but I still won't buy TV shows or movies from iTunes. TV is partly about flipping through channels, trying new shows risk-free, rather than isolating yourself into renting a few seasons for $22 each. With the quality of television shows constantly increasing, commercials don't fit into a drama or comedy anymore. We can keep them during live shows (how else should Apple fill dead time?) but it's time we just paid a few networks to watch quality shows uninterrupted like we do Showtime and HBO.
  5. boston04and07 macrumors 65816


    May 13, 2008
    I would absolutely love something like that. Just being able to watch a show "live" through iTunes or the same night would be great for those of us without cable. Hope we'll see something even remotely like this on Sept 1...but who knows.
  6. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    won't happen.

    content pricing and availability is mostly out of Apple's hands.

    iTVwill sell well just as an iPOd dock, & av cable substitute at $99. Much less hassle and just as cheap.

    Never mind that you're also getting a video renting machine connected to iTunes.

    These 2 features alone offer great value at $99.

    IF apps are allowed to same 3rd parties as iPad allows then I buy 2 of them. That would mean Netflix support. Hulu support. Amazon-on-demand support would be the last icing on the cake. I'd like to have my choice in video content providers not just iTunes. Remains to be seen if all this happens. But so far Apple supports kIndle on iPad along with their own iBook store - ok only probably because Amazon has the lead in the ebook market and are associated with books in general.

    I do expect some Apple tax though. Remote is extra. Model you really want with more flash memory is $179. That sort of thing. EAsy to forget this is rumor too. may never happen or not be $99.

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