I like my Apple TV. It is a little device that has made watching Netflix, iTunes Movies/TV Shows, the NFL Network, and all sorts of streaming content very easy. It is a tiny box that matches the color of my television and seamlessly integrates with my living room hardware.
CES has come and gone in another stimulus overload blur. Only remnants of ideas and a few actual products making it to market will remain, but two themes stood above the rest at this year’s show: wearables and home automation. I reserve any judgment on wearables and their acceptance by consumers until Apple releases Apple Watch. It is ironic that many wearable manufacturers are relying on Apple Watch to be a success in order to ride Apple's coattails, which, by the same measure, will likely put dozens of device makers out of business entirely. The massive onslaught of home automation was the true heart of CES. From massive touch-screens controlling virtually every light bulb and security service in the home, to Bluetooth controlled hand locks — nothing was out of bounds. It left me wondering, does anyone really care, or more precisely, how many will justify the costs to use their iPad in order to control turning off their lights instead of just flipping a wall switch or bedside lamp before going to sleep? Is changing the hue or precise brightness really that a big deal?
On Monday, Dish Network announced “Sling TV” at CES (Consumer Electronics Show). Sling TV is a $20 per month steaming service that contains a powerful package of networks, including: ESPN, ESPN 2, TNT, CNN, TBS, HGTV, Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, and more.
Apparently, Dish is the first provider that has finally identified what every consumer already knows – live sports and live news are the only valued reasons to have a cable subscription. ESPN and Fox News are the gold standards, but Dish Network has come pretty close to hitting the bulls-eye. For only $20, even I, a long term cord-cutter am considering this bundle. The package represents an incredible value. But there is a mammoth unanswered question hanging around this service — Why hasn’t Apple been able to make a deal like this?
Happy New Year. It is that time of year where predictions rule supreme, and we are never short of opinions here at T-GAAP. Therefore, here are our 2015 Predictions for Apple in 2015.
As my middle school science teacher used to quip, “The Future is coming, and there’s no stopping it!” After hearing him say this over and over again, it was no longer funny. However, you could never deny the truth in his statement. When it comes to video programming (also known as television) times are a-changing and changing quickly. The question is not whether à la carte programming will soon become the primary way we view video content, but rather which network will figure this out first, begin the dominos toppling and lead us into this brave new world.
Let there be no question, Apple had better be developing a marketing roadmap to promote Apple TV. Beyond Gene Munster’s near obsession with the mythical Apple TV + HDTV combo idea, Apple needs to start implanting the currently shipping Apple TV into the consciousness of would-be buyers’ minds now, or risk losing the content-streaming-war to more aggressive rivals.
It has been three years since Steve Jobs’ passing. Before his last public moments biographer Walter Isaacson recorded Steve Jobs claimed that he had “cracked the code” on how to revolutionize television.
It has been rumored for years. Mock ups have been made. Analysts have proclaimed launch season after launch season, year after year after year. Yet for all the hype and wondrous prototype possibilities that may – or may not – be hidden deep within Apple’s design labs, a 4K/UHD TV that sports an Apple logo may never be in the cards. Our condolences to Gene Munster.
Whether or not Apple could change the way a television functions and interacts with the user is the wrong question to ask. Apple is more than capable of creating markets from scratch and reinvent nascent technologies into something brand new and better. The right question to ask is whether creating a state-of-the-art TV would be worth it for Apple?
Ever since Apple TV, Roku and other internet streaming devices have been available for your television, more and more people have “cut the cord” by canceling their subscriptions to cable and satellite providers. What has been missing is the ability to get any and all content apart from cable and satellite providers, also known as a la carte programming. Instead of being forced to buy bundles — with channels and programs no one watches — a la carte programming lets people purchase only what they want. It would be like being forced to buy a meal at McDonald’s. There would be no ability to just buy a drink or just a hamburger, in order to get either item you have to buy both — with fries.