Since last Fall, all the attention of those who carefully follow what Apple does have been focused on Apple Watch, iPhone, Apple Pay and most recently a stunning new MacBook. From all the predictions from way back in 2010 until now (including some here at T-GAAP), Apple TV has made little progress from its hobby status.
If Dish Network believes Sling TV is akin to hitting a home run, they may be right. And while it may not be bottom of the 9th with the bases loaded with the game on the line, it is at least the bottom of the 7th. The problem? Dish Network, standing over the plate, just struck out.
T-GAAP was able to test Sling TV before it launched publicly, and while first impressions were favorable, as a Mac and iOS user, after several days of use the experience fell flat.
Some say Apple’s inability to pull off content deals with resistant networks is hampering the diminutive little device from being a runaway success. Others have said Apple TV is dated due to a lack of hacking features that no longer work, while others are bemoaning the fact that Apple has not updated its disappearing-in-couch remote, nor has Apple added voice control. None of these are major issues slowing down Apple TV.
At the heart of Apple TV's problems is the entertainment industry itself, and the reason is simple.
Dish Network has managed to pull off a near perfect cord cutter miracle. Dish Network’s Sling TV delivers live streaming of some of the most popular cable networks, creating a “network mini-bundle” for only $20 a month. ESPN, EPSN2, TNT, TBS, CNN, Disney, Cartoon Network, HGTV, and many more worthy channels. The bundle is a fantastic solution for those without cable, and Dish Network gave T-GAAP the keys to beta test Sling TV. There’s only one glaring issue for Dish Networks shiny new toy – Sling TV is not on Apple TV (yet) and is not able to work with Airplay from iOS. However, we at T-GAAP have a solution to get Sling TV onto your television thru Apple TV.
A while back we reviewed AirParrot, but the software has since grown in maturity with in AirParrot 2. (Squirrels, the company who created AirParrot, is located in the high-tech capital of the U.S., in North Canton, Ohio). Regardless of where they guys/gals are located, they make great software.
A good CEO knows that if their company rests on its success, impending doom will soon be at their doorstep. IBM became distracted and complacent. Microsoft believed it was invincible with over 90% market share. Thank goodness Tim Cook and Apple think differently.
Cook knows that despite all the success and glory with the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad and the resurgence of the Mac, if Apple stands still history shows that Apple’s fate is certain — decline. While IBM and Microsoft are still with us today, they are not the companies they were at the peak of their success. The question is how Apple will maintain its success into the next decade.
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.