Apple Plots Its TV Assault
As someone who doesn’t watch “TV” I say that the biggest part of providers problem is the Bundle system. By restricting certain periumum channels to costly bundles (on top of already pricey base subscriptions) and having those channels not be “on-demand” it makes it unpalatable for people watching their wallets… or raised cheapskates like me.
Then again I’m one of those people so far outside the norm of the typical TV viewer general TV or cable has virtually nothing to offer me. When it does (SciFi/Fantasy) it is often restricted to expensively bundled periumum channels or pulled off the air after a handful of shows. And they always put them in the most inconvenient time slots possible. Even the news programs I find depressing, overly spun, and uninformative sound bite drivel. Which I can get theses days from people shooting their mouths off on blogs and forums…. No offense TMOers. Look-it even I can be a gas-bag pundent with an opinonianted opinion (see below).
The providers model is fundementally broken for attracting new young customers (like me in my late 20s with somehow a steady and slightly disposable income). Hulu provides what I want, when I want, which is NOT the normal TV junk they also host. But even then I don’t watch enough Hulu to justify a monthly HuluPlus (that still includes Ads). Maybe if they had a sub-section subscription that took the Ads off just the one or two areas I care about then I’d consider it….
Seeing the problem? TV doesnt provide a product I want. Various far more flexible Interent business do. Hulu is far more likely in the future to adapt its subscription model then Comcast or even Cox.
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To switch gears, let’s talk about bandwidth usage. If you start with the idea that a Cable provider is nothing more then a pipe for data (digital TV shows being included in data). A digital SDTV cable runs at what, something like 5 Mbps. Digital HDTV runs let’s say 10 to 12 Mbps to be generous (after doing some quick and dirty Googling). I currently pay for a 15 Mbps Internet pipe at $50 a month (maybe I should upgrade to 30 @ $64… but I digress). The what I would call a normal cable package for the “Essentials” is nearly $60 a month for something like 100 channels. Why should I pay for a secondary pipe running at best maybe 15 Mbps with a highly limited selection of content/control when I could pay ~10 dollars more then I do now and double my bandwidth with full control over the content being streamed to me (including using it for functions other then static TV).
Put another way. I could get my Anime fix by paying 50 + 8 HuluPlus (for all Hulu’s stuff to my iPad) or 70 for cable pack that gets me “access” to OnDemand + 7 for the AnimeNetwork. $58 vs $77, oh and I can do TF2/WoW/Skype/Etc off the $58. What this tells me is the value of the pipe is about $50 while the content is $20. Why then am I asked to pay $130 if I want 30 Mbps and “OnDemand” TV when I really only should be paying about $70 - 80 and letting the “TV” suck up half my download speed when/if its HD. Unless, as is the case, the pricing structure is not based on a rational derivation of pure data through-put and price of content.
Basackwards non-sensical highly variable legacy pricing structures on redundant services. Apple doesn’t need to make a physical TV to fix this. It doesn’t need voice control or gestures. All they have to do is trim this hedge maze down to the core and then offer the bits people want in a far more rational and cleaner to access way. Plus simplify the “ordering” of additional content.
[This post was removed because the moderators arbitrarily censor.][ Edited: 08 January 2012 04:43 AM by the_dragonfly ]
In any society, when the rules are not enforced on some segment of the population, that segment will become increasingly abusive to the innocent. Examples: Cops & Old Timers on this forum.
Real 4G (LTE Advanced) is coming. This promises 1Gbps to fixed endpoints (I.e. Apple TV in your house) and 100Mbps to endpoints in motion (your iPhone in your car). That solves the last mile bandwidth problem (though still subject to the vagaries of radio dead spots).
Most programming on my Time Warner Cable is still in standard definition. If that is provided in higher quality over the cloud through Apple TV then that’s a clear win for me. Most people seem unaware of what they are missing.
I’d guess that build-out would not require new towers, but rather just transmitters on existing towers and backhaul equipment. The beauty is that Apple can utilize cable/dsl Internet aceess until their system is ready.
The explosion of audio content providers enabled by streaming audio & podcasts, and app developers with the app store, will be repeated for video. Someday. Within 5 years. But Apple’s not going to say anything until it is ready to roll.