Apple television plans still bogged down in media negotiations

For those waiting on a full-on Apple television set, or even an enhanced Apple TV will more traditional capabilities, it looks like you'll have to keep waiting, at least for now. While Apple is likely ready to go from a technology standpoint, they can't seem to come to agreements with entrenched, terrified media companies over the future of the living room interface and experience. Adam Satariano and Alex Sherman report for Bloomberg:

In recent negotiations, the main stumbling blocks with cable companies have included a tussle for control over the software that determines the screen interface -- the look and feel of the viewer’s experience, said people familiar with the discussions.

Bloomberg also succinctly sums up what Apple's plans are for the living room:

Since the middle of the last decade, Apple’s engineers have been working on a more advanced product to allow viewers to quickly find shows and movies, blending both live and recorded material, the people said. It would recommend content based on interests and work seamlessly with Apple’s family of other devices. An iPhone or iPad would double as a remote control, the people said.

According to Bloomberg, Apple most recently focused on deals to gain access to live programming from cable companies, without having to make completely new content deals. Apparently, however, the cable companies are worried that Apple will intermediate their customer relationships and don't find the prospect of more future-thinking business models appealing enough to risk the old, decaying ones.

And that's the downer in all this -- even if Apple's negotiations pan out, the best we'll get with this type of deal is an Apple TiVo, and not the product Apple really wants to make. Short of using some of that $100 billion in the bank to buy cable companies -- and they could never buy enough, globally enough -- and drag them kicking and screaming into a new and better world, we're all going to be held hostage to the fears, contracts, and comfort of the past.

Read the whole, sordid story via the link below.

Source: Bloomberg