Kevin Rose: new Apple TV/iTV will change everything

Digg founder Kevin Rose thinks the upcoming $99, iOS-powered Apple TV/iTV will change everything when it launches this September:

  • iOS TV Applications: Expect to see an iPhone/Pad like marketplace for television applications. Video sharing/streaming/recording apps, interactive news apps, and of course games.
  • a la carte (app) stations: With Apple's iAds, content producers (eg. ABC/NBC/etc.) can directly monetize and distribute their content. This will eventually destroy the television side of the cable and satellite industry, as your only requirement to access these on-demand stations will be an internet connection. Say goodbye to your monthly cable bill.
  • .Me Picture/Video sharing: At $99 your parents, grandparents, and friends will have an iTV. Sharing pictures/videos from your iPhone will happen with the push of a button. Imagine getting a notification of new family videos the next time you turn on your TV. My mom will love this feature.
  • The iPad will turn into one big badass remote control: The iPad will be the preferred input device for the iTV. You'll be able to editing videos, control games, and extend the interactive television experience. Imagine watching monday night football on the TV while viewing/exploring other camera angles on the iPad.

Rose has mixed history on Apple rumors. He's nailed some big scoops over the years, but he's also been wrong on more than one occasion. Which is this, far out or far fetched?

[Kevin Rose]

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Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Kevin Rose: new Apple TV/iTV will change everything

42 Comments

Cable will never go away. Yeah its cool to be able to watch programs later "on-demand" but nothing beats live TV. Can you order a PPV fight from apple tv? Can i watch my local news? I just cant see it being enough content to replace an actual TV. People always say...i only watch 3 shows etc. You say that now...take away your Tv and see what happens. In theory it sounds great. The grass always looks greener from the other side...just get rid of your cable and watch you find every conceivable flaw in these types of things. This is just my opinion

There aren't rumors, they're just simple rational deductions, and Rose doesn't go very far here. They do sound too much like Apple PR though. Specifically, they have to do with expectations that aren't completely realistic. The iPad was supposed to revolutionize the print industry, but not all print companies are in line with Apple's iTunes store policies. The NYT didn't go with an all-pay subscription model as anticipated. Hulu-Plus is not in wide release and is barely off the ground. These statements by Rose are all things one might expect Apple to say about the iTV. But the specifics about whether content providers will go along with it or whether iAds, a mobile in-app advertising service, can be transformed into a replacement for TV commercials, are conjectures that are pretty dubious in the practical world.

As others are saying, it all seems highly feasible, and the one major drawback is live tv- it's essential for sports. If the media companies play nice with apple and allow for actual distribution of their lineups without nickel and diming the consumer, AND figure out how utilize live tv, I'm on board.

"Cable is Dead.", right? It's a nice vision, and all it takes is for all content providers, consumers, cable providers, and other competitors to go along with the plan.
We're clearly moving to a more on-demand world, and maybe more a la carte. Except the same people that control cable control the internet pipes needed for iTV, and they want their $100 a month one way or another.

@J.Johnson that's why you strip your cable service down to the most basic package. Keep your locals, maybe a premium channel (HBO) and you can still order pay per views.
That's what I've done. I never channel surf, I watch the same shows every week so I double checked and they're all either on iTunes or huluplus and the ones that aren't are on the network website.
Why should I continue paying $190/month for service I don't use? It's much cheaper to pay $30/mth for the cable and then $40 via iTunes for the shows I watch oh yah and then the $10 for huluplus.
So you're right, cable will always be around but I'm not feeding them a huge portion of my check anymore. I'd rather have multiple services and pay less than half of my cable bill.

Hmm, the business model for this doesn't make sense. Apple TV / iTV can really only hope to be an add-on device, never one which will dominate to iPhone / iPod like proportions.
If Apple's product took off then Cable / Satelite providers as we know them would cease to exist. Due to Apple's desite to vertically integrate their market, the current Cable / Satelite broadcasters would become little more than providers of telecomms infrastruture. This sounds fine in theory until you realise that raw data xfer doesn't make for high revenues, add-on services the likes of which Apple hope to offer do.
I can't see this working unless Apple would be prepared to share content revenue with the network providers... and we all know how much Apple loves sharing.

Cable will still not be dead. We should wait a little more for that. But still iTv will change the game a lot.

The current TV business model is broken.
What's broken is the advertising. Advertisers have to pay to send their message in a scattergun fashion. They shove ads at the wrong people. Most ads completely miss the target.
The viewers hate the advertising, because most of it is not valuable to them.
This model also democratises TV - in the same way that the web democratised publishing. Anyone can make content....And if it finds an audience, the creator will get a big share of the advertising revenue. Just think about that.
A model like this could completely change the 60-year old TV business model of television.
Google wants to do the same thing. But Apple have learned a thing or two from the bruising they took from AppleTV version 1.
C.

Google/Verizon & Apple are all using Apps to take cntrl of Internet to destroy Net Neutrality. Once we're all onto Internet TV devices the standard, extra & premium Internet Connections, just like Cable or Satellite TV will return. They first have to integrate their devices in our homes. Its clever, its wicked, its clear 110% evil. The best part is, Internet users are funding their own demise of natural born sovereign rights. Corporatism is winning again...

I've been waiting for a "cable killer" for a long time, something that can play HD on my television, of course. I really hope this works out, I've never understood the concept of charging $150+ for cable, when half the time there's nothing good on.

As much of an Apple fanboy as I am...( I own 2 Macbook pro's, ipod touch, and iphone 4), there's no way in the world iTV will be revolutionary. 720p is OLD technology, and there is an appreciable difference. If this bad boy packs in 1080p I'll pre-order it, but if not no thanks!!! The 2nd Gen will have to have it.

Just a quick question for you guys. I have a lot of dvds (movies and tv shows) that I've ripped to my computer and converted to mv4 to load in iTunes. All the .m4v files are located on my external hard drive and I just have iTunes point there to find and play them. If i buy the Apple TV/iTV and have my computer and external on and plugged in, it should find them, sync them, and play them on my tv, right?

Not at a max res of 1080i, it won't. Even though current TV broadcasts max out at 1080i, there is too much digital content -- both locally stored and streamed -- that goes beyond. Once it's possible to legally download bluray content, including HD audio, the iTV won't be able to handle it.
As usual, Apple probably won't "get it right" until versions 3 or 4...

I would've ditched cable and switched to AppleTV long ago if I could watch live sports on it. Until that happens, plenty of people will stay with cable.

I'm afraid I exist in a minority that has not had cable in many, many years. My only exposure is when I stay at hotels, and that's beyond obnoxious. If I watch video it's on the iPhone and we rent movies. I'm a news junkie but cable news gets so repetitive. There are some great shows out there, Just not worth it for me to pay for cable, tevo and all the other things that can suck my money and time better spent with my son.
I would be very interested in Apple bringing more a la carte. Interface with iPad and I phone, schweet!

Maybe it's not all about TV... Maybe Apple is shooting for a game console to compete with Xbox and Playstation --- they've got the app store, their portable (iPod touch) now try just need their console!

With current pricing for content from Apple you would be looking at $2-3 dollars / hour. With traditional cable providers I would guess the rate is more like $2-$3 dollars per day. Mr Rose has no children, I'm guessing his viewing habits are much like mine a few hours / week. The rest of my family consumes content. Cable isn't going away. Not to mention this wouldn't work for all those folks watching water cooler shows like American Idol, America's Got Talent, Dancing with the Stars, and so on... Oh and Live Sports really kills it for 90% of sports fans.

Lol @ at putting cable companies out of business, I mean come on. The rumors and hype are really just comical now.

Here in Ireland and the UK we already have live streaming Sports through Sky satellite TV. The quality on iPhone and iPad is outstanding. The only problem is that it's 40 seconds behind the live satellite broadcast, presumably because they need the gap to encode the picture and serve perhaps 100,000+ streams.

Hell.. For 99 bucks?!? Sign me up!!! So what if it doesn't "kill cable" it's still something new and different to try out.. And at that price point even if you use it twice a week, you won't be at a lose. I have coats that cost more than that, that I can only wear on extremely cold days. During a 2 month span!

With Apple, you can be sure that even if all of these features are in their plans, it will take several years of iteration to get this good. Just like the iPhone is exponentially more useful now than it was in 2007 and the iPad will undergo a similar evolution, the iTV will probably be revolutionary, yet limited at first. One thing is for sure, if it even had a quarter of these features it would be 1000 times better than the useless Apple TV offering that is currently out there.

Like Orion2021, I ditched cable months ago (8 to be exact) and I don't miss it one bit. I truly did only ever watch 3 shows on a consistant basis and those I downloaded for awhile after cancelling cable. Now I don't even download them that often. Other things have filled the void that TV filled.
It's not for everyone but ditching TV was the right move for me. Plus, It's saved me $70 a month. :)

i don't watch live tv anymore .. just plex movies and bbc iplayer ..
i turned on the tv the other day whilst reinstalling my mac.... adverts are like eye rape when you haven't seen them for a while .. way too much.

For one the price of this thing won't be $99/£64 god the original Apple tv is still here in the UK £200+.
Also even if it's £64 I pay less for what I have through virgin media, XL TV, XL Broadband and XL phone package all for £55 a month.
Also to note this will be an iPod touh in a box like they done with the iPad stick a bigger screen on it and call it a tablet pc.
Recently Apple are taking the pi** they take an old product (ipot 3gen) and relabel it and sell it at over twice the price of the original the iPad screen isn't worth £300+ it's nuts.

Hmmm,
TVs don't have touch screens (seriously, who's going to watch TV from 18 inches away?) and iOS doesn't have mouse pointers/cursors (or mouse drivers for that matter or a way to tab between on screen controls). So, the only this $99 device will work is if you also send a couple of hundred to a couple of thousand for an iPod Touch, iPad, or iPhone?!?
Apparently this guy also doesn't remember that the AppleTV was originally introduced as iTV and Apple was forced to change the name after they encountered legal resistance to multiple trademark owners for "iTV" (one of them a British TV station with a 50 year history).

I don't cable needs to be worried just yet but with the big boys (Google and Apple) starting to move onto their turf I think they need to be careful.
Why couldn't live events be streamed through iTV? All Apple needs to do is get the business model right and the content providers will be there.

you're NOT killing cable because large numbers of the people in the world love LIVE sports and cable pays for it.
And this doesn't give you enough format support to make it a winner.

Think about it. If AppleTV was as cheap as a Nintendo/Sony/XBox gaming console, then it would be far more popular. However, it's not really revolutionary. Basically, AppleTV becomes a worthwhile competitor to the gaming consoles I've mentioned.

It has already begun. Two devices, Roku which allows you to stream Netflix to you TV at 1080i. I only have the most basic cable which is a little over $12.00 a month plus taxes and fees. I also use cable for internet access. If I dropped all cable TV my internet jumps $10.00 a month so in reality it is $2.00 a month plus. I also have a SkyAngel iPTV, it streams at SD but the company that handles it just introduced an HD version. It is faith and family based TV but includes NFL Network, MLB Channel, Versus, and several other sports channels. It runs $25.00. So with Netflix, SkyAngel, and basic cable I am under $100.00 a month for TV and internet. I'll add iTV if it is what is stated. I have the current generation of Apple TV to purchase movies.

I currently don't have cable, my main source for entertainment on the TV is netflix through my 360, if apple came up with a subscription service that was reasonable I might buy. The best set up for a tv is a mini computer of some kind. It can stream hulu and go to most popular tv sites and stream the shows from there.

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