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The Wall Street Journal also suspects features like social media tools

Apple is planning to release a set-top box with a myriad of new features onboard, but it must contend with cable operators and entertainment companies first.

The new Apple set-top box device has one main goal: to offer both live and on-demand content in one place. The digital-video recorder (DVR) would store TV shows on the Web, allowing customers to watch it at any time.

Apple already offers the $99 Apple TV, which is a digital media receiver that plays digital content originating from the iTunes Store, Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, etc. However, Apple is looking to release something with added features to draw customers.

Specific features associated with the new Apple set-top box are speculative at the moment, but The Wall Street Journal proposed likely new additions like an iPad-like user interface, which would be both familiar to most customers and easier for them to use, and also social media options that allow people to share their TV shows through networks like Facebook and Twitter.

But in order to launch Apple's latest idea, it has to work with cable operators and entertainment companies -- and that's not the easiest thing to do. Why? Mainly because cable operators have their own competitive set-top box products, and entertainment companies don't want Apple changing the current pay TV method and gaining more power with more licensing rights to content in the long run.

However, Apple's latest TV idea isn't out to disrupt the pay TV business model. It's not throwing out sci-fi ideas to ruin the cable industry, but rather, offer improvements on options already available. For example, Apple's set-top box aims to allow customers to access all episodes of a TV show rather than just select episodes of a current season. It also wants older seasons to be available as well.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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WOW !!!
By momorere on 8/17/2012 2:03:43 PM , Rating: 5
You mean to tell me that Apple's innovation and inventions with this product is in the hopes of having older seasons/episodes of shows available just like I've had with Hulu Plus and Netflix for years now ?? And the ability to share thoughts/comments on shows like Hulu Plus has been doing for awhile now too ?? NOW THAT IS INNOVATION !!!

RE: WOW !!!
By amanojaku on 8/17/2012 3:00:43 PM , Rating: 5
Did you notice the flat, rectangular shape with curved corners? They should patent that!!!

RE: WOW !!!
By headbox on 8/17/12, Rating: -1
RE: WOW !!!
By DJ Brandon on 8/20/2012 10:09:09 PM , Rating: 1
Only thing sadder than an Apple fanboi is the anti-Apple-fanboi. Life is short. Go get some rays of sunshine while your hotpocket cooks for a couple minutes.

Since he made a joke it means he hates apple? Man, can people do ANYTHING anymore without being insulted? Sounds like someone needs to get laid.

RE: WOW !!!
By DJ Brandon on 8/20/2012 10:11:59 PM , Rating: 2
Did you notice the flat, rectangular shape with curved corners? They should patent that!!!


RE: WOW !!!
By kleinma on 8/17/2012 3:03:43 PM , Rating: 2
It is different. This time Apple invented those things that already existed, which makes it better.

RE: WOW !!!
By FITCamaro on 8/18/2012 6:09:39 PM , Rating: 2
Stay tuned for the patent.

RE: WOW !!!
By headbox on 8/19/2012 8:58:04 PM , Rating: 2
WOW! You're whining about what's speculated by the blogger, not what the actual product can do. Your life is so empty, you have to log in and troll Apple rumor articles. So sad for you... actually no- I'm laughing at you.

RE: WOW !!!
By StanO360 on 8/17/2012 4:27:33 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, you can get things "On Demand" whoa!!

RE: WOW !!!
By danjw1 on 8/18/2012 11:30:23 AM , Rating: 4
You missed Amazon Prime, which I use to watch TV shows that I missed when I was in the Navy and college. Nothing new here, you are right about that. But Apple doesn't really innovate, they just steal other peoples ideas. ;-) Steve Jobs favorite quote was: "Good artists borrow, great artist steal". Of course, that is what they are accusing everyone else of doing to them.

More seriously, Apple is very good at industrial design. They are also good at locking down supplies to help lock others out of competing on a level playing field. But, like they say, all is fair in love and war.

RE: WOW !!!
By Tony Swash on 8/18/12, Rating: -1
RE: WOW !!!
By danjw1 on 8/18/2012 2:37:53 PM , Rating: 3
The have been found to steal the technology for the swipe unlock. That was used by another company well before they came out with it. The problem is that the patent office is so broken that they grant patents, just because companies like Apple and Amazon file them. They used to have the claim that they didn't have enough funding, but they are granting these patents even now that they get to keep all the fees they collect.

Software and design patents are harmful to innovation. Even a federal judge has come to understand this. Apple is quickly becoming a patent troll simply because they can't compete with Samsung. If they were innovating they wouldn't be trying to sue their competitors out of the market. Even own of their own attorneys said as much.

RE: WOW !!!
By danjw1 on 8/18/2012 2:39:32 PM , Rating: 2
Err, "Even own of their own" should read "Even one of their own"

RE: WOW !!!
By Tony Swash on 8/18/12, Rating: 0
RE: WOW !!!
By ritualm on 8/18/2012 5:18:12 PM , Rating: 3
A productive patent troll is still a patent troll.

You lose, dingbat.

RE: WOW !!!
By Tony Swash on 8/18/12, Rating: -1
RE: WOW !!!
By FITCamaro on 8/18/2012 6:14:39 PM , Rating: 5

HTC was doing just fine making money from their Android phones before Apple sued them as well.

Apple can't compete with the rapid development of Android devices so they're suing everyone they can on patents they were able to get on ideas they didn't invent so they can get a piece of everyone's action. They weren't the first to do many things. They were just the first to put it into a phone. Doesn't mean they invented it though.

And their design patents around certain form factor ideas are absolutely ridiculous. They were not the first to make devices in those shapes.

RE: WOW !!!
By Tony Swash on 8/18/12, Rating: 0
RE: WOW !!!
By Reclaimer77 on 8/18/2012 7:33:31 PM , Rating: 2
Right, having highly anticipated flagship phones like the One X being blocked and sitting on the docks for like a month because of Apple had "zero" impact.

Having to pay Microsoft $20 or whatever the fee is now, PER handset sale also has "zero" impact.

Tony you must stand on your head a lot, because your world is upside down.

RE: WOW !!!
By Reclaimer77 on 8/18/2012 7:37:33 PM , Rating: 3
Also only an idiot would say Android hasn't benefited HTC. Without Android we wouldn't even be talking about HTC right now. What would they use instead to remain competitive? Symbian? HA! Windows Phone? LAWL!

RE: WOW !!!
By Tony Swash on 8/19/12, Rating: 0
RE: WOW !!!
By theapparition on 8/20/2012 10:24:28 AM , Rating: 2
Do you even know what the term "patent troll" means dingbat?

Uh oh. Tony's getting a little testy.

Funny that you're the first one to cry foul when derogatory names start to fly. I see you've sunk to the same level of those you accuse. Nice.

Apple and iOS is crushing the Android business model, there is simply no comparison.

And here you're acting like your 12. Good job for someone who protrays themselves as an educated adult.

Samsung is the only company that can make any profits from Android and they do it by copying Apple - poorly.

Half the tech inside those fancy iDevices is made by Samsung. And considering that Samsung has outsold iPhones, I'd say they are not doing poorly.

I've come to see quite a dichotomy between some of your posts. Sometimes you're the family man, others the educated world traveler. And sometimes, you act like a petulant child. While some might claim a psychotic disorder, I'd bet that your troll account is just being managed by different paid actors. That would explain a lot.

RE: WOW !!!
By Tony Swash on 8/20/12, Rating: 0
RE: WOW !!!
By senecarr on 8/20/2012 1:40:08 PM , Rating: 2
Note he said becoming , meaning he does know what patent troll means, but you might need to pay more attention while reading. If he didn't know, he'd just say Apple is a patent troll. As Apple's market share shrinks, and its number of lawsuits go up, it heads in the direction of no sales, all lawsuits.

More bad, outdated TV content?
By woody1 on 8/19/2012 10:51:43 AM , Rating: 2
More bad, outdated TV? Hulu already offers that, and it's kind of useless. TV over internet will not be very useful until you can subscribe to current TV shows.

RE: More bad, outdated TV content?
By momorere on 8/19/2012 3:16:35 PM , Rating: 2
Do you not know how Hulu Plus works ? Apparently not. 95% of shows are available on Hulu Plus the morning after they air on TV. And, you can watch previous seasons of shows too.

By Reclaimer77 on 8/19/2012 6:17:10 PM , Rating: 3
Wake me up when it's commercial free. Until then, Netflix > Hulu

Amazon Already Does This
By Akerans on 8/17/2012 6:46:11 PM , Rating: 3
Apple's set-top box aims to allow customers to access all episodes of a TV show rather than just select episodes of a current season. It also wants older seasons to be available as well.

I can't see spending another $100, on yet another device, especially when Amazon let's me stream current and older seasons through the devices I already own; which only required a free software download.

Granted, I have to pay for what I want to watch through Amazon. But, how much more will Apple charge for the exact same thing, on top of that $100 box?

By menotu on 8/17/2012 11:10:33 PM , Rating: 2
great... I've been trying to kick the TV habit.. now that the major sleazy dealer Apple will be involved ... I'll finally stop...
thanks Timmy

They are almost there already
By Dug on 8/20/2012 1:55:24 PM , Rating: 2
Currently you get Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc on the Apple TV.
You can get almost any show you want from iTunes right now.
It is a very good device with airplay from both Mac and Ipad so you can watch anything that's on your computer.

The only missing thing is recording. But recording to the cloud doesn't make sense for a home consumer. Too much bandwidth if you have multiple TV's.

By Cheesew1z69 on 8/17/12, Rating: -1
RE: Yawn....
By tng on 8/17/2012 1:37:09 PM , Rating: 2
Who cares...

Well, somebody at Apple...

What they don't realize is this is not a computer or a smartphone. The STB industry is full of companies like Time Warner and Comcast that will find a way to make any Apple STB unworkable if it cuts to far into the cable profit margin and they will do it legally to boot.

Also only die hard Apple fans will buy this when everyone of the cable companies, satellite companies and the like already have a mature and dynamic online and on-demand business.

My opinion only, but it seems like this is a "Me To" move by Apple.

RE: Yawn....
By Pirks on 8/17/2012 2:26:54 PM , Rating: 1
this is a "Me To" move by Apple
Cheesy clowns were saying the same about first iPhone

RE: Yawn....
By corduroygt on 8/17/2012 2:30:51 PM , Rating: 2
Except Apple is probably the only company who has the financial muscle to persuade these companies...never say never, you never know what's next.

RE: Yawn....
By kleinma on 8/17/2012 2:59:45 PM , Rating: 2
I doubt it. Apple wants a free ride on the internet service of the same company that wants to charge you for their STB and TV service. They don't tend to like that too much, even if they have to put up with it. So they probably will make it difficult in any way they can. Based on how Apple likes a big fat cut of everything, I am not sure how well this would work.

Unfortunatly, I view this apple STB attempt as nothing more than what has already been tried with google TV, netflix, TV on xbox, etc... they might be nice supplements to the current cable/satellite TV providers, but until they can provide all of it (including the local broadcast channels like fox, nbc, and cbs, it won't find its way into everyone's living room.

RE: Yawn....
By web2dot0 on 8/17/2012 3:31:00 PM , Rating: 2
You are not sure how this would work, that's why we have expert who knows more than you to do the job :-D

Google TV, Netflix, XBox do not have the muscle that Apple have. It's that simple. Apple is first to sign deals with record companies to create their iCloud infrastructure. So, do not underestimate competition. They have shown their abilities before, so I wouldn't write them off.

Apple is going after this at a slow the steady pace. Which is how it should be done. Nothing revolutionary happens in the cable industry. It takes time and effort. Incremental changes. Over time, consumers get used to the idea of these setup boxes, then Apple is trounce once they sense the market is turning on its head.

Move along with the times, no ahead of the times. Too fast too soon is a recipe for disaster.

RE: Yawn....
By wiz220 on 8/17/2012 3:18:20 PM , Rating: 2
Funny, I was gonna say that big content might be the only conglomerate that could possibly stop Apple :)

RE: Yawn....
By ritualm on 8/17/2012 7:03:39 PM , Rating: 2
Except, as Steve Jobs himself had said a long time ago, technology was never the issue in the TV market.

Apple will never get any of the hardline TV companies onboard without a major concession (read: potential antitrust minefield). $100-billion does you no favors here.

RE: Yawn....
By web2dot0 on 8/18/2012 7:36:26 AM , Rating: 2
Anti-trust in this new arena? Is that a joke? The market is small right now. No monopoly going on here buddy.

What the hell are you talking about?

Only Apple or something a massive cash can penetrate this market. Cable companies have too much at stake to let anyone intrude the cash cow. The solution is incremental/slow changes. Let the market dictate the pace of innovations.

Cellphone market started slow in the 90's. Once the steam picked up, look what we have now! iPhone 5 in 2012!

End users will eventual demand sophisticated programming and it's going to reach a breaking point where cable companies have NO CHOICE, but to play with Apple. It's just a matter of time.

It's kinda like music industry. You'll never get rid of music industry, but MP3 is here to stay and iPods/iTunes is going to be a new medium of consumption. Accept it, or move aside. The only frontier left to conquer is bypassing music labels to create your own album. We still haven't found a feasible way to promoting music compared to record labels can. But it's a matter of time. Not if it's gonna happen.

Never say never, it's a bad strategy to bet against innovations.

RE: Yawn....
By Reclaimer77 on 8/18/2012 9:22:10 AM , Rating: 2
Only Apple or something a massive cash can penetrate this market. Cable companies have too much at stake to let anyone intrude the cash cow.

What incentive do they have dealing with Apple? Simply because Apple has money? Cable companies aren't stupid. You think they don't notice that the only one who profits from dealing with Apple, is Apple?

Who's actually gotten the better end of the stick from partnering with Apple? And if you DO somehow manage it, Apple turns around and sues you.

RE: Yawn....
By Tony Swash on 8/17/2012 7:42:15 PM , Rating: 1
Also only die hard Apple fans will buy this

You guys are getting jizz all over your pants over a product that has not been announced and about which you know precisely nothing. Why does Apple cause you so much excitement if you don't intend to buy their products? Seems a bit weird to me.

The current Apple TV already has over 30% of the TV set top box market by the way and outsold the Xbox in the last quarter. Not bad for a hobby.

RE: Yawn....
By ritualm on 8/17/2012 9:11:41 PM , Rating: 2
Apple TV doesn't have 30% of the TV STB market, it's more like 0%. Stop fishing bogus statistics out of your butt.

RE: Yawn....
By Tony Swash on 8/18/2012 7:03:22 AM , Rating: 1
I think Apple Tv having over 30% of the STB market is pretty likely given that the other players are so weak, the market still quite small and Apple's offering is very attractive for anyone owning an Apple device - and we know ownership of the latter has been growing extremely strongly.

This article is a few months old but I can't see much has changed since then.

add that article to this data

This is a more up to date over view of the STB market

Here is an extract from the article

During the quarter ending June 2012, Apple disclosed sales of 1.3 million Apple TV units — up 170 percent from the same quarter a year before — but only after being prompted about it during the question-and-answers section of the results call. The figures brings Apple TV sales for the fiscal year to 4 million devices — roughly corresponding to the introduction of the 1080p version. Since introducing the $99 compact version of the Apple TV, the company has sold 6.8 million units.

Those numbers may not compare significantly to Apple’s other hardware businesses — during the same period, Apple sold more than 44 million iPads, over 416 million iPhones, and more than 13 million Macs. But that’s comparing (ahem) apples to oranges. How did Apple TV fare against other set-top streaming solutions?

Pretty darn well. Roku is arguably one of the most successful video streaming solutions: and at $50, it’s even cheaper than the Apple TV. Roku does not disclose sales figures, but in March 2012 Roku’s CEO claimed the company was experiencing 132 percent year-on-year growth, and reports had put total sales at the time at around 2.5 million units. About 1.5 million of those sales were reportedly during 2011. Roku still seems very happy with its progress — and the company just announced it’s locked in another $45 million to fund development and marketing.

What about game consoles, which also offer streaming video? During the quarter ending in June, and Microsoft sold 1.1 million Xbox 360s, and Nintendo managed to sell about 710,000 Wii consoles. Sony’s PlayStation 3 did better, selling 1.9 million units during its final fiscal quarter of 2011 (which ran into March 2012).

So the Apple TV outsold the Xbox 360 and the Wii — although, it’s worth noting the Wii is at the end of its life (with the Wii U already lined up to replace it) and the Xbox 360 has been on the market since 2005.

So Apple's hobby is already doing very well and has achieved a significant footprint in the market. Sounds about time for a bit of acceleration from Apple and another nice major market disruption. I can't wait.

RE: Yawn....
By ritualm on 8/18/2012 5:20:20 PM , Rating: 3
1. Every link you posted are bogus.
2. "the other players are so weak" because you don't even consider them as competitors, just copycats, amirite?
3. Keep your mouth shut kthx.

RE: Yawn....
By Dug on 8/20/2012 2:00:57 PM , Rating: 2
It's currently #4 in Electronics on Amazon
#1 in Electronics/ Televisions & Video
#1 in Electronics/ Home Audio & Theater

It's also been #1 in all electronics in the past.

So where are your statistics of 0%? Your butt?

RE: Yawn....
By Dug on 8/20/2012 2:03:05 PM , Rating: 2
That was suppose to be in reply to ritualm

RE: Yawn....
By augiem on 8/17/2012 1:54:08 PM , Rating: 3
I wouldn't buy one, but the set top boxes from Comcast I've tried are serious garbage. It was so slow looking for something to watch through their horrendous interface I'd usually just give up. If I did persist and muck my way through, their selection of free on demand stuff sucked so bad anyway I'd always end up back channel surfing.

I'm sure there are better ones on the market, but man, the Cable companies feel like they're fat and complacent, and why not? They're already raking in the dough. Maybe some competition in this area would be a good thing.

RE: Yawn....
By StanO360 on 8/17/2012 4:30:48 PM , Rating: 2
Fios isn't too bad, why Microsoft didn't go forward with an "XBox" STB is a mystery. But regarding big media going along with it. XBox can get about 30 Fios channels live on it as long as you have internet with them.

RE: Yawn....
By Flunk on 8/17/2012 4:36:57 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft has an xbox set top box, it's call the xbox 360.

RE: Yawn....
By Tony Swash on 8/17/12, Rating: -1
RE: Yawn....
By momorere on 8/17/2012 8:32:16 PM , Rating: 2
I would hope so considering that the 360 has been out for over 6 years now and sales have been slowing down for awhile due to everyone having one that wants one. Yet ANOTHER useless post by you.

RE: Yawn....
By StevoLincolnite on 8/18/2012 2:23:47 PM , Rating: 2
Which was outsold by the Apple TV last quarter.

Not in my house, the Apple TV was outsold 2:0 in my household.

Azmazing how pointless numbers are without any solid numbets!

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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