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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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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.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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