If you believe the techno pundits, Apple plans to sell an Apple television. What can Apple do to a television that makes it more appealing than a Sony, Vizio, Samsung, Phillips or whatever television already on the market?
Already you can buy a TV with Wi-Fi and internet capability. Many have apps built-in to browse the web, search Google, or play YouTube videos.
The Mac maker’s $99 Apple TV device is interesting, perhaps compelling for some, but hasn’t set the industry on fire. Sure, you can stream Netflix, watch live sports, get news, stream HD movies and TV shows, even play games from your iPhone using AirPlay.
What’s missing is obvious. There’s no built-in video recording capability. The DVR. It’s the device that cable TV companies love (because they can charge extra to rent you the device). It’s the device that television watchers love because you can record and playback TV and movies and fast forward through commercials.
It’s also the device that content providers and networks hate. Fast forward through the commercials? Besides DVR users, who else wants that?
The best that Mac users can come up with is Elgato’s EyeTV. It’s the app that acts like a DVR on your Mac. Attach the right video capture device to your TV cable and your Mac becomes a very expensive, but highly configurable DVR.
That’s what’s missing from Apple TV. It’s also a must-have function in any upcoming Apple television.
Otherwise, what does Apple bring to the television that’s not already there? My feeble imagination comes up with a far reaching desire and works backwards. What do we really want from a television?
We want to watch anything we want, whenever we want. That means everything; all video– TV shows, movies, news, sports– on demand. The only way that will happen is if TV channels become apps.
Either Apple builds in EyeTV-like functionality into an Apple branded television, or, they launch TV channels as apps for the whole world.