Bloomberg: New Apple TV set-top on tap, TWC talks ongoing


Bloomberg reports Apple (AAPL +0.3%) plans to launch a new Apple TV set-top as soon as April, and is still talking with Time Warner Cable (TWC -0.1%) and others about supporting their content.

The news service cautions the set-top's launch date could change due to the timing of content deals. It reported last July a deal with Time Warner Cable is expected to happen within a few months. Unlike many of their peers, TWC execs have suggested they're comfortable giving up UI control for hardware that supports their services.

Recent reports indicate a next-gen Apple TV will also support physical game controllers, and thus act as a casual gaming alternative to traditional consoles. Amazon and Google are also reportedly working on set-tops that support gaming.

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Comments (35)
  • vbbv
    , contributor
    Comments (135) | Send Message
     
    Has there ever been a company that has spawned more rumors than Apple? Literally a day doesn't go by without another rumor!
    12 Feb 2014, 02:50 PM Reply Like
  • taunto667
    , contributor
    Comments (48) | Send Message
     
    and you know it will be introduced in their typical Shprocket's-style production
    12 Feb 2014, 09:26 PM Reply Like
  • Minutemen
    , contributor
    Comments (2291) | Send Message
     
    meh...
    12 Feb 2014, 03:06 PM Reply Like
  • MattZN2
    , contributor
    Comments (1290) | Send Message
     
    This would be an incremental change since Apple has had their AppleTV product in production for several years now (I have two of them myself). No surprises here, frankly. AppleTV already has numerous vendor ties, most of which require a cable T.V. subscription to enable, and the AppleTV product already uses the same baseline processors that all of Apple's other iOS products use which are obviously powerful enough to run games. Adding a game controller is trivial.

     

    Wake me up when these deals no longer require a cable T.V. subscription to enable and I will be suitably impressed. Until that time, though, there's no news here.

     

    -Matt
    12 Feb 2014, 03:39 PM Reply Like
  • Jack Baker
    , contributor
    Comments (1397) | Send Message
     
    Matt,

     

    You will be on a long slumber. The cable companies own the wired infrastructures in homes. With the amount of bandwidth needed for all of the content currently being downloaded there is no way that wireless networks will be able to handle it any time soon. We can get to 5g, 6g.....10g, it still won't be enough wireless bandwidth.
    12 Feb 2014, 03:54 PM Reply Like
  • AutoRegressive
    , contributor
    Comments (260) | Send Message
     
    Agreed, when channels become apps that I can subscribe to individually or in small bundles for a monthly fee I'm staying away from the whole $150/month cable bundle thing and sticking with torrents. I only want 2-3 channels and don't have a problem paying a premium ($10-$15 each) to just have a couple popular ones.
    12 Feb 2014, 05:03 PM Reply Like
  • MattZN2
    , contributor
    Comments (1290) | Send Message
     
    Jack, I have no idea what you are talking about. This has nothing to do with wireless. It is more an issue of content providers not wanting to get on the bad side of Comcast and other cable companies by bypassing their channel lineup in order to provide a more direct service to the consumer over the consumer's internet link. While the internet link is likely transported by a cable company, the cable company has very little control over managing the content the consumer acquires via that link and there is less differentiation when it comes to competition, so having most video content served over the internet will cause the cable companies to take a haircut even if they are the ones providing the internet access.

     

    A great deal of formally cable-only content has already been bypassed. That is what Netflix, Amazon prime, AppleTV, Roku, and numerous other companies are able to do. But cable is still king when it comes to real-time (channelized) content.

     

    It isn't really a question whether it will happen, but more a question of when it will happen. Only a company like Apple really has the muscle to force this sort of change down cable company throats sooner rather than later. Hence why this would be a big deal if Apple were able to do it.

     

    -Matt
    12 Feb 2014, 05:07 PM Reply Like
  • mphill47
    , contributor
    Comments (605) | Send Message
     
    You mean steal content through torrents?
    12 Feb 2014, 06:31 PM Reply Like
  • VictorHAustin
    , contributor
    Comments (824) | Send Message
     
    I think Apple should buy T-W, put the content online and sell the rest. Another natural would be Disney.

     

    The game console feature of a new gen Apple TV would be more than a "casual" game console. It will disrupt. Personally, I think Tim and crew are out there chuckling and wondering how long before the hard core gamers catch on to why the new Pro has the rad design.
    12 Feb 2014, 07:26 PM Reply Like
  • KIA Investment Research
    , contributor
    Comments (13833) | Send Message
     
    Victor, you remember the AOL - Time Warner acquisition, right?

     

    $185 BILLION worth of disaster. http://bit.ly/MMdgWr
    12 Feb 2014, 07:36 PM Reply Like
  • Dennis Baker
    , contributor
    Comments (2130) | Send Message
     
    I'm not sure if people are being deliberately obtuse, but what matt suggests isn't that whacky. You can already get a lot of programming on AppleTV and Roku and it's increasing on a monthly basis. I get all of my programming from Netflix or from the AppleTV and I see new content popping up all the time. Recently I discovered you can stream tons of live concerts from YouTube.
    12 Feb 2014, 08:17 PM Reply Like
  • jasonkeath
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    Tell that to folks with Google fiber or city funded fiber solutions. Google will keep pushing these non-cable locked in solutions.
    12 Feb 2014, 09:06 PM Reply Like
  • jasonkeath
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    Most of the Apple TV apps do not actually require a cable subscription. Some do, especially newer additions, but not most. The appeal is two sided, 1) A better living room pc (cable not required) and 2) A better cable box.

     

    Don't underestimate how many iPhone, iPad and Mac owners will spend hundreds of dollars for a better cable box/home pc solution.
    12 Feb 2014, 09:06 PM Reply Like
  • Jack Baker
    , contributor
    Comments (1397) | Send Message
     
    Matt,

     

    My point was simply that the cable companies OWN the wired infrastructure into homes in America. Their only high-speed wired competitor is Verizon Vios and that is in very limited marketplaces. Ultimately, this is the pipe that must be used for delivery of most media content into the home. In the end, it will be the cable companies that control the pipes that can ultimately determine what content can pass through their pipes. It will be many years before they can be circumvented through a wireless infrastructure. Yes, it is true that companies like Netflix, Amazon prime, Apple TV and RoKu can deliver their content now. But, remember that the cable companies have a monopoly in their respective geographies. So, they can block whatever they want from coming through the pipe if they begin to feel too threatened. Now with Comcast buying Time Warner, this behemoth will be playing hardball with those that attempt to disrupt their cozy monopolistic revenue model. Don't expect them to lie down and let these other companies slowly destroy their cozy annuity.
    13 Feb 2014, 08:43 AM Reply Like
  • VictorHAustin
    , contributor
    Comments (824) | Send Message
     
    Actually, aren't there a host of regulations about what the carriers can do with "blocking" selected content? And if they do, they will bring down the wrath of a few tens of millions of people down upon themselves. We busted up Ma Bell due to overwhelming outrage at its culture and attitude, and it CAN happen again.<p

     

    The content owners are, in my opinion, complacent. Many people have posted many other ways to find content here, and I get all the content I need from my Apple TV with Netflix. But then I don't need the latest trendy faux reality thing to be happy. I actually like NOT having cable. Don't overlook that we can take our MacBook to the coffee table, AirPlay it to the TV, and see tons of stuff that the content providers put online on their web sites.

     

    Cable offerings are bundles. But then Netflix and Hulu are bundles too. Big difference is we can get AppleTV on demand, but not much of cable. More and more full episodes of the same stuff on cable are on the producers' web sites or on the streaming services.

     

    I think it's just a matter of time. Monopolies require a moat to survive. The video content moat is drying up. While writing this I Googled a couple things on my Apple computer (that's actually what Ashraf's article is about) and encountered Hell's Kitchen on Fox on Demand. So just add that to my list of free, on demand stuff I don't have time to watch all of.
    13 Feb 2014, 01:56 PM Reply Like
  • KIA Investment Research
    , contributor
    Comments (13833) | Send Message
     
    "it will be the cable companies that control the pipes that can ultimately determine what content can pass through their pipes."

     

    I'm guessing there would be a little bit pf push-back. http://bit.ly/1eQEzaA
    13 Feb 2014, 02:55 PM Reply Like
  • KIA Investment Research
    , contributor
    Comments (13833) | Send Message
     
    Comcast buys Time Warner Cable for $45 billion http://cnnmon.ie/1lLk3fD
    13 Feb 2014, 04:59 PM Reply Like
  • name999
    , contributor
    Comments (196) | Send Message
     
    In summary of all the Apple rumors, we can see there are several sections might become the new cash generating machine.
    1) Taking control of the living room: Apple TV, game controller
    2) Wearable device focuses on healthcare monitoring: iWatch
    3) Upgrade the control panel in cars: Embeds map and navigation, load the the App Store, etc.

     

    Either one looks fantastic!

     

    As an investor and also a customer who wants to embrace new techniques that can improve our lives. Hope they can do the reinvention thing again.
    12 Feb 2014, 03:57 PM Reply Like
  • JsThoughts
    , contributor
    Comments (103) | Send Message
     
    Amen brother. This is going to be an exciting year if you are in Apples camp.
    12 Feb 2014, 04:15 PM Reply Like
  • Stan The Man
    , contributor
    Comments (162) | Send Message
     
    I'm a cable TV with DVR customer, not a Netflix person.

     

    A deal with a link to a big content supplier could be interesting. There is great discontent with providers and their high and ever increasing prices. So it wouldn't take much to get me to switch providers.
    12 Feb 2014, 04:01 PM Reply Like
  • bgold1955
    , contributor
    Comments (2352) | Send Message
     
    Stan.... I was the same until 6 mo ago & finally got an AppleTV set top. I got so chapped at my DVR & it's antiquated 1980's technology I finally got Netflix & no way am I going back. Canceling premium channels also. For a $100 investment, actually try it 30 days & if you don't like it, take it back. AppleTV works like a champ!
    12 Feb 2014, 04:31 PM Reply Like
  • KIA Investment Research
    , contributor
    Comments (13833) | Send Message
     
    Stan,

     

    Not to mention the discontent with the horrible user interface for renting movies on Comcast.
    12 Feb 2014, 05:46 PM Reply Like
  • Arthur Fisher
    , contributor
    Comments (353) | Send Message
     
    Google and Amazon each has it's turf, but neither is a premium consumer brand. This race should be Apple's to lose, if only they can settle on a product that is special enough to satisfy their own standards.
    12 Feb 2014, 04:46 PM Reply Like
  • dratheal
    , contributor
    Comments (45) | Send Message
     
    Authur, Apple is a premium brand.
    12 Feb 2014, 09:07 PM Reply Like
  • mphill47
    , contributor
    Comments (605) | Send Message
     
    It better be something very big or you will be looking at the largest "sell the news" you've ever seen.
    12 Feb 2014, 06:33 PM Reply Like
  • jweissman
    , contributor
    Comments (641) | Send Message
     
    The way away from cable bundlers is thru individual "channels"--content makers--taking subscribers directly online, which implies a serious web "infrastructure" they probably don't yet have, nor ever will. If any "channel" bold enuf to try it and succeed, one by one channels will jump on board. Netflix sort of qualifies, because they produced some content--House of Cards--, but I was thinking more like HBO, etc. The way to access this direct content is with a computer/tablet/fone--not Apple TV or the like, unless for some reason you like Apple's TV "browser" better than Mozilla, etc. Make no mistake, Apple want to control "content", not merely provide the "medium" by which you access it.
    12 Feb 2014, 08:46 PM Reply Like
  • jlindy
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    So an updated iTV, even with TWC not the game changer or the margin buster everyone is looking for. Anything less than an actual TV with software and accessories that will completely transform the living room is a let down in most peoples eyes. I do believe Apple is going to come out with an iWatch, but all the rumors about what it will do and all the features it will have are absurd! Plus, Tim Cook is on the board of NIKE. That means he is privy to the plans and future of the Nike fuelband, clearly a conflict of interest if indeed Apple's iWatch will be competing in this space. The day Tim steps down from their board is the day that the Apple iWatch is real.
    12 Feb 2014, 08:57 PM Reply Like
  • Jack Baker
    , contributor
    Comments (1397) | Send Message
     
    You mean like when Eric Schmidt was on Apples board while Apple was developing the first iphone? And then he bought Android as a log to roll in front of Apples parabolic growth in smart phones. Schmidt didn't leave the board until well after the innovation of iphone. Why? Because Google wasn't a competitor at the time. Just like Apple is not a competitor with Nike....yet.
    13 Feb 2014, 08:50 AM Reply Like
  • StepUp
    , contributor
    Comments (559) | Send Message
     
    Apple will not make an actual TV. Too low margin. Too cyclical.
    12 Feb 2014, 09:44 PM Reply Like
  • imac007
    , contributor
    Comments (748) | Send Message
     
    Maybe the delay is because TW were negotiating with Comcast about merging.
    12 Feb 2014, 10:31 PM Reply Like
  • fotonomad
    , contributor
    Comments (8) | Send Message
     
    Wonder how AAPL will manage to get content from TWC now that TWC is merging with Comcast...
    13 Feb 2014, 01:03 AM Reply Like
  • Krakin
    , contributor
    Comments (82) | Send Message
     
    I hope we live long enough to see the walls of the cable empire fall.we are all hostage to these guys junk laden t.v. Packages.Someone help us all to "cut the cord" that feeds them.
    13 Feb 2014, 09:17 AM Reply Like
  • Bob Sutton
    , contributor
    Comments (84) | Send Message
     
    Agreed with StepUp. Apple will re-invent the UI for television-like experiences. It will disrupt the existing broadcast/CATV/syndica... business. It will untether entertainment content from the living room. But it won't compete to cram pixels into a rectangular frame controlled by someone else's 40-year old software model.
    13 Feb 2014, 10:10 AM Reply Like
  • Larry Smith
    , contributor
    Comments (3188) | Send Message
     
    How are they going to do that? The companies that get the signal to the homes are not interested. Why would the cable companies let Apple into their ecosystem when Apple doesn't let anyone in to theirs. The content folks are not interested either. The content providers make more money form selling their packages, like Disney with ABC, ESPN, ESPN2. ESPN3, ESPNNews, Family Channel,etc, to the cable companies than they would be with Apple providing a menu service which I understand they want to offer.

     

    If Apple ever does enter the TV business, let's hope it is better than their Quicktime media player, which blows.
    13 Feb 2014, 01:10 PM Reply Like
  • VictorHAustin
    , contributor
    Comments (824) | Send Message
     
    I'm not buying cable channels. T-W is more than happy to provide internet service to me so that I don't go to AT&T. They likely make higher margins on letting wires hang from poles than running video production companies or paying those who do.

     

    The fight will continue. Legal shuck and jive notwithstanding, it's pretty obvious to everyone that the transmission is a utility, and the content is an intellectual property. The cable companies will no doubt continue to push the edges and use their friendly extortion, but if they cross the line, they will get dismantled in a hurry.
    13 Feb 2014, 02:17 PM Reply Like
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