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The promise of an Apple TV


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#1 of 115 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted December 12 2011 - 04:52 AM

Thought we had a thread on this, guess not. Anywho, Asymco deduces that it won't be all that revolutionary but it will be a natural progression from iPad and ATV integration... http://www.asymco.co...in-plain-sight/ I'm not holding my breath, we will see... I rarely use my ATV now.

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#2 of 115 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted December 12 2011 - 07:02 AM

There is (was?) a thread. Must have hidden itself.


I keep coming down to two thoughts:

* Apple will make a TV to expand sales and revenue into consumer electronics

* Apple can't "fix" the TV business and it won't be revolutionary the way the iPad is


What can it offer? TV channels via apps? Meh. Premium channels still require a cable sub (HBO Go). A big grid of apps is better than a big grid of TV channels how? Based on Apple's TV & Movie prices, it will be more expensive than cable TV for a broad selection of shows. And it won't be a complete offering, since they can't arm wrestle the studios / providers into going along with their plans for world domination. And then I have to worry about poor internet and LAN performance causing problems. And ISP caps.


It could improve the AppleTV box by making iTunes content avaialble anytime with a single button press, regardless of cable box or Tivo, rather than needing a TV-input switch as now. it could finally provide easy and attractive access to one's photos, music, and other home content.


But that's all secondary. the point of a TV is to watch TV. And honestly, how much easier can that be? I turn on the TV. I change channels. There's not much more for Apple to do without the ability to provide every single show, every season, a la carte, and allowing me to cancel cable and Tivo and keep total price the same or lower, and quality similar.


In the meantime, I see little more than a 50" LCD TV with an integrated AppleTV that still requires a Blu-ray player, and Xbox, and cable box, and a Tivo.



#3 of 115 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted December 12 2011 - 07:57 AM

I think the thread may have been in a different sub forum than the Apple one, and now I remember arguing it should have been posted here! =)

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#4 of 115 OFFLINE   Ted Todorov

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Posted December 12 2011 - 08:02 AM

Apple has to enter the business, just like they had to enter the phone business.


They had to enter the phone business because phones were going to replace the iPod as PMP of choice -- Apple wanted it to be them rather than the competition.


Same thing with the TV business -- if Apple doesn't succeed in making AppleTV (in whichever form) the leading industry standard, Android will step in (Google is pushing very, very hard with HDTV manufacturers to run Android) which would harm IOS devices -- AirPlay will become ever more important in the future as iOS hardware/software capabilities increase.  The gaming console would be just the most obvious victim*.  Any kind of family desktop computer in a non-geek household is next, and so on.

According to MacRumors today:

According to the report, Apple is predicted to reach sales of four million Apple TV units for 2011, leading the way in a rapidly-growing market with a 32% share.


So Apple is in fact currently the market leader, hobby or no hobby.  The only way to protect that lead is to eventually (and the sooner the better) start making "Apple" HDTVs.


I am impatiently waiting for AirPlay to be supported in Mac OS X (as a target device instead of an AppleTV).

* It never ceases to amaze me how blind Sony's management is.  The Sony Playstation would be killed by future Android powered gaming devices streaming to the built in "GoogleTV" on Sony HDTVs.  Their only hope of not killing their own golden goose is that GoogleTV continues to be a total flop.


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#5 of 115 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted December 12 2011 - 08:50 AM



Originally Posted by Ted Todorov 

So Apple is in fact currently the market leader, hobby or no hobby.  The only way to protect that lead is to eventually (and the sooner the better) start making "Apple" HDTVs.



Market leader of what market? The Roku market? Just like Sirius dominates the satellite-radio market?

http://www.macrumors...-share-in-2011/


What about the Netflix player? Blu-ray players, pretty much all of which do Netflix now, were predicted to be about 3M a month this year.

http://forum.blu-ray...its-2011-a.html


How about the internet-connected media-device market? MS is selling about 1.5M Xbox 360's a month. The PS3 and Wii are also selling greater volumes than the AppleTV.

http://www.redmondpi...console-report/



Apple is leading seller of music. Maybe of movies? And the iPad is definitely a "living room" device. But they don't seem to me to have any real strength in the "watching TV" arena yet.



#6 of 115 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted December 12 2011 - 09:35 AM

Dave, you kind of nailed my thoughts.   Being a market leader depends on how you define the market.   Realize, if I look at it like "TV Connected Apps" then the clear leader would be Microsoft.. hell, forget MediaCenter,  Media Room has three cable providers pitching it (AT&T, Charter, SureWest).   But we can put that aside.. so 32% of streaming to a TV.. against who?  Roku?   Boxee?  
In fact, I don't even see how they could figure 32%.. if you count a PS3 or an XBOX as a streaming device (and they certainly are; both do Netflix, Vudu, Hulu, etc.) then you're talking about 100M+ shipped units against near nothing for the AppleTV...


The 32% number strikes me as a "we picked a random number and we're sticking with it"


Integration with the TV is a neat idea, but realize, unlike a phone which people live with and can buy at a contract that reduces their upfront cost, you aren't getting that on a TV.  It's why 3D TV has had a slow adoption; it's why cheaper large LCD/LED screens get bought quickly.  

In another thread, someone showed a graphic of an AppleTV 47" at $1900, and said "compared to all this stuff:  TV, BluRay, streamer, etc.)  And I thought: ridiculous.. the end user/consumer can go grab a 47" for $499 at any Walmart.   Maybe it's not a huge brand, but guess what?  MOST of those customers are far more concerned about watching NFL Football or AI in real time vs. showing only streamed content.. and they won't pay more for it.


And since Apple has never issued a product by them in the DVR stream (and frankly, integrating a DVR into a TV, which was tried -once- is a monumental fail), I don't see that either.


I'm sure Apple will roll out a TV product, and I hope that it's inventive and awesome.   But their real competitor here isn't "32% of share"  It's new XBOXes that integrate with AT&T and SureWest and others to put cable on that can be managed by Kinect.  Or it's PS3 owners who can grab streamed content.   or Android.   The market isn't "well, Creative has an MP3 player.. we can do that better.."   It's hundreds of millions of devices already in the hands of customers.


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#7 of 115 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted December 12 2011 - 12:49 PM

A quote of that analysis, excerpted on DaringFireball, clarifies the report: 30% of AppleTV owners rent movies and TV shows, compared to 20% of other platforms.



This report also found that Apple TV users are spending more money on movies and TV shows: 30 percent of Apple TV owners rented movies or TV shows, compared to 20 percent of users of other devices. “Apple is leading this nascent market, which it still considers a ‘hobby’.” says Jia Wu, Senior Analyst at the Connected Home Devices (CHD) service. “As Apple prepares for its expected launch of smart TVs in 2012, rival platforms must accelerate their development plans to keep Apple from running away with the connected TV business, as it has done in smartphones and digital music.”


But, as Matt would then ask: 20% of what number of users of what platforms? And how much do they actually spend?



#8 of 115 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted December 12 2011 - 01:06 PM

More then that, it's now talking fractions of fractions.


20% of XBOX users pay for rental titles = 61M * .2= 12.2 Million

30% of AppleTV Owners = 4M*.3 = 1.3M


?????


More then that, it misses the point; if the installed base goes up, it doesn't mean that the percentage of those renting stays flat.. if apple does sell 20M devices, does that mean they are guaranteed a 30% sell through?   Not necessarily.   One doesn't follow the other; and that assumes a 5X increase in market presence in a market they have repeatedly failed at (Pippin, AppleTV1, AppleTV2, and now if they integrate into a TV...)


Worse, in reading through it, they are counting from one source.. so, for example, MS renting shows through their service.  Or Sony through theirs.   This discounts Vudu, Hulu Plus, and other subscription based plans...


Globally this week the XBOX sold 698k units.   This week.  Apple's numbers say in a year they sold 4M AppleTVs.. that's business that XBOX does in 2 months. 

Sometimes, if the math seems fishy, it is fishy.


In regards to "apple will let someone else run that market, and they can't let that happen.."   Preposterous.   Netflix has a much higher say in that market the Apple.. and if Netflix DOES get bought by Verizon (current rumor) then all sorts of heck will break loose on that platform


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#9 of 115 OFFLINE   Ted Todorov

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Posted December 17 2011 - 06:58 AM

Matt & Dave:

100% of AppleTV users use the Apple TV as a set top box: be it for purchased media, streaming (Netflix, etc.), rentals, etc.  I'd venture to guess a tiny fraction of Blu-ray player owners use their players for anything other than disk playback.


Netflix being bought: Apple can readily duplicate their streaming business without buying them (but if they thought Netflix was somehow valuable, they could outbid anyone else)


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#10 of 115 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted December 17 2011 - 07:54 AM



Originally Posted by Ted Todorov 

Matt & Dave:

100% of AppleTV users use the Apple TV as a set top box: be it for purchased media, streaming (Netflix, etc.), rentals, etc.  I'd venture to guess a tiny fraction of Blu-ray player owners use their players for anything other than disk playback.


Though only 30% use it to buy content. The other 70% apparently use it for their own library, be it music, photos, or video of other sources.


And that doesn't tell us enough about this "market", to compare to how people get content through through other, more common devices. It only takes a small percentage of blu-ray players being used for Netflix to dwarf AppleTV in this "market" of online content-delivery devices.



#11 of 115 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted December 17 2011 - 08:52 AM

Ok..   But I don't get how this addresses the point.    Apple says that 30% of their users use it for streaming purchased content.


Again, I'm just saying the #s of how they figure this are ridiculous.   They have always contended they sold 4M units.  By their figure, 30% use video purchases.   That's not shocking because that's the only real option on the device, outside of viewing your own library.   (ie, it doesn't tune TV, DVR, etc.)


If Apple comes out with a device that is also a TV or alternate connect, rentals go down, not up as a percentage; there is no lock guarantee that 30% will always be the # of people who buy rentals..


Originally Posted by Ted Todorov 


Netflix being bought: Apple can readily duplicate their streaming business without buying them (but if they thought Netflix was somehow valuable, they could outbid anyone else)



I'm sure they -could- come up with something like NetFlix.   Then again, Netflix largest install base is on those XBOXs, PS3s, Bluray Players, Wiis, TVs... Apple has always been about marketing their hardware which is contrary to the method of Netflix.


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#12 of 115 OFFLINE   Ted Todorov

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Posted December 18 2011 - 02:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaveF 


Though only 30% use it to buy content. The other 70% apparently use it for their own library, be it music, photos, or video of other sources.


And that doesn't tell us enough about this "market", to compare to how people get content through through other, more common devices. It only takes a small percentage of blu-ray players being used for Netflix to dwarf AppleTV in this "market" of online content-delivery devices.

The quote was that "30 percent of Apple TV owners rented movies or TV shows".  Meaning that much of the remaining 70% BOUGHT stuff rather than renting it.  I don't have an aTV but when it comes to iTunes I have bought well over a hundred videos (TV Shows/ Music Videos/Movies) and haven't rented jack.  I can't be alone.

So far as Netflix from what I've read, capable TiVOs and disc players produce noticeably inferior picture quality to aTVs when streaming Netflix, which may explain why so few people use their capabilities along with the lousy UI.  I don't even know if my Blu-ray player can stream Netflix and couldn't possibly care less if it did.



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#13 of 115 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted December 18 2011 - 03:30 PM

It doesn't mean anything of the sort. That's a crazy concept.. the AppleTV plays back plenty of MP3s etc that people already have stored.  And Youtube.  And stuff they have bought on other devices.  Just saying that 30% of the people who have one have used it as a rental purchasing device doesn't mean the other 70% used it as a buying device.  If it had, they would be flouting that like no ones business.

Originally Posted by Ted Todorov 

Quote:

The quote was that "30 percent of Apple TV owners rented movies or TV shows".  Meaning that much of the remaining 70% BOUGHT stuff rather than renting it.  I don't have an aTV but when it comes to iTunes I have bought well over a hundred videos (TV Shows/ Music Videos/Movies) and haven't rented jack.  I can't be alone.

So far as Netflix from what I've read, capable TiVOs and disc players produce noticeably inferior picture quality to aTVs when streaming Netflix, which may explain why so few people use their capabilities along with the lousy UI.  I don't even know if my Blu-ray player can stream Netflix and couldn't possibly care less if it did.






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#14 of 115 OFFLINE   Steve_Tk

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Posted December 20 2011 - 02:44 AM

For some reason I have this cheesy vision of some Apple Exe at the press conference changing the channels on the TV with an iPad and everyone going "oooooooooo ahhhhhhhhh".

#15 of 115 OFFLINE   Ted Todorov

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Posted December 20 2011 - 04:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mattCR 

It doesn't mean anything of the sort. That's a crazy concept.. the AppleTV plays back plenty of MP3s etc that people already have stored.  And Youtube.  And stuff they have bought on other devices.  Just saying that 30% of the people who have one have used it as a rental purchasing device doesn't mean the other 70% used it as a buying device.  If it had, they would be flouting that like no ones business.

Matt, TV show rentals don't even exist anymore -- Apple/iTunes tried for a while and when they couldn't get enough networks to play ball they abandoned rentals altogether.  So unless no one watches TV on their AppleTV, they are buying TV episodes/seasons.  For MP3s they don't need an AppleTV where an AirportExpress would do and YouTube -- seriously?  I've never once witnessed someone watching YouTube on their TV.


TV show purchase use cases:  DVR missed an episode; don't have cable/don't have that particular cable network; could be watching live or using Hulu but refuse to watch commercials...

(I fall under pretty much all of these categories -- I only have the most basic of basic cable; occasionally my EyeTV DVR Fs up;  I watch shows available on iTunes but not on basic cable; I absolutely positively refuse to watch commercials, thus no Hulu.)


Netflix is not an option for TV viewing as most shows arrive there long after the fact.  I suppose there could be DVR users out there whose DVR can export recordings in AppleTV format -- but I am sure they dwarfed by people simply buying shows from iTunes.



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#16 of 115 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted February 15 2012 - 01:58 AM

Yup!

On Apple TV Well, I wouldn't want to go into detail about future stuff, obviously, or make any comment that people would misconstrue along those lines. In terms of our existing products, we sold just shy of 3 million Apple TVs last year. If you don't have one, you should go out and get one; it's a very cool product, and I couldn't live without it--just as a short promotional break. We sold 1.4 million last quarter. It's clearly ramping. But the reality, the reason we call it a hobby, is that we don't want to send a message to you or our shareholders that we think that the market for it is the size of our other businesses, the size of the phone business, the size of the Mac business, the size of the iPad business, or the iPod business. We don't want to send the signal that we think the leg of that stool is of equal length as those others. And so that's the reason we messaged it as a hobby. Apple doesn't do hobbies, as a general rule. We believe in focus and only working on a few things. With Apple TV, however, despite the barriers in that market, for those of us who use it, we've always thought there was something there. And that if we kept following our intuition and kept pulling the string, then we might find something that was larger. For those people that have it right now, the customer satisfaction is off the charts. But we need something that could go more main market for it to be a serious category. But if you don't have one, you should get one, because it's a really cool product.


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#17 of 115 OFFLINE   Steve_Tk

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Posted February 15 2012 - 02:53 AM

Hints at something without saying it actualy exist.

#18 of 115 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted March 15 2012 - 09:10 AM

My Apple tv just artived, thought they weren't coming out till tomorrow...

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#19 of 115 OFFLINE   dmiller68

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Posted March 15 2012 - 09:49 AM

I will be interested to hear what you think about it. i was going to order one but decided to hold off until I here some reviews of it.

Originally Posted by Sam Posten 

My Apple tv just artived, thought they weren't coming out till tomorrow...





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#20 of 115 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted March 15 2012 - 01:31 PM

Absolutely beautiful. Under 10 seconds to start streaming cars 2, if I didn't -know- tht the Bluray would be slightly better looking I would b perfectly happy with the streaming quality and I don't hav to blow the spec storing it now. Good enough wins.

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