There’s always been a lot of discussion about what Apple’s play for the living room would look like. Some people think they’ll build an actual TV while others think it will be some form of set-top box.
Personally, I think it is neither. I believe their TV solution is already here, and it is called, funnily enough, the Apple TV. You can pick one up for £99 and it will instantly let you rent movies and stream music and video from your iOS devices.
But this is just the start. One of the lesser-publicised announcements at WWDC, as part of the iOS 7 feature list, is support for 3rd party game controllers, by allowing them to be certified for use under the existing “MFi” (Made for iPhone) program.
This means that soon, you can use a console-like controller with an iOS device, and you can bet your bottom dollar that this will be rolled out to the Apple TV. All that is required is an app store for Apple TV and you’re set.
So, we have a £99 box that streams all your content and can play games. That to me sounds like a pretty compelling proposition.
The only bit I haven’t figured out is the hardware. Apple have spent the last few years slimming down the Apple TV, removing built-in storage in favour of streaming. However, to run apps, it will need storage, and to play decent games it will need beefier hardware, which will bump the price. There’s still a big gap up to the next level, so there’s room to increase the price, but it does change the dynamic somewhat.
Anyway, can’t wait to see what they come up with.
Some more great commentary on this by Austin Sweeney on his blog
I’ve always wanted to write this post. I’ve spent years evolving my technology-based home media setup, and for some reason, instead of writing a long blog post about it I ended up posting it on The Verge forums, and you can find it here:
It provides a brief overview of the various components of my setup, and what it can do, from acting as a central iTunes hub, to allowing for remote streaming of movies and TV shows, to hosting a VPN server for secure web browsing anywhere in the world. Since this blog is really the spiritual home of a piece of content like this, you can find the post in its entirety below.
This is an old draft I never got around to publishing but here goes…
I spotted Zeebox a couple of weeks ago and having thought about its implications I was surprised that it was the only prominent app on the iOS store doing what it is doing.
I think most people would agree that social TV is the inevitable next step; it just hasn’t been implemented properly yet (e.g. the disastrous performance of Google TV). Zeebox provides real-time twitter and cast/crew etc information about TV shows. You pick the show that you are watching, and it will show you what people are tweeting about it, and will promote tweets from cast and crew.
So, they’ve now sold 10% to BSkyB, announced on both the Sky and Zeebox blogs. This is a pretty big deal as this is a public demonstration of the sort of technology that we will see in Sky’s satellite TV service (they’ve admitted as much in the announcement). You don’t usually get such an advanced preview of a company’s plans.
Is this the worst launch of a fibre-optic broadband service ever? Not only do Sky not tell anyone about the announcement of their new , but when you do find the site, it kicks off with this clanger:
We understand that there may be a small number of Sky Broadband customers who use the internet to regularly download lots of big files and who may be happy to pay extra for this.
Small number? So Sky are investing in fibre, an exercise that I can’t imagine to be cheap, regardless of how many people it is intended for, and they are doing it for a small number of customers?
This just seems like poor marketing. They don’t want to commit to announcing a new service that will make their existing products seem out-dated, and therefore cause a slow-down in sales as people wait for the ‘better one’. But if they are, as they say, pricing this at a select few, they aren’t really cannibalising their standard package sales anyway.
Its just weird. BT and Virgin Media are already way ahead in terms of fibre services, and Sky think they can catch up by being meek? Super-fast internet is an inevitability, and despite Sky’s TV dominance, will it be enough to excuse a poor broadband offering in the face of Virgin Media’s and Sky’s continuedprogress in combined TV and broadband packages?
Ok, in their defence, I suppose this isn’t really a ‘launch’ or ‘announcement’ and that they will no doubt launch a marketing campaign for it in due course. I still find this very interesting though.s