This week has been a crazy for Apple; with the resignation of Steve Jobs as CEO a couple of days ago, many have wondered whether Apple would continue to innovate. Fear not, according to a report, the Cupertino company is said to be working on a new way to deliver video to TV screens.
Delivery of online video to regular TV’s has always been an issue that no one has been able to find an answer for. Currently, Apple provides a set-top box, known as the Apple TV. This $99-piece of hardware makes it easy to play content downloaded from Apple’s very own iTunes service on any standard TV. Other makers offer similar solutions, yet the set-top box space is currently chaotic, with too many competitors but none really offering a great advantage over each other. Even Apple sees its set-top box offering as a “hobby” it doesn’t dedicate much time to. Clearly, there’s still room for innovation in this space, and it seems that Apple isn’t quite done bringing video to traditional TV sets.
While not much is known about Apple’s plans, it’s becoming clear that bringing videos to traditional TV’s might become less of a “hobby” for the company. The report points to a “new technology to deliver video to televisions,” and even “a subscription TV service”. As for the latter, it’s been rumored for years that Apple could introduce a monthly subscription service for music and video, and presumably TV shows as well, allowing users to get access to all content on the iTunes library until said subscription expires. This model is already used by many of Apple’s competitors, including Microsoft with its Zune Pass service.
As for delivering content to televisions, it’s unclear what the source meant when it referred to “a new technology” for this purpose. Yet, it’s not hard to assume that the underpinnings are already there as part of two services the company has introduced recently: iCloud and AirPlay. An iCloud-powered TV could play any online content already purchased from iTunes, something that was only recently made available on the Apple TV, while bundling AirPlay support into TV screens, instead of requiring an Apple TV, would make it effortless to stream content over a Wi-Fi network from any computer running iTunes or Apple device, such as an iPhone or an iPad.
Could Apple be planning to replace the Apple TV with its own TV display, filled with iTunes-friendly features? According to recent rumors, this could be happening.
(via Wall Street Journal)