Greg's bite: Apple's Living Room Aspirations Languishing?
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Greg's bite: Apple's Living Room Aspirations Languishing?

By Greg Mills

As an Apple fan and a believer in the wisdom of most of what comes out of Cupertino, I bought the most recent Apple TV device and have used it quite a bit since it was first launched. As I noted in this space on a number of occasions I think there is an opening for Apple to challenge the cable/satellite TV content providers, since a lot of people hate them, but it won't be easy and it is not happening yet for Apple. The numbers aren't right yet.

We see the decline of physical media for digital video content delivery, to be sure, but what is replacing video tapes and disks isn't steaming video over iTunes, but rather NetFlix and other streaming content providers with affordable, flat rate monthly plans. Apple TV's iTunes video content available for streaming is way too expensive; the one-off, rental "go to market plan" needs drastic reworking to succeed.

When you analyze the video content offered by Apple TV and the attempt to rent that content on a one-off basis, you have to consider the alternatives consumers have that is a much better deal.  The notion of buying the limited right to see a single TV show for US$0.99 cents or a single movie for $5 is not going to fly, when one can subscribe to a satellite or cable company and get hundreds of channels that have unlimited showing for a one time price per month.

The "all you can watch" vs the low cost but one-off solution for each show, in any reasonable amount of content is strikingly in favor of the monthly package deals. The economics of any new technology has to find an economic sweet spot -- and that is not even close to where Apple TV is priced right now.

I subscribed to NetFlix a couple of months ago and got the one "disk in the mail and unlimited streaming content package" and it has worked well.  Almost too well, as my 11-year-old daughter discovered she can now stream kid video programs through the house by Wi-Fi to her iPhone using the NetFlix app. She now walks around the house ear phone jacked in watching junk kid TV over Wi-Fi, way too much.  

We noticed she missed a couple of deadlines for school work recently, so we took the iPhone away until her teacher gives the all clear. I suspect, given the choice of being grounding in the form of cold showers or losing the use of her iPhone (used as an iPod touch) she would brace for the cold baths, even though you know how teens love those long hot shower. I still have to gently pry my iPad out of her grasp to borrow it back from her whenever I want to use it.  

The point is, that while Apple TV gives options for using several content providers, the NetFlix "channel" is the only one really used much around here. While I know I can stream pictures, music and video from my laptop (and now iPad), to the big TV, that is not really happening much. Renting a movie for $5 for 24 hours use isn't a reasonable charge when the same content is available at no extra charge with a monthly package deal.  

The Apple TV device might as well have been sold as a NetFlix device. Ironic that with a market cap of only 5 billion or so, NetFlix would be quite affordable to Apple, which has about 60 billion in cash sitting in the bank. Keep in mind there are a lot merger forms that wouldn't require all cash. Hooking up with Apple might also protect NetFlix from a buyout from someone not as worthy as a partner. Steve Jobs commented that Apple was looking for strategic purchases that would complement what they are doing.  Duh ...

The new Google TV streaming device that was launched at the $400 price point recently seems to be failing, as they cut the price to $300. Also, Google has not gotten much interest from content producers required to have content to stream. Despite a very deep pocket and a willingness to launch into new markets, there needs to be both a compelling technology that is backed by sound economic realities. Google is learning that the hard way right now. The complementary software/hardware killer product package that Apple has mastered, is a very hard act to follow. Just ask Microsoft.  Zune or Kin anyone?

I suspect the actual sales numbers Apple is seeing from streaming are not has high as hoped for from renting TV shows and Movies. Apple needs a NetFlix type monthly package plan for streaming unlimited content for one reasonable monthly price. The sticky spot in all this is the content providers, who have their heads in the sand and unreasonable aspirations as to the value of their content.

If I can view the FOX Channel over Dish in an unlimited manor 24 hours a day, for say, $2 a month, how is it that $0.99 is insultingly low for only one TV show, when viewed one-off?  The entire thing is about entrenched economics and an unwillingness for companies to change established business plans, until they must. As Greg Mills once said, "those who stand too long in the road of progress, will be run over."

I did the Black Friday thing and picked up a new 55-inch Visio LED TV for $889 at the Sams Club. Since it wasn't the newer version with WiFi  and Internet apps built in, I also picked up a Visio Blu-ray disk player with those extra features for $130. Compared to Apple TV at $99, the Visio Blu-ray player gives us the ability to play Blu-ray disks as well as stream NetFlix to the new big TV.  

I will retire the Apple TV device to the older and smaller 37-inch LED TV we moved down stairs. That way we can stream NetFlix to both HDTVs and any of three iPhones or iPad.  NetFlix can stream from our broadband Internet connection through the Apple TV Device, PlayStation3  or through the new Visio Blue-ray player.  All video content is in HD with one NetFlix account and all unlimited for $7.99 per month.  

Recently NetFlix announced the "disk in the mail concept" is being phased out in favor of streaming video content alone. Fine with me, as a lot of the the content on physical disks is getting old anyway.  With NetFlix as our video "on demand channel," Dish provides the monthly package programing for live TV programs and HBO for more recent movies. Left out for us are movies at the theater and Apple's iTune videos. Both of those two forms of content delivery are not economically viable, as far as I am concerned.

I think Apple would be absolutely nuts to not buy NetFlix and fold it into the Apple landscape of streaming content of all types that they are developing.  The new server farm Apple is getting on line right now would support all forms of digital content delivery with Apple getting a cut.   

I am looking forward to the launch of "The Daily" on-line iPad newspaper that's in the works. Notice the price is expected to be $0.99 cents per week, not $4.99 an issue -- which is what a lot of failed early attempts to publish magazines on line started with. The price of things have a tipping point or realistic price expectation where they make economic sense. I think $0.99 a week might fly for an on-line newspaper -- but it will still have to compete with free news web sites like CNN.com.  

Finally, we will, hopefully, hear this week what is going on with the "disappearing folders" on iPad's new iOS 4.2.1

That's Greg's bite for today.

(Greg Mills, is a Faux Artist in Kansas City. Formerly a new product R&D man for the paint sundry market, he holds 11 US patents. He's working on a solar energy startup, www.CottageIndustrySolar.com using a patent pending process of turning waste dual pane glass into thermal solar panels used to heat water. Greg writes for intellectual web sites and Mac related issues. See Greg's art web site at www.gregmills.info ; his email is gregmills@mac.com )

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Bookends 13.0.6 - Reference management a...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Bookends uses the cloud to sync reference libraries on all the Macs you use.... Read more
macOS 10.13.3 Supplemental Update 1.0 -...
macOS High Sierra Supplemental Update includes security improvements to Safari and WebKit to mitigate the effects of Spectre. Version 1.0: Update fixes an issue where using certain character... Read more
ffWorks 1.0.6 - Convert multimedia files...
ffWorks (was iFFmpeg), focused on simplicity, brings a fresh approach to the use of FFmpeg, allowing you to create ultra-high-quality movies without the need to write a single line of code on the... Read more
Adobe Acrobat 18.011.20035 - Powerful PD...
Acrobat DC is available only as a part of Adobe Creative Cloud, and can only be installed and/or updated through Adobe's Creative Cloud app. Adobe Acrobat DC with Adobe Document Cloud services is... Read more
Adobe Acrobat Reader 18.011.20035 - View...
Adobe Acrobat Reader allows users to view PDF documents. You may not know what a PDF file is, but you've probably come across one at some point. PDF files are used by companies and even the IRS to... Read more
EtreCheck 4.0.3 - For troubleshooting yo...
EtreCheck is an app that displays the important details of your system configuration and allow you to copy that information to the Clipboard. It is meant to be used with Apple Support Communities to... Read more
Yummy FTP Pro 2.0 - $29.99
Yummy FTP Pro is an advanced Mac file transfer app which provides a full-featured professional toolkit combined with blazing speeds and impeccable reliability, so whether you want to transfer a few... Read more
Opera 51.0.2830.34 - High-performance We...
Opera is a fast and secure browser trusted by millions of users. With the intuitive interface, Speed Dial and visual bookmarks for organizing favorite sites, news feature with fresh, relevant content... Read more
Apple iOS 11.2.6 - The latest version of...
iOS 11 sets a new standard for what is already the world’s most advanced mobile operating system. It makes iPhone better than before. It makes iPad more capable than ever. And now it opens up both to... Read more
Google Chrome 64.0.3282.167 - Modern and...
Google Chrome is a Web browser by Google, created to be a modern platform for Web pages and applications. It utilizes very fast loading of Web pages and has a V8 engine, which is a custom built... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Check out these 5 games that are a lot l...
So you're in love with Minecraft, but you're looking for something else to play as well? You've come to the right place then, because this list is all about games that are a bit like Minecraft. Some of them, more than others. [Read more] | Read more »
Our top 5 characters from casual RPG Cre...
Creature Quest definitely lives up to its name with a host of collectible creatures based on fantasy tales and world mythologies. To celebrate Creature Quest’s first birthday, we’re going to lay out what we think are the five best characters in the... | Read more »
Around the Empire: What have you missed...
Did you know that Steel Media has a whole swathe of other sites dedicated to all aspects of mobile gaming? Sure you'll get the very best iPhone news, reviews, and opinions right here at 148Apps, but we don't want you missing out on a single piece... | Read more »
All the best games on sale for iPhone an...
Oh hi there, and welcome to our round-up of the best games that are currently on sale for iPhone and iPad. You thought I didn't see you there, did you, skulking behind the bushes? Trust me though, the bushes aren't where the best deals are. The... | Read more »
The Battle of Polytopia Guide - How to H...
A new update just released for The Battle of Polytopia (formerly Super Tribes), which introduces online multiplayer. For all the fans of Midjiwan’s lite take on Civilization, this is certainly welcome news, but playing online isn’t as easy and... | Read more »
Here are the very best mobile games to p...
It's Valentine's Day! Did you get loads of cards and chocolates and other tacky, simple expressions of human affection? Did you send out tat because you find it almost impossible to express emotion unless there's a section dedicated to it at your... | Read more »
Florence (Games)
Florence 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Florence is an interactive storybook from the award-winning lead designer of Monument Valley about the heart-racing highs and... | Read more »
Purrfect Date (Games)
Purrfect Date 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Cats are a lil’ like marmite. Either you absolutely head-over-heels love’ em, or… nahhh, who are we kidding?! Everyone... | Read more »
More monsters to collect and evolve in C...
A laid-back mix of RPG and TCG, Creature Quest is all about building your deck, evolving your creatures and winning in battle. It’s the creation of VC Mobile, set up by Might and Magic producer Jon Van Caneghem. There are elements of that classic... | Read more »
Check out this awesome hands-on with the...
Well, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds has come out on mobile. This isn't a clone, this isn't a riff on the battleroyale mechanics of the game, it's the official mobile port by Tencent. But there's a little bit of a hitch. [Read more] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple refurbished Mac minis in stock again st...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished Mac minis starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: – 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $80 off MSRP – 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
Tuesday MacBook Deals: $250 off 15″ 2.9GHz Ma...
Adorama has the Silver 15″ 2.9GHz Apple MacBook Pro on sale today for $250 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax for residents in NY & NJ only: – 15″ 2.9GHz Silver MacBook Pro... Read more
Save up to $350 with these Apple Certified Re...
Apple has a full line of Certified Refurbished iMacs available for up to $350 off original MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are available: – 27... Read more
B&H offers $200 discount on Silver 15″ Ma...
B&H Photo has Silver 15″ Apple MacBook Pros on sale for $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 15″ 2.8GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro Silver (... Read more
12″ Apple iPad Pro Sale of the Year! Models u...
B&H Photo has 12″ #iPad Pros on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY & NJ only: – 12″ 64GB WiFi iPad Pro: $719 $80 off MSRP – 12″ 256GB WiFi... Read more
Deals on 32GB 9″ iPads: Up to $50 off MSRP, s...
B&H Photo has 2017 9.7″ 32GB iPads on sale for $299 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $30 off MSRP, and it’s currently the lowest price available for these... Read more
15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro available for o...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pros available for $1699. That’s $300 off MSRP for this model, and it’s the lowest price available for a 15″ MacBook Pro currently offered by... Read more
13″ 3.1GHz/256GB Silver Touch Bar MacBook Pro...
Amazon has the Silver 13″ 3.1GHz/256GB Touch Bar MacBook Pro (MPXX2LL/A) on sale for $1649.99 including free shipping. Their price is $150 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for a new 13″... Read more
Saturday Sale: Amazon offers 13″ 1.8GHz/256GB...
Amazon has the 13″ 1.8GHz/256B Apple MacBook Air on sale today for $250 off MSRP including free shipping: – 13″ 1.8GHz/256GB MacBook Air (MQD42LL/A): $949.99, $250 off MSRP Their price is the lowest... Read more
Roundup of Apple Certified Refurbished 12″ Ma...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2017 12″ Retina MacBooks available for $200-$240 off the cost of new models. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free.... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Store Leader - Retail District Manag...
Job Description:Job SummaryAs more and more people discover Apple , they visit our retail stores seeking ways to incorporate our products into their lives. It's your Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.