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

Eye Candy 7.2.0.50 - 30 professional Pho...
Eye Candy renders realistic effects that are difficult or impossible to achieve in Photoshop alone, such as Fire, Chrome, and the new Lightning. Effects like Animal Fur, Smoke, and Reptile Skin are... Read more
Microsoft Office 2016 15.31 - Popular pr...
Microsoft Office 2016 - Unmistakably Office, designed for Mac. The new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote provide the best of both worlds for Mac users - the familiar Office... Read more
Spotify 1.0.49.125. - Stream music, crea...
Spotify is a streaming music service that gives you on-demand access to millions of songs. Whether you like driving rock, silky R&B, or grandiose classical music, Spotify's massive catalogue puts... Read more
QuickBooks 16.1.12.1564 R13 - Financial...
QuickBooks helps you manage your business easily and efficiently. Organize your finances all in one place, track money going in and out of your business, and spot areas where you can save. Built for... Read more
Dash 4.0.1 - Instant search and offline...
Dash is an API documentation browser and code snippet manager. Dash helps you store snippets of code, as well as instantly search and browse documentation for almost any API you might use (for a full... Read more
Tinderbox 7.0.0 - Store and organize you...
Tinderbox is a personal content management assistant. It stores your notes, ideas, and plans. It can help you organize and understand them. And Tinderbox helps you share ideas through Web journals... Read more
Apple Remote Desktop Client 3.9 - Client...
Apple Remote Desktop Client is the best way to manage the Mac computers on your network. Distribute software, provide real-time online help to end users, create detailed software and hardware reports... Read more
Sparkle 2.1.1 - $79.99
Sparkle will change your mind if you thought building websites wasn't for you. Sparkle is the intuitive site builder that lets you create sites for your online portfolio, team or band pages, or... Read more
1Password 6.5.5 - Powerful password mana...
1Password is a password manager that uniquely brings you both security and convenience. It is the only program that provides anti-phishing protection and goes beyond password management by adding Web... Read more
WhatRoute 2.0.15 - Geographically trace...
WhatRoute is designed to find the names of all the routers an IP packet passes through on its way from your Mac to a destination host. It also measures the round-trip time from your Mac to the router... Read more

Slay your way to glory in idle RPG Endle...
It’s a golden age for idle games on the mobile market, and those addictive little clickers have a new best friend. South Korean developer Ekkorr released Endless Frontier last year, and players have been idling away the hours in the company of its... | Read more »
Tiny Striker: World Football Guide - How...
| Read more »
Good news everyone! Futurama: Worlds of...
Futurama is finding a new home on mobile in TinyCo and Fox Interactive's new game, Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow. They're really doing it up, bringing on board Futurama creator Matt Groening along with the original cast and writers. TinyCo wants... | Read more »
MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL (Games)
MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ENDLESS UPGRADES. CONSTANT DANGER. ANCIENT WISDOM. BOUNCY BALLS. Launch Sale, 40% OFF for a very limited time!!! MUL.... | Read more »
Dungeon Rushers (Games)
Dungeon Rushers 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Dungeon Rushers is a 2D tactical RPG combining dungeon crawler’s gameplay and turn based fights. Manage your team, loot dusty... | Read more »
Blasty Bubs is a colorful Pinball and Br...
QuickByte Games has another arcade treat in the works -- this time it's a mishmash of brick breaking and Pinball mechanics. It's called Blasty Bubs, and it's a top down brickbreaker that has you slinging balls around a board. [Read more] | Read more »
Corsola and Heracross are the new region...
Generation 2 finally launched in Pokémon GO, unleashing a brand new batch of Pokémon into the wild. Even before the update went live people were speculating on how to catch elusive Pokémon like the legendary "dogs", Unknown, and whether or not... | Read more »
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (Games)
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: An epic adventure through a mysterious mountain filled with monsters, magic and mayhem! “...it looks downright... | Read more »
Fantasy MMORPG MU Origin’s receives a hu...
Developer Webzen are looking to take their highly popular fantasy battler MU Origin to the next level this month, with its most ambitious overhaul yet. The latest update introduces the long sought after Server Arena, new treasure dungeons, and much... | Read more »
RPG Djinn Caster (Games)
RPG Djinn Caster 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: SPECIAL PRICE 38% OFF(USD 7.99 -> USD 4.99)!!!A Fantasy Action RPG of far foreign lands! Summon the Djinns and rise to... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple restocks refurbished 11-inch MacBook Ai...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 11″ MacBook Airs (the latest models recently discontinued by Apple), available for up to $170 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each... Read more
Apple Park Opens to Employees in April With T...
Apple has announced that Apple Park, the company’s new 175-acre campus, will be ready for employees to begin occupying in April. The process of moving more than 12,000 people will take over six... Read more
Manhattan Neighbors for Safer Telecommunicati...
A new education and advocacy group focused on cell phone and wireless risks, Manhattan Neighbors for Safer Telecommunications, launched today at http://www.ManhattanNeighbors.org. Manhattan... Read more
Portable Dual DisplayPort Monitor Dock Enable...
IOGEAR has announced the launch of its USB-C Dual DisplayPort Monitor Portable Dock (GUC3CMST). The dock enables users to easily connect two DisplayPort monitors to a USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 laptop to... Read more
13-inch 2.7GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
Amazon.com has restocked the 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro (MF839LL/A) for $200 off MSRP including free shipping: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro: $1099 $200 off MSRP This model tends to... Read more
Apple’s New iPad Ads Don’t Address Pro Users’...
Apple launched a new tranche of iPad Pro TV ads last week addressing actual queries and challenges from the Twitterverse, albeit using actors for the visuals. That’s great. As an iPad fan and heavy... Read more
Free Verbum Catholic Bible Study App For iOS
The Verbum mobile app runs on Logos’ powerful Bible software and is an advanced resource for mobile Catholic study. The Verbum app surrounds the Bible with the Tradition. Verbum comes with 15 free... Read more
27-inch Apple iMacs on sale for up to $200 of...
B&H Photo has 27″ Apple iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2099.99 $200 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
Amazon has 2015 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pros (MJLQ2LL/A) available for $1849.99 including free shipping. Apple charges $1999 for this model, so Amazon’s price is represents a $150 savings. Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Air 2s available start...
Apple has Certified Refurbished iPad Air 2 WiFis available for starting at $319 including free shipping. A standard Apple one-year warranty is included: - 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $319 $60 off original... Read more

Jobs Board

*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
Manager *Apple* Systems Administration - Pu...
Req ID 3315BR Position Title Manager, Apple Systems Administration Job Description The Manager of Apple Systems Administration oversees the administration and 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
Manager *Apple* Systems Administration - Pu...
Req ID 3315BR Position Title Manager, Apple Systems Administration Job Description The Manager of Apple Systems Administration oversees the administration and Read more
*Apple* Technician - nfrastructure (United S...
Let’s Work Together Apple Technician This position is based in Portland, ME Life at nfrastructure At nfrastructure, we understand that our success results from our Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.