Apple TV and Cable Set-Top Boxes: A Better Strategy
Can Apple TV transform itself into a cable set-top box that provides on-demand content from television networks, cable networks, streaming content providers and more? That’s the goal but The VAR Guy sees a smarter way for Apple to invade the living room. His thesis: Set-top boxes aren’t sexy. But 70 inch iPads that are massive media centers sure sound sexy. Imagine big screen Apple TVs running the iOS touch interface. Now that’s something worth paying for. Skip the box and go right to the big screen, Apple. Here’s why.
If Apple tries to negotiate with networks (ABC, NBC, CBS), television content producers and cable networks, the potential content agreements could take years to hammer out. After all, the television industry doesn’t want Apple to gain a dominant, disruptive position in their market.
In stark contrast, what if Apple abandons the stand-alone set-top box and embeds that technology directly into big-screen TVs? Short term, those Apple big screens could plug into traditional cable and satellite networks while also linking into NetFlix and other on-demand Internet-based services. But gradually, Apple could hammer out those content relationships, pumping more and more content directly into its own televisions.
Yes, The VAR Guy would pay a premium for an elegant, Apple-crafted big screen TV right now. And he bets millions of consumers would do the same.