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Thread: iTunes TV: $30/mo net TV

  1. #1
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Default iTunes TV: $30/mo net TV

    And Disney might be first to take the jump....

    Given the advances in streaming HD codecs, net connected video boxes like WD TV Live and joint ventures like HULU (Fox, NBC and ABC) the cable/satellite paradigm just might getting some real competition. Cut out the bloated middlemen, so to speak.

    About the only 'outlier' who's trying to go their own way is Viacom/CBS/Columbia, and they're not doing well.

    IMO this is going to snowball a lot faster than people have previously thought, if for no other reason than the infrastructure costs of the existing content distribution system, which is part of why services are so expensive. In a world where street folks can't tell the difference between BR and DVD with HDMI upsampling and where people are quite happy with YouTube HD.....

    Link....

    Apple’s iTunes Pitch: TV for $30 a Month

    Would you pay $30 a month to watch TV via iTunes?

    That’s the pitch Apple has been making to TV networks in recent weeks. The company is trying to round up support for a monthly subscription service that would deliver TV programs via its multimedia software, multiple sources tell me.

    Apple (AAPL) isn’t tying the proposed service to a specific piece of hardware, like its underwhelming Apple TV box or its long-rumored tablet/slate device. Instead, the company is presenting the offer as an extension of its iTunes software and store, which already has 100 million customers.

    A so-called “over the top” service could theoretically rival the ones most consumers already buy from cable TV operators–if Apple is able to get enough buy-in from broadcast and cable TV programmers.

    That’s a big if: Apple has told industry executives it wants to launch the service early next year, but I have yet to hear of a single programmer that has made a firm commitment to the company, which has tasked iTunes boss Eddy Cue with promoting the idea.

    Industry executives believe that if anyone jumps first, it will be Disney (DIS), since CEO Bob Iger has shown a willingness to experiment with Apple and iTunes in the past: In 2005, Disney was the first player to sell its programming on iTunes, via a-la-carte downloads. And Apple CEO Steve Jobs is Disney’s largest single shareholder, a result of Disney’s 2006 acquisition of Jobs’s Pixar animation studio. Apple didn’t respond to requests for comment.

    Network executives I’ve talked to are intrigued by the idea–they are eager to find new revenue streams–but are also wary, for several reasons.

    Cable networks, for instance, don’t want to threaten existing relationships and subscription fees from cable providers like Comcast (CMCSA). And programmers are also worried about the effect a subscription service would have on advertising revenue: Even if the service didn’t distribute TV programs until after their initial air date, that could cut into ratings, which now measure viewership over the course of several days.

    But the move to deliver TV and movies over the Web is already well under way. Netflix (NFLX), for instance, already bundles free streaming movie and television along with its disc-by-mail subscription service. iTunes and Amazon (AMZN) rent movies on a one-off basis, and Google’s (GOOG) YouTube is trying out the same thing. Meanwhile, Hulu, the joint venture between GE’s (GE) NBC, News Corp.’s (NWS) Fox, and ABC, is figuring out how to launch a paid service that may include rentals, paid downloads or subscriptions.

    So Apple’s proposed subscription service, which the company has floated in the past, is no longer a huge stretch. Says one executive briefed on the company’s plans: “I think they might get it right this time.”
    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 3rd November 2009 at 00:05.
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  2. #2
    The Berserker Jammrock's Avatar
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    Oh gee, could Disney's willingness have anything to do with Steve Jobs being the biggest shareholder in Disney whose name does not end in Disney? Hmmm....

    I think it's a great idea, I still think the US broadband industry sucks too much for it to fly. I would love to ditch my expensive satellite, which is still cheaper than cable, and get something cheaper with equally good quality (assume channel selection was comparable).

    But I'm one of the people that can tell the difference, and care about it, between real HD and upsampled SD and I personally don't like the idea of paying for low definition broadcasting. Especially when I can hook up an OTA card and antenna and get all the network stations for free in uncompressed HD. And while some Americans may have a good broadband provider, mine isn't one of those, and most people I know are in the same boat. I can barely stream Netflix SD in high quality without it downsampling constantly. It's very annoying.

    Anyway, I think it's the future, but too soon. Especially since so many people are being hit with download caps these days, and true throughput rate are still relatively low.
    Last edited by Jammrock; 3rd November 2009 at 02:05.
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    Unfortunately, with a number of cable operators being content generators (regional sports networks, Comast buying NBC/Universal), plus the desire of the Cable/Telephone companies to not be dumb pipes, this will have a hard time getting off the ground.

    The Phone/Cable companies will cap/overage this to death, or not roll out higher speed networks. For this to really work, we need to separate the last mile from the Telephone/cable companies like the 1996 Telecom Act intended. But that will never happen given the current state of our government.

    I hate to say it, but France really did it right. They took the framework of our 1996 Telecom act, and ran with it to the conclusion or unbundling the last mile from the providers. Now they have the choice of multiple ISPs, with lots of bandwidth. Of course, they are pushing through the 3 strikes model for cutting you off if they detect "piracy" so all is not good. But the incumbents here will never let this fly. They want to give you wired broadband like they are giving you wireless broadband on your phones.

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    Super MURCer Tjalfe's Avatar
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    the download caps here will probably make this a non starter.. both big providers here have TV as one of their main businesses, why make competition for themselves
    We have enough youth - What we need is a fountain of smart!


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    Super MURCer Wulfman's Avatar
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    I´m surprised - we already have that. our telecom (telekom.at) offers an ipTV package. dedicated box, offering some 70 channels (+24 premium channels, incl. scifi, playboy, national geographic). basic fee is about 25€ (8 mbit dsl unlimited + land line + TV), plus ~8€ for the premium channels. if you want on-demand content (e.g. series like lost,..) you pay an additional 10€/months, HD is extra as well. from what I heard, quality is about what you get with SD.

    mfg
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    The Berserker Jammrock's Avatar
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    This is different from IPTV. AT&T's Uverse service provides IPTV as well, but IPTV comes from your bandwidth provider across their lines that you pay extra for.

    Apple's plan is bandwidth provider independent. So Apple gets paid to provide TV content for a Disney company across Comcast/Time Warner lines. That's going to cause the big wigs to panic.
    Last edited by Jammrock; 3rd November 2009 at 10:54.
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    Super MURCer Wulfman's Avatar
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    hm. but the price our telekom is charging for the whole package is more or less as cheap as the line alone from a different provider...

    mfg
    wulfman
    "Perhaps they communicate by changing colour? Like those sea creatures .."
    "Lobsters?"
    "Really? I didn't know they did that."
    "Oh yes, red means help!"

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    The Berserker Jammrock's Avatar
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    Ah, the power of a monopoly to crush their competitors

    In the US you pay for the line, and then IPTV on top of that. Don't know how good the pricing is though. I know a couple of people with it so it is likely on par with satellite or cable.
    “Inside every sane person there’s a madman struggling to get out”
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    Super MURCer Wulfman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammrock View Post
    Ah, the power of a monopoly to crush their competitors
    good point. regulations force them (on paper) to lease their lines to their competitors at a price point, that allows them to offer similar services. which has not happened, so it is probably not working.

    mfg
    wulfman
    "Perhaps they communicate by changing colour? Like those sea creatures .."
    "Lobsters?"
    "Really? I didn't know they did that."
    "Oh yes, red means help!"

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    The Berserker Jammrock's Avatar
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    The US has similar laws that govern the "last mile" (the lines between your house and the telephone or cable exchange), but the telecom's and cable companies make it a huge hassle to lease and then charges thrid parties the maximum price the law allows them to. Then they undercut their competitors long enough to scare them away and then jack the prices back up.

    This is why so many people are putting their hope on white net's and technologies like WiMax. No copper or fiber lines to your home, just an antenna in your attic, roof, porch, etc. and a hook-up to get (in theory) 75 Mbps throughput for internet, IPTV and VoIP service.

    So far no good wimax services yet because the spectrum costs makes it cost prohibitive for anyone but the big companies to deploy. Which is where white space networks hope to fill in the blanks.
    “Inside every sane person there’s a madman struggling to get out”
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    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Methinks this is a good time for a MaBell type monopoly action.
    Dr. Mordrid
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    Super MURCer Tjalfe's Avatar
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    Maybe let the towns buy the physical cable infrastructure, then rent it to the cable/phone providers.
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    There is a city near us on the Detroit River called Wyandotte (named for the NA tribe) of about 28,000 and they have their own 70 MW power plant (with seldon needed backup from Detroit Edison), electrical distribution, cable TV and broadband (fiber mains), water and water treatment plant. The power plant burns coal, natural gas and tire-derived fuel (TDF - 13,000 tons of processed old tires) and the ash is recycled into high strength concrete, steel and other products.

    They call it Wyandotte Municipal Services and it's been going since 1889, though the first few years it was privately held. There are 41 such outfits in Michigan and over 2,000 across the nation.

    Well run and the people love it as the bills are low; it's run as a nominal not for profit though several million $/year goes into the city general fund to keep taxes down. Services are run the New Hampshire way - lots of public input. The key to making it work is local control. If this were done on a wider basis that would be lost and likely not work.

    They also run a Police Explorers program for 14-21 year olds (a non-scouting subsidiary of the Boy Scouts).
    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 4th November 2009 at 18:22.
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    Super MURCer cjolley's Avatar
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    Gosh Doc. You're going all Commie on us.

    Having been forced to install I-Tunes for windows to get Becky's ipod working I can state that Apple software sucks big green donkey dicks.
    Never again.
    Chuck
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