Friday, July 13, 2012

Awaiting Apple TV

As I visited MicroCenter for a pair of earphones, I made a detour through the TV aisle. Wow! Flat panels have taken a dive in price. I am not talking about the HD LED magnificent flat panels. Rather the simple flat panel TVs which previously would run close to a $1000, and now are only a fistful of dollars.

In my living room, I still have a CRT, next to my VHS player. Sadly, I am not kidding about that. The CRT I got for a couple of beers from a friend. Because it lacks some of the input/outputs, I route the Wii, Digital TV and DVD signal through the VHS player. I am not proud of it, but we just don't watch much television. And the little we do is typically a DVD from Netflix or streaming Netflix from the Wii. It is however next on the replacement list, but I am planning to wait. I am holding out for the Apple TV All Unicorn Channel.

It has to be simpler than the Sony receiver a colleague recently posted for sale. 
The previous picture not withstanding, the problem with TV is not the hook up. It is the type of content and what you pay for. I recently took a look at the AT&T Uverse TV offering. What struck me is that part of their business model is still rent you a set-top box. If you wanted the wireless set-top box, so you can hook up your TV without much running of cable in your house, it is $7/month. No thank you. 

The future of TV is likely an easy to set up screen, which streams your content (Netflix, Hulu, Youtube) on-demand with rates for "I want it as soon as it comes up" and "free if you have patience". At the same time your iPad glued to your hand knows what's streaming and can show you relevant information. If it is a baseball game it shows you stats. If it is the Tour de France, a map of where they are in France. All with a sideline of related adds. And if I wanted to comment on the show on Facebook or Twitter, it is right there with the hash-tag of the show. It will not be about the actual TV-set, not about selling the devices as a service, but about related applications on our handheld device and cellphone. 

Now, Apple, in the interim, just ship me a great TV, can you?  

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