Apple Gives Media Executives Vague Hints about Its Television Plans

apple tv main menuThe Wall Street Journal provides some of the first hints about Apple's internal television project. While rumors of such a project have been ongoing for years, there has been a renewed interest in it since Steve Jobs described having "finally cracked" the TV interface in his recently released biography.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has been in ongoing discussions with media executives at several large companies about their vision for the future of TV. Apple's Senior Vice President Eddy Cue is reported to have outlined new ways Apple's technology could be used across phones, tablets and TVs. The overall concept, however, remains rather vague. It seems that Apple has discussed a number of possibilities with executives, but stopping well short of outlining their exact vision.

Of course, voice and movement controls have been suggested, though in a long term view:

In at least one meeting, Apple described future television technology that would respond to users' voices and movements, one of the people said. Such technology, which Apple indicated may take longer than some of its other ideas, might allow users to use their voices to search for a show or change channels.

Beyond that, Apple's TV plans seem to revolve around wireless streaming technology to access shows and movies. The use of Apple's AirPlay technology could allow users to control the device from their iPhone and iPad, possibly eliminating the need for a set top box. As an example, users could watch video on their TV and then move over to their iPhone or iPad seemlessly. Other sources indicate that Apple has worked on integrating DVR storage and iCloud into their future TV device.

The question of what content will be shown on the new device remains up in the air. Apple is not said to have pursued the necessary content deals at this time, though have considered the possibility of licensing content directly to create a subscription-TV service. Steve Jobs, himself, was reportedly part of these early talks as far back as 2010.

Apple's ongoing secrecy should come as no surprise. We've previously reported that competitors are already "scrambling" to react to Apple's rumored entry into the television market.

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Top Rated Comments

b166er Avatar
147 months ago
Am I the only one that doesn't want to speak to my TV? I like voice control on a phone, because I can do simple tasks while driving. But on a TV I feel like I would have to talk very loud or sit very close to the TV. Unless I am speaking in to a remote- and I think the general idea is to ditch the remote with the Apple TV. I'd rather just use my phone as a remote. Type in what I want to watch, etc. Sometimes I have to watch TV with the headphones on because I don't want to disturb others and having to speak to the TV would mess that up too.

Just my two cents, I am really psyched to see what they are going to do. I'm really hoping they hammer out some kind of deal with actual networks. I think I speak for millions of people when I say we are sick of having to purchase bundled cable packages when we only want a few select channels. A la cart programming needs to happen sooner or later.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bushido Avatar
147 months ago
maybe its just me but talking bothers me more than using the remote. tv is the only time of the day when u can just sit there and dont have to say a word.

i have kinect on my xbox and i usually just use my controller because i'm to lazy to speak lol
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TennisandMusic Avatar
147 months ago
Isn't this already available with Kinect? I guess I was just confused by the "future" technology part of it.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Koodauw Avatar
147 months ago
as long as it can automatically bring the volume level of advertisements down to be the same as the shows, it will be awesome.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Michael Scrip Avatar
147 months ago


I still think its odd and outside of Apple zone to start producing HD TV sets. Doesn't make sense. If anything more of a serious content availability for Apple/iTunes customers.

To be honest... it was weird for Apple Computer, Inc. to make MP3 players and then cell phones.

Though a name-change fixed that. :p
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Demosthenes X Avatar
147 months ago
As an example, users could watch video on their TV and then move over to their iPhone or iPad seemlessly.

This is already possible through Netflix. Just today I was watching a video on my iPad, came home, and continued streaming it via my Xbox 360. It's a great idea, and I'm all for Apple taking a crack at it, but I'm nor sure how Apple is going to do it better than Netflix already does...
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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