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Apple TV's Pay-TV Impact

17 февраля 2007
At this year's MacWorld in San Francisco, Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced Apple TV - his company's latest innovation that will wirelessly send PC-based files to a customers TV. Although Jobs has been successful with several products of late, many questions remain about an Apple-branded set-top box and its impact on the pay TV landscape. One of the biggest hurdles Apple TV will be facing is stiff competition from existing television services, namely cable and satellite. Several industry analysts have been quoted as saying the set-top market is crowded with cable and satellite boxes, video game consoles, DVD players and more.

"This country has set-top fatigue," said HDTV investigator Phil Swann. "People are tired of it (because) it clutters up the living room." He also said that there's a propensity within technology circles to "kneel before Jobs when he begins to speak" because of his recent success with the iPod and other Apple products. "There's a tendency to believe that he will be successful in all," Swann said. "But no one is. No one is always right."

Apple's iTunes music service has been extremely successful during the past handful of years (with downloads costing as cheap as 99 cents), but Diffusion Group CEO Michael Greeson told the San Francisco Chronicle that it is uncertain whether consumers will pay $10-$15 for movie downloads and then send them to their living room TVs. According to Greeson, there are a lot more questions than answers about Apple TV.

Other factors analysts have noted:
  • While Apple's high-def feature should help, the device is only capable of supporting 720p, not 1080i.
  • Apple TV will only transmit files from a PC's iTunes folder, not clips from other sources like YouTube.



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