What kind of experiences would we have if everyone had an Apple TV? Would it be easier for us to share videos and music? What would it be like to shop for new audio and video equipment? What kind of content would be available and how would content creators change their strategies? I take a look at what it would be like if the Apple TV were as ubiquitous as the iPhone.
Steve Jobs is on the ball. His new Apple TV is aimed at simplifying the work of getting a movie or television show, and also simplifying the installation of such a device. By leveraging Wi-Fi, focusing on streaming rather than local storage and offering the full library of iPhone movies, the device sounds like a great way to get quick, new content to your HD television. And the total price? $99. We take a look at some elements that would be different if the Apple TV took off, and was a standard item in any TV-owning household.
Apple has introduced AirPlay into their newest Apple TV device, and it means that you can walk in to your living room with your iPod Touch playing a movie, and with a click you can transfer that streaming movie to your Apple TV. The feature also works with other wireless audio speakers and wireless audio receivers. Reports show that there will be more devices that use the standard, which increases the odds that you could walk in to your friend’s living room with your iPod and stream your device into their Apple TV
Apps and Add-Ons
Undoubtedly, Apple will integrate all future devices into the Apple TV, so that experience of having a ‘music night’ where everyone in the house can just queue up their favorite tracks from their iPhone, iPod or iDevice becomes reality. There also may be cool, unique games you could play that connect your devices to the centralized Apple TV. Imagine something like a quiz game where everyone can play the game that’s on the TV using their iPhone as their controller. That’s possible as a long term strategy for the Apple TV.
If the Apple TV was the center of the Universe, then perhaps TV makers would be able to focus more on picture quality and less on creating their own platforms and app stores. That said, unless Apple opens up the specs a little, it seems like TV manufacturers would have good reason to use Google TV. But that’s not part of the fantasy in this article, so I do think it would be pretty easy for consumers to not have to worry about the quality of app store when buying TVs, in an Apple TV world.
The TV series of today pack enough talent that a prominent New York Times analyst called The Sopranos the first of a generation of “megamovies”. Like reading a good novel, series like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Californication, Dexter and others offer a great way for people to once again gather around the television once a week to catch up on their favorite stories.
Apple TV is a great experience for television watchers, offering 99 cent television show rentals. So next time you’re throwing a Mad Men party, you can know that it will only cost you a dollar to watch the episode right when everyone is ready. At that price, it also makes it fun to just throw on “the episode I’m thinking about” while talking about your favorite shows at any other time, too.
Easier Web Access
Although web browsing may not be part of their offering, the devices uses the web and it’s not a stretch to say that they could allow users to browse web pages at some point in the future, if users demanded it. It may be simple, like an Apple news-aggregative site that just works well with the Apple remote, or maybe they do something more complex. In any case, people are getting warmed up to the idea of browsing their favorite sites from their living room couch.
Expensive Monthly Internet Bills
Get ready to start exceeding your monthly Gigabyte usage limit. The Apple TV does not store any movies, it only streams, and this means that every time you watch a show, you’re going to be paying. And if it’s HD, expect ~2 Gigabytes per movie. That’s some serious bandwidth usage, and as a regular PS3 Netflix user, I know that I had to jump up a tier to make this work. It’s worth it if you’re using the device to replace TV, but affording this and cable may be a stretch for some.