Future of TV?


Steve Jobs’ biography has sparked quite a few Apple TV set rumors when the biography revealed that Steve has cracked the problem of creating an effective interactive television. There have been rumors about a Siri controlled Apple TV set. The latest rumors as reported on WSJ indicates that Apple TV will be very reliant on the cloud, allowing users to download or stream movies, TV shows directly to the TV set. Apple is also said to be working on an enhanced version of Airplay which allows the user to start watching video on the TV and continue watching it on their iPad, iPhone. As in Apple TV, the Apple TV Set can also be controlled through iPhone, iPad etc. The best in this series of rumors is that Apple is working on iCloud based DVR service (I hate the set-top box for its unnecessary clunkiness and lack of technology!) 

Every analyst, tech writer, and blogger our there seem to believe that an Apple TV set is in the making. If any of that is true, I’m looking forward to a revolution in TV hardware, software and cable services.

Recently, Sony was in the news for trying to compete with Apple’s expected Apple TV Set. Sony is looking to beam TV content directly to its Sony PS 3’s, TV’s and Blu-Ray players through the web. There are about 18.1 million PS3’s out there, but Sony has failed to use the devices to sell any content (of value) so far, even though the company is aptly placed both with hardware and with manufacturer clout, to make the bold move. But the question is … will Sony be able to sell smaller bundles by undercutting the prices charged by cable companies and will media companies ignore their own biggest customers – cable operators. 

TV isn’t going anywhere and in my opinion it is still in its infancy, but the way it is distributed will change drastically in the coming years. Credit Suisse Analyst has forecasted a 200,000 subscriber loss for the US pay television market in 2012. Young people are growing up in a world where they have access to free content on the internet and with access to portable gadgets with high-speed data, the need of the moment is to access the media content anywhere and at anytime. Will cable companies be able to survive this consumer driven market and still fend off technology giants like Apple?  I don’t think so.

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