It's now a forgone conclusion that Apple will get into the TV manufacturing biz next year and now the rumor mills are kicking into over drive with all sorts of supposed this and thats which will be included or are holding back the release of it all.
Some of the latest I've read say that there will be two models a 32 and 37 inch version of the integrated Apple TVs. Seems to me a bit on the small side since most people I know have 40 or 50-something inch displays these days. There is also mention that there will continue to be set top box versions as well which makes sense because many people have just upgraded their displays and certainly wouldn't want to downgrade to a 30-something inch just to get the service Apple is supposed to be rolling out.
A La Carte IPTV From Apple TV?
Now this is the rumor kicking around that has me intrigued. Apparently, Apple wants to offer a service where consumers can pick and choose the channels they want and it will all be IPTV. This would pose direct competition to the cable and satellite providers and hopefully force them to unpack their massive channel packs down into more reasonable options. This is so interesting in fact that if Apple does do that I might be an early adopter because I really only watch four or five channels. Regardless, I would still need to keep my cable because of the local sports which are only on cable. Until the teams are all able to offer their own channels and I can just buy the teams I want, I will need cable. I doubt that the FOX Sports Network would jump to anything Apple is offering and jeopardize its position with the cable companies but it could happen. ESPN is offering content on game consoles so FOX should be thinking about how to better target modern sports fans as well.
The problem is that iTunes doesn't have Live TV. In fact, it doesn't even have TV episode rentals (since August) so how are they going to go from a business model that is all about purchasing previously-aired episodes to a Live TV subscription service? Well that's what is holding everything up it seems.
Hopefully, they won't end up packaging things like "Networks", "Sports", etc because that defeats the a la carte format since I don't need 30 channels about sports, I only need the sports I want to see.
Then again, if they do manage to pull it off, it could be the straw that breaks the camels back and forces cable/satellite operators to start metering bandwidth for those who don't have a premium TV subscription package as well. If they were smart, they'd already be looking at ways to unpack their channels and offer consumers more choice because that would then completely submarine Apple before they ever get their boat in the water.