Another Apple-related RumorTT post, but this time it's not about their next-gen iPhone, sales, iPad, or their TV. This post is about the Cupertino-based company's vision of a set-top box, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. Apple look to want to feature a cloud-based DVR functionality, and an iPad-like interface. The features are said to be summed up into four basic details:
- Apple wants users of the box to be able to watch any show at any time via the Internet. This would allow them to begin watching shows even after they had begun airing. This would require some significant tweaks to existing digital rights.
- In conjunction, Apple wants viewers to have access to all television episodes of a current season, instead of just the last few. This would allow people to slip between live content and content from the cloud with ease.
- The interface is said to, currently, resemble the icons of the iPad. One could also reference the slightly elongated icons on the current Apple TV as being 'like the iPad', so this isn't too surprising. It's not mentioned whether the device would be used via a remote that also featured the icons, or whether it would be on the screen alone.
- Social features like sharing shows via Twitter and others may be supported on the device.
An iPad-like interface doesn't sound too strange, it's something I would actually totally expect. I personally think they should have an option when you buy the set-top box (or TV), if you're an owner of an iPhone, iPad or iPod (or any iOS-based device) then you should be able to download an application that would act as a remote, iRemote? Alternatively, or additionally, there should be an iOS-based touchscreen controller you should be able to purchase.
Cloud DVR? This sounds like iTunes on steroids, but would be great for customers who want a super-easy way of catching up on TV, or movies. Social features, well, considering iOS sports Twitter and Facebook deeply in iOS and OSX in the near future, with the former deeply integrated now, this should be another day-one feature of the STB. Apple still have a lot of work on the business side of things before something like this could take off.
This time, they'll have to play nice with others if they want to be successful with this product.
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