Looking for that TV grand vision? Apple is -- but are consumers? Maybe they just want a cheap $8 a month over-the-top TV service.
In large part, TV hasn't changed from the way it was 10, 20 or even 30 years ago. Meanwhile Apple changed much of the non-TV entertainment world, with its iPod, iPhone, iPad, and iTunes retailing effort.
But for music and movies, consumers can buy content on a piecemeal basis. Not so for TV, when its ecosystem is built around big networks and programming services.
So Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is looking for a "grand" vision that changes the TV set experience, much as the company did for those small personal devices. It better be mighty grand. Seems Apple is in no rush to figure all this out -- which a good thing.
The chief problem remains content. Media companies may not have had a problem selling an individual episode (or a season’s worth) of a TV series on a non-advertising basis which could be accessed by users on second screens -- especially when those revenues were ancillary to their main business. But toying with large media companies’ first screens -- the big TV viewing unit sitting in most people's living rooms? You can hear those TV executives quickly interrupting: "Hey, wait a second!"
Would Apple be selling a new TV-like product -- or a new TV distribution system? We don't know yet. Maybe a little of both. Surely, companies like Comcast, DirecTV, Dish, Amazon, Netflix, and even Sony Electronics would be taking note.
Taking on the ubiquitous and dominant TV experience of the TV set, Apple has its hands full.