Battle Of The TV Sign-In Data: Apple Plans New Set-Top Box

Apple TV is working on a new set-top box. Still no word about an actual Apple television set. We know how complicated it is working on new TV technologies, TV services, or combined technology/service -- all in the hopes of offering easier/ revolutionary ways to access all kind of media via the big screen.

Apple was able to be a bit more revolutionary when it came to the iPod and iTunes Music Store,  because the music business was in disarray then. TV businesses are in no such dire straits. Even then Steve Jobs, just before his death, said he believed Apple had “figured out” TV, but henever got around to revealing the secret.

Now comes a new set-top box, with a possible powerful ally, Time Warner Cable, which would look to add much more video content -- though the just-announced merger would seem to complicate matters. 

One would think Apple might look to avoid such traditional TV providers --  cable operators, satellite TV distributors, and telco TV companies. Some believe older legacy systems can bog down newer media.Access to some programming on Apple TV would require customers to prove they pay for cable or satellite, where apps requires a login and password to be enter. Apple already had some problems with other TV providers in this regards --  Comcast and DirecTV. Apple has been trying to convince those two companies to let customers use Apple IDs instead of login/password info from Comcast and DirecTV.



Aye, there’s the rub about future media control: It’s about one’s sign-in name and one’s password.

If Apple gets TV providers to agree to that, consumers will be more attached to all its devices/services -- just as they do with other Apple-connected media content.  Traditional TV providers don’t want to give Apple that much control.

TV authentication can be a cumbersome affair -- and it doesn’t speak to the clean Apple brand and feel. But hey, small steps, right? Still, looking out over the horizon, can one even see a full-fledged television set?

6 comments about "Battle Of The TV Sign-In Data: Apple Plans New Set-Top Box ".
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  1. Chuck Lantz from, network, February 13, 2014 at 5:13 p.m.

    It's great to see someone mention the Big Problem with non-TV viewing;... "Aye, there’s the rub about future media control: It’s about one’s sign-in name and one’s password." ... Amen to that! Having to log-in two and sometimes three times just to view a single paid-for program drives me nuts. Wouldn't it be possible to at least identify all the devices a paying customer uses during an initial log-in and identification, and thus eliminate the need to log-in every time we try to view something we already have paid for?

  2. Doug Garnett from Protonik, LLC, February 13, 2014 at 6:36 p.m.

    "Some believe older legacy systems can bog down newer media." i think we're just about done with these exciting new things with nothing to watch on them (or the endless challenge of searching only to find that Netflix doesn't have what you want to watch). Content is kind - absolutely. Cool technology is very far down the list of what consumers care about. That's what any set top box provider needs to understand. Of all the new technologies, only Apple seems to really get this - just look at what they've done with the media creators and distributors for music, books, and movies.

  3. Doug Garnett from Protonik, LLC, February 13, 2014 at 6:36 p.m.

    That's "Content is KING"... Sorry. :-)

  4. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, February 13, 2014 at 7:08 p.m.

    Let's see. New family of 4 plan for phones at $160/mo plus tax takes it to well over $2000/yr. TV with the stuff you want including the stuff you don't = $2400/yr. So that's $4400 per year out of a family of 4's net income of a gross $35,000/yr, even up to $50,000/yr. In what planet is this hasn't been inflationary that over 13% of income disappears before rent and heat and food ? Rent/mortgage is hitting 60% of income. Aero and its followers may pick up more steam and find more alternatives. They come to praise Caesar, not to bury him...until they did.

  5. Peter Benjamin from MyOffices, February 19, 2014 at 4:50 p.m.

    For the past two years every time I submit the Tv On the Go app I get rejected from Apple. Its on every app store other than Apple. We have been doing this since 2001. Delivering streaming to any enabled device via multi formats at different bit-rates. The reasons for denial were really questionable and it calls into question Apples motives to keep any Tv App out of its reach. We provided the rights, The app has functions, The design is simple. The type of content is Pg13+ and we have great partners. Apple will release their version soon & I am sure it will be great but for the little guy we should at least have a fighting chance. The submission process is simple: The App works its compliant -it meets your description it should go through if it doesn't then it should not. If it competes with your upcoming offer we should not have to wait for your product to come to market before we get released. Try the app on the PlayStore and see what we have in store. for the web version. Imagine that we have been waiting for 2 years to get an approval for an app approval. Everytime we get a different rejection on the same app.

  6. Jim Rice from Piiku, March 25, 2014 at 9:06 a.m.

    Perhaps Apple should consider starting small rather than trying to cut deals with the top 5 multi-channel video providers to build some successes with companies that might be more flexible to try, more on Apple's terms, to experiment and resolve some of the issues such as sign-in and passwords.

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