Apple Proposes New Cloud-Based Video-Streaming Service

Netflix isn’t the only TV content service looking for better connections with Comcast. So is Apple, with a proposed new video streaming service.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple intends to allow users to stream live and on-demand programming stored in "cloud" servers.  If it goes through, the deal would signal a new level of technology and partnership with cable TV companies -- as it would eliminate the need for a set-top box.

Apple had been expected to launch a new Apple TV, with some reports pointing to a refined set-top box that would include gaming and cable set-box-like capabilities.

In addition, Apple intends to pursue a more stable and faster broadband connection with Comcast, eliminating the need for third-party providers, similar to the one Netflix recently struck with Comcast. This was prompted by consumers' problems of buffering -- an interruption of their video service.

These discussions follow soon after the announcement of Comcast's proposed $45 billion deal to buy Time Warner Cable -- making the largest U.S. cable operator in the country even bigger.

It also comes after a mid-January federal appeals court ruling that eliminated "Net neutrality" rules, which had prohibited Internet providers from prioritizing content from some providers over others.

Netflix commands much of the Internet traffic in prime time -- occupying over 30% in the U.S., according to estimates. Competition for new broadband video services is growing.

Also, as part of its recent groundbreaking deal with Walt Disney Co., Dish Network will start its own Internet-delivered on-demand programming effort using Disney TV and movie content, believed to be the first such deal for a U.S.-based TV provider.



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