Ed Bott linked to an interesting article by a former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée saying that an Apple TV is going to happen soon. We are not talking a set top box like the current Apple TV we are talking a full HD TV complete with CableCARD support.

The idea is exciting and so obvious it’s got to happen. Imagine a true plug-and-play experience. One set with only two wires: power and the cable TV coax. Turn it on, assert your Apple ID credentials and you’re in business. The programme guide looks good and is easy to navigate; pay channels are just a click and a password away. The TV runs apps, from games to FaceTime and Skype, it “just works” with your other iDevices and also acts as a Wi-Fi base station using the cable provider’s internet service.

This seems a TV nirvana but as Ed points out this has a number of issues that make it a non-starter. First off I can’t see Apple wanting to deal with the cable companies, many Media Center users will know that getting CableCARD working can be difficult and Apple like to control the whole processes so that the for the user everything just works and CableCARD doesn’t seem to fit in with that.  Apple have shunned Blu-ray in favour of iTunes and cloud services and I agree with Ed, if Apple are going to produce their own TV its going to be based on the iTunes ecosystems. So an Apple TV would be just like the Apple TV box we have now but married to a excellent display and combined with iTunes, iPhone/iPad remote and the introduction of apps for the Apple TV.

So does it make sense for Apple to produce a TV with the complexities of CableCARD? For non-US markets there would still be a problem accessing premium content from the likes of Sky and would Apple want to ship a TV with a tuner card in it? It would seem very un-Apple like but then who would by a TV that can’t receive live TV?

2 thoughts on “Does an Apple TV with CableCARD make sense?”
  1. An apple television would be nice but I think one big issue is the lifecycles, people buy a tv and usually live with it till it blows up or the move to something new is too tempting e.g. a crt to an affordable lcd.

    10 year lifecycles probably… hmm dunno about this, but then i said “hmm dunno about this about the ipad”

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