Apple in talks with cable providers about new live-TV, set-top box

Apple TV (feature)

Mentioned on the Wall Street Journal earlier today, Apple is currently having discussions with the major providers in the cable industry in regards to streaming live television to an Apple set-top box similar to the Apple TV. While Apple hasn’t made any official deals with any cable provider yet, company officials have discussed plans for live television streaming with representatives of Time Warner. However, the Apple device may be something completely different from the current Apple TV. It could be similar to a typical cable set-top box, but would be manufactured by Apple or at least be powered by Apple’s software. The device could be sold by Apple directly to replace a cable customer’s regular set-top box or simply rented from a cable provider.

Hypothetically, Apple could significantly broaden the amount of people using a device like the Apple TV if distributed through at least one cable company. This would allow a much larger number of Apple consumers to take advantage of Airplay in order to stream content off the Web as well as use popular apps like Angry Birds within the home theater.

However, it’s unlikely that cable companies would be interested in allowing customers to access iTunes through the device and cut into the profits of premium video-on-demand from rentals of movies and television shows. It’s likely that Apple would have to agree to some form of revenue sharing for all purchases made through iTunes on a new, live TV compatible device.

This report could also be related to recent Apple patents approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office this week. According to Wired, Apple was granted a patent for a DVR-menu function that’s designed to record and store live television for future viewing. However, the current Apple TV does not contain a hard drive and wouldn’t be able to store recorded content. If the current Apple TV hardware is updated with DVR functions, consumers would have to add an external hard drive or Apple would have to provide cloud storage for recorded content.

AppleTV_UIHowever, the menu functions outlined in the patent documentation could easily be found in a new Apple set-top box that’s compatible with at least one major cable provider. In addition, these functions could also be found within the menu of an Apple-branded television set; a long-rumored device that could be released during 2013 according to the Wall Street Journal.

While Apple has sold approximately four million Apple TV set-top boxes during 2012 according to CEO Tim Cook, the number of units sold pales in comparison to the number of iPhones or iPads sold to consumers this year. Apple has had a difficult time attracting consumers due to stiff competition from Roku and the lineup of less expensive Roku 2 set-top boxes. Apple is also competing with Microsoft and Sony as both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 work with the major streaming video applications and both companies sell high definition movies and television shows. In addition, Apple has been slow to add all the popular streaming video services to the Apple TV device. For instance, Apple didn’t add Hulu Plus as another option for streaming content until the end of July 2012.

Mobile

Tumblr for iOS vanishes from App Store, possibly due to inappropriate content

Tumblr for iOS is currently only allowing searches in Safe Mode, and it is not available on the App Store. The speculation is that the app's disappearance had something to do with inappropriate content.
Home Theater

The seven best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2018.
Movies & TV

How to watch NFL games online, with or without cable

The NFL's 2018 season is here, and we know you don't want to miss a moment of the action. Our comprehensive streaming guide will show you all the best options to watch the games online so you can make the right choice.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Deals

The best iPhone deals for November 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for November 2018.
Mobile

Apple applies for a patent on a wrap-around iPhone display

Previously, Apple was awarded a patent for a foldable phone, and the company has been rumored to be working on one. But it's not at all similar to other concepts. Here's everything we know about a folding iPhone.
Deals

The best Apple Watch deals for November 2018

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.
Deals

Save up to $850 with the best smartphone deals for November 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $850.
Deals

The best iPad deals for November 2018

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for November 2018.
Mobile

How does fast charging work? Here’s every single standard compared

Modern smartphones can charge in mere minutes instead of hours. How does fast charging work? Here's a guide to the most popular standards, including Qualcomm Quick Charge, Apple fast charging, OnePlus Dash Charge, and more.
Mobile

The Google Photos iOS app gets a bit better, now has depth control

Google updated the iOS version of the Google Photos app to now take advantage of the depth data that can be captured by the iPhone's camera in Portrait Mode. The new feature is already available in the Android app.
Computing

All the best Apple MacBook deals for Black Friday 2018

Shoppers looking for a new Apple laptop could find huge savings on a new MacBook come Black Friday. Retailers are offering discounts as much as $650 on select MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro models this holiday season.
Mobile

Apple confirms it’s collecting data on foot to improve its Maps app

Apple has been using cars and satellites to improve its Maps app, and it's now confirmed it's also using tech-laden pedestrians to collect data from the streets in a bid to provide better walking directions.