Apple TV or not TV

A while back we started a post on the long anticipated iTV (or iScreen or iName of your choice) by saying:

“Their timeline for disruptive new product sales has been Q4 2001 the iPod, Q2 2007 the iPhone and then finally the iPad in Q2 of 2010.”

The average new product group introduction timeline, we reckon, has therefore involved a gap of around 17 quarters or a little over 4 years.  Some might therefore say that the Apple Watch fits neatly into this scenario with likely availability from early next year just under 5 years after the iPad introduction.

We beg to differ as the Apple Watch (note NOT the iWatch) is being categorised by Apple as part of their new Other products group). Per their conference call on their Q4 results back in October “We’ll be creating a new reporting category called other products. This will encompass everything we report in the accessories category today including Beats headphones and speakers, Apple TV and peripherals and accessories for iPhone, iPad, Mac and iPod.

In addition, we will begin to include iPod sales in the other products category and we will also reflect sales of Apple Watch in this line item once it begins shipping in early calendar 2015.”

So possibly we can look forward to the iTV either early in 2015 or not until 2018!

Elsewhere Seeking Alpha in the form of Alex Cho thinks it could well be in the 2016-2018 timeframe. His analysis is somewhat influenced by the excellent analyst, from Piper Jaffray, Gene Munster whose one weakness as even he highlighted in a 2013 presentation slide seems to be forecasting the arrival of the iTV. It ran as follows:

  • 2009 – “Apple will launch a television by 2011″ – Gene Munster
  • 2011 – “Apple will launch a television by 2012″ – Gene Munster
  • 2012 – “Don’t buy a TV today because Apple will launch one in 2013″ – Gene Munster
  • 2013 – “……” Gene Munster

His latest statement is:

“Apple takes a long time in-between products. If we look back over the last decade, it’s 3-6 years between major products. And so, ultimately the Watch is what hit this year, they’re going to refine that next year along with payments. And then that probably gets us into 2016 as more of a time frame for the actual television.”

We hope our 2015 possibility comes to fruition and in the meantime will leave you with the impressive Martin Hajek’s  video of what it might just look like!

Stream stream stream – Internet TV is the future

Viacom today announced that they have reached an agreement with Sony to provide 22 channels to their upcoming Cloud-based TV service likely launching later this year in the US.

Sony’s cloud-based TV service will offer subscribers Internet-based live TV and video on demand from major programmers, including the following content from Viacom:

  • At least 22 Viacom linear networks at launch, including BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, MTV2, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Nicktoons, Spike, TV Land and VH1, BET Gospel, Centric, Logo, CMT Pure Country, MTV Hits, MTV James, mtvU, Palladia, TeenNick, Vh1 Classic and Vh1 Soul and all available HD.
  • Authenticated access to hundreds of hours of programming on Viacom’s TV Everywhere websites and apps. Viacom currently offers TV Everywhere apps from Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, VH1, CMT and Logo.
  • Viacom’s full video-on-demand package.

Almost as soon as this was announced rumours appeared that both Disney & Fox were considering following suit.

irdeto have also just done some research on viewing habits and both here and in the US it looks as if we are all increasingly watching internet TV and this is, unsurprisingly, most prevalent amongst the younger generation.

99’s for Apple & Amazon

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Today is Apple’s day for their “special event” with the anticipated announcement of the iPhone6 and (increasingly likely) the iWearable which may or may not be called the iWatch.

Rumours of course abound and the somewhat unlikely combination of U2 and the Mayo Clinic are amongst the latest. Also we hear that many glitterati from the fashonista sector are expected. We wonder if Burberry may feature at the behest of Angela Ahrendts, their ex CEO, who is now Apple’s  Senior VP of  Retail & Online Stores.

You can watch the event live, running Safari on iOS or Mac, or on your Apple TV and “… follow every moment.”

Numerous live bloggers will be in attendance and Apple watchers such as:

will guide you through it all with their informed commentary.

In accordance with tradition the Apple Store is now closed and you can read “We’ll be back” in 19 different languages. Hungarian is our favourite as they can say it in one word “Visszatérünk”

We shall wait then watch from 6pm BST/10am PDTand likely report back (briefly) later tonight after it’s all over (around 9-10pm BST we guess).

Amazon in an attempt to make their FirePhones move off the shelves have cut the US starter price to 99cents.

The firePhone has also been launched over here  and can be pre ordered from O2  starting at an even lower cost of £nil on a monthly £33 2 year contract with availability indicated as Tuesday September 30. As in the US you also get (until December 31) a free year of Prime membership which normally costs £79.

Announced for the UK last week was the Amazon Fire TV also at £79. Availability is Tuesday October 14.

Disclosure: We have marketing affiliate arrangements with Amazon

Will you pass your DQ test?

Ofcom  in connection with the publication today of the eleventh edition of its Communications Market Report (CMR) has included both the results of its research into the Digital Quotient of our population as well as a somewhat shortened test so that you can quickly (3 minutes they claim) come up with your own level.


It consists of 18 questions with a maximum score of about 144 we reckon but to achieve that you will have to use a Smartwatch a 3D printer and glasses!

The overall average at 100 we reckon converts to a percentage of just under 70% and the “with it” 14-15 year olds just under 80%. Everybody passes with even the 75+’s scoring 55%.

We may return to the full UK report at a later stage to comment on some of its 429 pages and the consistently colourful charts

Report links:

UK Device Usage Reminder for Traditional Broadcasters

Ofcom produced the latest in their line of rather colourful reports yesterday. It’s the Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes Report 2014 (pdf). For adults read 16 & over and for 2014 read late 2013!

Their headlines/press releases, which were picked up by the media, highlighted the increased usage of devices by the silver surfers as they are affectionately known by the Mail Online amongst many others,  BUT what caught our attention was the demographics in particular of the Most Missed Media responses.

The overall top 3 devices being chosen as being those most missed at 79% being the TV Smartphone and Online devices (computer, laptop, netbook tablet etc). Across all demographics this total varies between 72% and 83%.

BUT and it’s a big one the TV constituent v’s the online devices including smartphones which overall is about 50/50 (42%/37%) starts with the 16-24 year old group at 13%/65% only going above half with the 45-54 year olds.

This group also figured as  the most increased users of tablets compared to last year increasing from 19% to 44% and on the smartphone front the next group 45-54 year olds were found to be the top increased usage going up from 46% to 66%. As they adopt surely they will increasingly, more likely, be able to do without their TV’s for content!

Smart TV’s have been added to the list of devices added to online access this year and make a pretty impressive start at 9%. We wonder if they include all streaming devices which are another online content source

Undoubtedly much more in the 95 pages of the report

The arrows in the charts relate to any significance testing between 2012 and 2013.    

Streaming’s on fire

Amazon yesterday announced the launch of their set top TV box amazon fire TV.

Whilst it can be bought for $99 now in the US unfortunately UK availability is yet to be confirmed and, based on their previous hardware releases (particularly kindle Fire tablets), it may be a while coming.

As ever it does have a virtually unique facility, “voice search” which, if their video is anything to go by, is their USP. As Jeff Bezos says “The old way of searching with a TV remote—scrolling and clicking one letter at a time on an alphabet grid—is painful. With Fire TV you simply speak the title, actor, or genre into the remote and you’re done.”

There is also a game controller available (at an extra $39.99) which could well open up the games market for them although “the controller” has had few, if any, positive reviews from gamers!



The box itself is small 4.5 inches square and 0.7in deep.

Click to enlarge

Aimed at both Google’s Chromecast and other set top boxes from the likes of Apple & Roku it is a welcome addition over there! We look forward to a UK introduction hopefully later this year

Here’s amazons impressive promotional video. We also like the popcorn!

Disclosure: We have marketing affiliate arrangements with Amazon

Streaming Dongles from Google and amazon

Todays news is that Google’s Chromecast is now available in the UK (and 10 other countries Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden).

Whilst the price in the UK of £30 is a bit on the high side compared to its US equivalent of $35 it’s still well below the Roku competitor we mentioned a little while back which comes in at  £49.99.

In the UK the ubiquitous BBC iPlayer is available on the Chromecast.

It can be acquired from Google Play and many retailers including of course amazon

Talking of which there is general expectation that they will announce a device in the very near future (possibly April) but if history is anything to go by it will initially only be available in the US. We shall see and report back after its appearance.

We’ll leave you with Google’s little video to whet your casting appetite!

Streaming Sticks & the iPlayer

Roku  announced their Google Chromecast competitor the Streaming Stick TM earlier this week with a US price of $49 vs Google’s $35.

More importantly, for us over here, Roku are making their stick available in the UK from April. Whilst the $ conversion rate is unimpressive £49.99 is not wholly unrealistic if it performs as well as their existing offerings.

In our words it plugs into your TV’s HDMI port and needs power via a USB input either from a TV connection or via an AC adaptor. It’s basically controlled from a remote.

Roku say:

  • TV compatibility – HDTV’s only
  • 500+ entertainment channels
  • Built-in wireless
  • Plays up to 1080p HD video
  • Control with included remote or mobile devices (via free Roku app)
  • Send videos, photos and music stored locally on your smartphone to your TV via the Roku app
  • Dual-band wireless
  • Cast to TV direct from the Netflix and YouTube apps
  • Tiny stick. Big entertainment.

Roku say  they have over 8 million players streaming 1.7 billion hours of content in 2013 which they reckon translates into 13 hours per week per player which is quite a lot!

In the meantime the BBC have announced that BBC Three could well become a solely online broadcaster available via their iPlayer – maybe they will launch their own streaming stick the iPlayer for iPlayer! 

We’ll leave you with CNET’s instant reaction to the Streaming Stick – remember they are informing a US audience re content etc

Now TV Streams ahead

Sky yesterday unveiled its latest channel addition to its set top box streaming service NOW TV.

It’s the Entertainment Channel which gets added to Sky Sports and Sky movies. They all operate on a non contract / pay-as-you-go basis currently at the following prices:

  • Entertainment – Month pass – £4.99 (introductory offer valid through Mach 2014)
  • Sky Movies – Month pass – £8.99 with a months free trial (introductory offer – standard rate £14.99)
  • Sky Sports – Day pass £9.99

They’ve been trialling the Entertainment channel over the last month or so and we were one of the trialists. There are 10 TV broadcast channels available Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Sky Living, Sky Arts 1, Discovery, MTV, Comedy Central, GOLD, Disney and FOX. Additionally certain “box” sets and catch up facilities are available.

The Entertainment service in device terms is available now on the NOW TV Box, PS3, Roku, Macs and PCs. iOS Xbox and LG devices to follow by mid November and Android early next year Customers are able to register four devices at any one time.

With our Infinity broadband we have no complaints whatsoever in fact the opposite the service operated virtually faultlessly.

The NOW TV box which is basically a rebadged Roku  customised with Sky software needs an HDMI connection. At a low entry price of £9.99 and iPlayer + other facilities it is probably the cheapest way to connect your TV.  

As streaming increases in popularity it will be interesting to see how the rival providers develop. Certainly here in the UK we would expect Sky to be amongst the leaders.

We have no commercial relationships with Sky or NOW TV

Stranger than Lost

Increasingly trailers for upcoming TV series are, sort of, prereleased on the internet.

Here’s J J Abrams latest teaser.

If you want, sort of, analyses / hypotheses about the likely event then read this, otherwise just wait & see!

Bad Robot is J J Abrams production company.