From what I can gather, Gruber opposes the idea of “live
streaming TV.” By that he means the cable TV we’re all used to
— programs air at certain times, and that’s when we can either
watch or record them for later viewing.
That’s not quite my stance. I’m not opposed to live traditional TV in any sense. What I’m thinking though, is that live streaming TV is the old way. It’s the established paradigm for how a TV works, what it does. You turn it on, pick a channel, and you see whatever is “live” on that channel right now.
Apple is only going to get serious about TV if they find a way to get past that paradigm. The old way of making cell phones, for example, was to make a device that was primarily designed for voice calls, with dedicated green/red hardware buttons for starting/terminating calls. Apple’s phone design still supported voice calls, of course, but relegated the entire phone experience to just another app. So maybe “live TV” would be just another app on an iTV. The base level of the experience, conceptually, would be a home screen full of apps, and old-school live streaming TV — if you have cable or satellite or whatever — would be one of those apps.
I’m just tossing ideas out here. I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple never gets more serious about TV than it already is with Apple TV — a $100 box you attach to whatever TV set you want. But what I’m sure about is that if Apple does start selling its own TV sets, they’re not going to have much in common with TV sets as we know them. Apple undertakes major new initiatives only after figuring out a new way that shows that everyone already in the market is doing it wrong.
★ Monday, 31 October 2011