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Apple TV Not Launching in 2012

By - Source: Bloomberg | B 13 comments

Apple is still working on deals with content providers.

According to the rumor mill, Apple has been working on its own-brand TV for years. Though the company already has a digital media player dubbed 'Apple TV,' the last few years have been rife with rumors of an actual HDTV from Apple. It seems every new event Apple plans, there are questions as to whether or not the company will be unveiling an HDTV. However, those hoping for an Apple television can probably write off 2012, because the latest scuttlebutt says there's no announcement coming this year.

Bloomberg cites sources that say Apple won't be releasing a TV this year. People familiar with the discussions told Bloomberg that Apple is still struggling to cut deals with cable and media companies. Two of the biggest issues are apparently control over the software that determines the system's user interface and whether or not the box should be sold by Apple or through cable companies. Apple is working to develop a system that would allow users to find programs they like, and recommend shows based on what they've already watched. This system could be controlled by the iPhone or an iPod and would include both live and recorded content. 

This isn't the first time we've heard that Apple's TV might not launch in 2012. Back in March, Business Insider cited a research note that said Apple TV was a 2013 event. Apple has so far had huge success with the smartphone, tablet, MP3 player, and digital music industry but the company is famous for demanding complete control of each device. With this Apple HDTV, Apple would no doubt want the same amount of control that is has with the iPod and iTunes, or the iPhone and the App Store. Cupertino can't launch its TV without the help of major media companies, but with cable and media companies, already feeling threatened by digital distribution and services like Netflix, will be driving a hard bargain.

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  • 7 Hide
    house70 , September 6, 2012 4:08 PM
    Of course. A-la-carte TV programming would spell doom for a lot of media companies, as nobody will be ordering them. Their only chance is to stay inside these "packages" that are sold to customers by cable and satellite operators.
    That's why the average customer is using less than 20% of all the channels he/she is paying for.
  • 3 Hide
    teh_chem , September 6, 2012 5:09 PM
    house70Of course. A-la-carte TV programming would spell doom for a lot of media companies, as nobody will be ordering them. Their only chance is to stay inside these "packages" that are sold to customers by cable and satellite operators. That's why the average customer is using less than 20% of all the channels he/she is paying for.

    Same was said about the music industry with a-la-carte music programming, yet music delivery/download services like iTunes/Amazon/Google Music have done it justice. It can work, if you get big players to convince people. I'm no lover of Apple, but they got it going with iTunes and mp3 purchasing. Hoping Apple and Amazon and Google can do the same with television
  • 3 Hide
    gsacks , September 6, 2012 5:10 PM
    Well, if Apple really wants full control over the device, that means they would have to eliminate all external input ports, or people could very easily just plug in any set-top box of their choosing. But releasing a TV with no input ports seems like a terribly bad idea that would not sell very well.
  • Display all 13 comments.
  • 6 Hide
    viper666 , September 6, 2012 5:22 PM
    And nothing of value was lost...
  • 2 Hide
    applegetsmelaid , September 6, 2012 6:40 PM
    Please don't launch ever.
  • 0 Hide
    christarp , September 6, 2012 8:16 PM
    applegetsmelaidPlease don't launch ever.

    because competition is a bad thing!
  • 2 Hide
    ricdiculus , September 6, 2012 8:39 PM
    Please apple stay away from tvs, I like my Samaung damnit!
  • 1 Hide
    mmstick , September 6, 2012 9:38 PM
    Who needs an Apple TV when you could just get Ubuntu TV? http://www.ubuntu.com/devices/tv
  • -6 Hide
    reprotected , September 6, 2012 10:16 PM
    I love how people continue to bitch about how Apple deserves to lose in every lawsuit when they haven't even read one word off of the claims Apple makes against other companies, while also insisting that all Apple products suck and pretend that Windows, Android and Linux products are a million times more superior without even trying Mac OS X (and no, I did not say buy a Macbook, but at least try using the OS).
    Haters' logic: Macs' can't game, therefore they suck. iOS is more attractive to developers and therefore has more polished apps and games compared to Android at the moment, but it's made by Apple so iOS sucks. Apple is closed-source, therefore they suck, but Windows is the best. Apple sues companies and wins, patent system is corrupt, Apple should be boycotted. Apple fanboys suck because they didn't buy the Galaxy S III. Android doesn't have a program that manages music, movies and apps all in one like Apple's iTunes, but iOS is made by Apple and Apple sucks, so therefore iTunes and iOS sucks. Facebook sucks because I don't use it, and I'll pretend that I was aware of every single privacy issue that was brought up by them and claim that I was smart not to use them because I am special.
    Logical logic: Mac hardware is more expensive compared to my own built Windows, therefore I should buy Windows, or for curiosity, I will build a Hackintosh. I really like the Mac OS X since it feels more optimized compared to Windows, and I do not need to game, I will purchase a Macbook regardless of the price. I would prefer an Android since they have widgets, and since I do not need the ridiculous amount of games iOS has in the store, plus I need my SIM card to fit in my new smartphone since the Apple uses a different type of SIM card, I will get an Android phone. Perhaps I will get an iPhone because I do not favour the fact that backing up and restoring my phone's OS is tedious and will have to rely on software I do not trust from another developer, while everything can be managed with my iPhone, I will purchase an iPhone. I am not happy with Apple's ethics, but at the same time, Samsung did indeed steal directly from Apple (see their TouchWiz); Apple did not claim that they owned the concept of a GUI, Samsung should have seen that coming. I prefer not to use Facebook as my social network since I can still communicate with other friends via IM or phone without too many privacy issue; however that does not make Facebook the devil since they still have policies that protect your privacy from other people, and you DID agree with the Terms and Conditions.
    Please hate more, haters. Popcorn ready :D 
  • 4 Hide
    keither5150 , September 6, 2012 11:00 PM
    chillax reprotected, I have used iOS for 2 years, and android for the last year. I don't miss iOS or iTunes. iTunes was replaced by Zune pass. I have 3 HTPC's running windows 7 mce with Recorded TV HD plugins. All machines have colossus hd capture cards and share everything wired and wireless throughout the house. I tried using iTunes across 3 machines. It does not work as designed. Believe me.... Apple has nothing that I want. They will never allow DVR function as long as iTunes makes them that much money. I simply read the article to see if they are entering the HTPC market...... I think not. Ubuntu TV looks promising.

    I don't hate iOS, I just prefer Android. I don't hate OSX I just prefer windows.
    I don't hate apple users, I am much happier since I gave up on the education process.
  • 3 Hide
    eternalkp , September 6, 2012 11:23 PM
    i'm a happy western digital HD media player
    it plays all file format, 1080p mkv, etc...
    youtube, netflix...etc..
  • 3 Hide
    CaedenV , September 7, 2012 1:02 AM
    @reprotected
    so sorry to hear that you are miss informed about why people hat mac products, let me try and clarify things for you:
    1)The OS is bloated compared to win7, and even more so when compared to win8. Benchmarks of the same/similar software running the same tasks on comparable hardware always show the windows 7 machines moving 5-15% faster.
    2) The hardware is outrageously priced! True, not as outrageous as it was some 5-7 years ago, but you can get a much faster PC, with better hardware and more readily available software, for a few hundred dollars less... and that is through OEMs. When you build a machine yourself, like many Tom's readers do, then Macs are just insanely priced. For tables and phones the playing field is a little more even, but for PCs and laptops there is simply no comparing them on price.
    3) Macs are great... while they are under warranty. After a mac is out of warranty they are an absolute pain to work on! And they do not last any longer than a PC does as they use very similar classed parts now. When a PC dies you are typically looking at repair costs of hardware +20-40% markup for installation. When a mac dies you are typically just going to get a new machine. Now, that being said, Mac has by far the best warranty and customer support in the industry, it is the day after that warranty is over (or if you deal damage outside the warranty like denting your laptop) that macs become expensive time-bombs.
    4) Macs don't think things through. As an example: Plug a mac into a projector, you know what is automatically engaged? over-scan! seriously?!?! Yes, over-scan is needed for old TVs, and even fewer old projectors, but anything that is 720p or 1080p does not use over-scan because it is a digital signal. Annother thing I ran into recently; that silly remote that they sell... it only controlls iTunes! I mean come on! Did nobody think "Hrmm... Macs are used by artsy people who make a lot of presentations, we should perhaps have this kick-ass remote control something useful like presentation software". Yes, they get props for having things generally inter-operate well on a surface level, but the moment you try and take a mac to it's next logical step they just hang out and go "derp de dooo". I have a few more examples of this, but this is already getting long winded.
    5) Software that runs on Mac is slowly falling behind the times. Some quickbooks suites simply do not have a Mac version (most notably quickbooks for nonprofits), the Adobe suite is obviously being designed for the PC first and getting mangled to work on mac now, and many other high profile suites are following suit, or simply not being made for Mac anymore. Ironically the one exception to this is that there is now a large amount of games for mac. I have not met a mac user who plays them... but I understand that they are out there. Macs sadly do not have much gaming capability because they are neutered with sub-par non-replaceable graphics, but the software support is there none the less.
    6) Mac is a closed environment. It is quite literally illegal to run a hackintosh (though I had one for a bit just for the challenge of doing it). They do not network well with others, they do not file share well with others. They can read NTFS because MS wants to let other systems operate with their stuff. Mac on the other hand keeps their secret sauce secret in order to pressure everyone to move to a mac once you get one annoying mac on the network.
    7) A lack of power features in most mac software. I do a bit of video work on the side, and when I do work I typically like to know what all my settings are (compressor, resolution, container, fps, etc.), but on most mac software such information is nowhere to be found, and is instead replaced by a list of presets that are as esoteric as 'ipod' 'ipad' 'HD' etc. This is very helpful if you are exporting to one of those types of devices, but what if you are not? What if you are dealing with some god forsaken footage that runs mixed interlaced and prograssive footage? On the PC there are tools (free ones) to handle these, on the mac you are mostly up a creek.Have an older mac that cannot quite play back that nice crisp HD content without loosing frames? Want to change the compression a bit to make it easier? Tough luck! The settings are stuck, you have to move it over to a PC, re-export the video with your changes, and hope for the best. I completely understand wanting to hide power user settings because honestly most people are better off without them. But some of us actually know what we are doing, and like to have some amount of control over our finished products, so they should at least have the options somewhere to be found!
    8) Free software and utilities. I cannot tell you how many absolutely amazing (and very powerful) free or cheap tools are available for the PC. There is just such a large library of stuff out there that it is incalculable. Everything from hardware monitoring, to testing and bench-marking every aspect of every piece of hardware imaginable is out there, to testing software for bugs and flaws. This is especially impressive as there is so much hardware available for PC compared to the small selection of hardware that is specially approved to work properly with macs. It is a nerd's candy store, and it is almost entirely free.
    9) (and I think I will wrap it up here) People on this site do not particularly like macs simply because most of us are system builders, or at least hardware enthusiasts. We like to have full control over our own machines (something you simply don't do with a mac). Personally I use at least 2 macs every week. I repair macs (something I am proud of as it is way harder than PC repair lol), I install macs. They are not my favorite machines on earth (the above reasons just being the beginning point), but they are not all bad either, and are sometimes the best tools for a job (specifically for presentation setups). But on a website full of hardware enthusiasts, you are simply the black sheep that does not fit in here. Your not a bad person (though I could be wrong :p  ), but you are obviously the odd man out in a crowd of people who have a very different outlook on the world than you do.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 7, 2012 7:01 AM
    @CaedenV

    The fact that people discuss Apple's products on this site at all is in itself an incredible reversal of the situation we had less than 15 years ago, where someone such as yourself would be proudly ignorant of all things Apple, apart from their silly one-button mouse (ho ho). Their market share gains have been meteoric since then, and regardless of what you think of Macs and Apple they are here to stay.

    As you say, Apple's machines are not the hardware enthusiast's cup of tea; better to say so and leave it at that, since such an argument is much more convincing than any of your attempts to prove that Apple's products are in some way inferior. They generally do what they are designed to do exceptionally well - but they were never intended to be the kind of machines that Tom's Hardware denizens prefer to play with. To each his or her own.

    The proverbial "Mac vs PC" debate is a fool's errand in my opinion, particularly with regards to the Apple TV. it occupies a very distinct segment of the market, and does so better than any jumble of parts from Newegg will do (though the latter systems excel in their own HTPC segment for those who appreciate them).

    The Apple TV in all its forms is Apple at its best; negotiating with cable companies to produce a new form of content distribution that may be a big improvement on the "package" paradigm we've been saddled with for ages. No amount of technical control over a company's hardware on the part of the tech-savvy user will effect that sort of change. So despite the complaints about Apple's philosophy I think this is a realm in which it has a lot of merit.