[opendtv] Re: News: Apple's television could offer superior picture quality with advanced backlighting

Craig, I agree Amazon did amazing job around their book portal by making
very nice reading device Kindle and easy to use book download portal.
ITunes, on the other hand did a great job and earlier with music and video
and IPod's, iPhones and iPads. If both are trying to capture TV opportunity
I can easily bet Apple will have upper hand. I still do not see similar
initiative from Android camp.

Mike Tsinberg
http://keydigital.com


-----Original Message-----
From: opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of Craig Birkmaier
Sent: Saturday, January 21, 2012 9:59 AM
To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [opendtv] Re: News: Apple's television could offer superior picture
quality with advanced backlighting

At 4:26 PM -0600 1/20/12, Manfredi, Albert E wrote:
>Granted, that is the way it was. But the engineers working in these CE 
>companies, and I would hope also the bean counters, are not living in 
>dungeons. They know as well as anyone where TV content can be found 
>these days. So frankly, I can't understand why it's so hard for them to 
>give people what people want.

Turning a TV into a web browser is not going to solve the problem. We have
already seen how the first generation of Google TV crashed and burned
because they relied on crude third party GIU solutions to the TV interface.

The engineers working in most CE companies know hardware. One need only look
at the cumbersome "remote control" driven user interfaces on most TVs to
realize that the traditional CE vendors do not have it in their DNA to solve
the big problems here.

Apple has spent a decade building its ecosystem and layers of human
interface concepts that are critical to change consumer behavior. And they
have been able to use their perceived leadership in this area to break up
the oligopolies that have operated REALLY CLOSED SYSTEMS for decades. First
music then mobile telephony - one wonders if Bert remembers when the telcos
wanted to sell subscriptions to FloTV and control EVERY APP on a handset?

But the most important issue here is that the traditional CE vendors have
catered to the media and cable oligopolies who control the really important
bits...the content. As long as a TV is just a dumb terminal/display for a
cable or DBS box with a port fro a DVD player, the traditional CE vendors
are doomed to a business model where there is a mad scramble to the bottom
for market share.

Mike wrote:
>  > Apple, on the other hand, set up iTunes and created devices
>>  that receive content via that portal. ITunes is very powerful  tool 
>> and will allow Apple to extend aggressively into TV  content 
>> distribution via Internet.

As usual Bert Responds:

>Apple is a closed shop. As such, they are compelled to push the content 
>they control, and discourage use of other content sites. And with their 
>hardware, they can achieve that goal.

The Apple ecosystem is "less closed" than many of the current content
ecosystems:

- The media conglomerates rely on cable and DBS to force consumers into
subscriptions for the most desirable content, while less desirable content
they control enjoys a second revenue stream through these bundles. The small
amount of high value content that "leaks" 
from this system pales in economic significance to the cash haul from
subscribe fees.

- Perhaps the CE industries greatest success has been with CLOSED game
console systems. These systems have very strong security for the game
content they deliver, ensuring that consumers are locked into these
ecosystems and must pay premium prices for new games.

- The music industry business model forced consumer to buy bundles of music
to get one song they wanted.

- The telcos wanted to control everything on their networks and charge
subscriber fees for every useful feature.

If Apple's "closed ecosystem" has been so bad for consumers, perhaps Bert
can help us understand how it has been so disruptive to so many
industries?????

By the way, it is relatively easy to move iTunes music to Android devices
today. And even Apple TV supports Netflix and You Tube. 
Clearly, when Apple puts the Internet onto the TV in the family room, it is
NOT going to block other sites and services; but some of these sites and
services may "black out" Apple's devices, as they did with Google TV.

The only real solution here is to do an end run around the oligopolies...
one more time.

The traditional CE vendors do not have the financial resources or the
business acumen to make this happen. Just look at what happened to Sony and
Panasonic when they tried to buy their way into the Hollywood studio
business...

Apple does have the financial resources to take on the media oligopolies.
but far more important, they have an established ecosystem to make it all
work.

Let's listen to what Mike said again:

>  > Apple, on the other hand, set up iTunes and created devices
>>  that receive content via that portal. ITunes is very powerful  tool 
>> and will allow Apple to extend aggressively into TV  content 
>> distribution via Internet.

Mike continued:

>  > It is surprising that Android products jumped aggressively to
>>  compete with Apple but still only on the receiving end while  nobody 
>> is trying to create competition to iTunes.

I would disagree with Mike to a point. Google has certainly not enjoyed the
same success with the Android ecosystem they are building, but Amazon is
doing quite well. The Kindle Fire is a good example of how a company can
create a device to leverage its ecosystem.

And it is important to remember that Apple dragged the music industry
kicking and screaming into the 21st century. The media conglomerates have
had the staying power to resist the same happening to them. The content they
do allow into the Apple ecosystem poses no threat to their existing business
model -its just more "skimming of cream" to make some easy cash. The Apple,
Google, and Amazon ecosystems are NOT a treat to the media conglomerate and
their subscription bundles...yet.

But there is enough money on the table now to allow Apple and others to be
VERy disruptive.

As expected, Bert returns to the same old tired logic, despite the reality
that he is factually incorrect:

>I wouldn't go quite that far. I very much prefer the open model of 
>Windows and Android. They don't try to limit or control sites users can 
>navigate to to get content. Any of these devices can use Hulu, Netflix, 
>whatever radio sites around the world, cbs.com, nbc.com, tf1.fr, 
>rai.it, etc. etc. etc., free or by subscription, as well as any new 
>portal anyone cares to invent tomorrow.

Neither Windows nor Android are open models.

Microsoft has been milking the Windows model successfully for decades. The
vendors who make the hardware have MUCH in common with the CE vendors who
make TVs - intense competition to make tiny profit margins. And the consumer
has paid the price in terms of the upgrade treadmill that they have been
locked into.

Android is a mess, with a hodgepodge of devices running different versions
with vendor specific modifications that drive developers batty. Google
already pays Microsoft royalties for Android, and it is likely they will
need to license patents from Apple and others to stay in the game.

And in the end, the consumer is just buying into another "closed" ecosystem.

I am reminded of the discussions we had when Google announced Google TV...

For example on 10/6/10 Bert wrote
>"Devices powered by Google TV including Sony's Internet TV and 
>Logitech's companion box ..."
>
>Sorry guys, but this is not what I consider adding smarts to TVs. 
>This is more of the same trying to hook everyone into walled gardens.

All Google did was make it possible to use a TV to access any Internet site.
Then the content owners blocked Google TV devices from accessing the same
content that Bert can access on his fancy PC TV...

Funny how Bert's walled gardens have now evolved into the "open model of
Windows and Android."

>The possibilities are endless. It seems like I'm always discovering new 
>ones, and that's because I'm not shackled by the hardware vendor.

What Bert is discovering the leaks in a dike that is about to collapse.

He still cannot watch the vast majority of content produced for the TV in
the family room that is ONLY available via subscription to cable or DBS.

But I fully support his ability to resist the media oligopoly business
model, even as he supports their right to extract monopoly rents from the
content they control.

Regards
Craig
 
 
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