TV Shows, Apple's Biggest Announcement

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By Pugg
October 19, 2005

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I wanted to add to the discussion about iTunes 6 and the addition of video. I truly think this was a HUGE announcement for Apple. Bigger than anything else they mentioned, and could quickly become bigger for Apple than music. I think the potential for this was missed in earlier posts.

Let me start by saying that I don't think people will watch a lot of video on the new iPods, but they'll watch a ton on their computer. Also, it was only a brief mention during Steve Jobs presentation, but there will be a cable that allows the iPod to play the video onto your TV. Apple is going after On Demand, Blockbuster, TIVO, NetFlix and DVD's all at the same time.

Look down the road a year or two from now. The infrastructure is now in place. More networks will start adding shows. HD ability should also be coming. I'll be able to subscribe to a TV series instead of taping it, TIVOing it or trying to catch it live. It comes free of commercials. I can take it with me and watch it anywhere using my iPod; on the TV in my living room or bedroom, on my laptop on a plane, on the TV in my hotel room, at my parent's house, etc.

Also, the back catalog of shows will be added over time. Today, networks are making nothing on old TV shows unless they get syndicated. Now the back catalog can be available to anyone. Cable networks (The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, TLC, A&E, HGTV, SCIFI, TNT, ESPN) will start adding content. Movies will be available, but maybe for a higher price. Anybody notice how many new DVD's lately are seasons of TV shows?

Want to build a deck? For a $1.99 you can see the last year's show on HGTV.

Want to sell your house? Catch a few episodes of Sell This House on A&E.

Need to write a school paper on dinosaurs? For $1.99 you can watch a show from the Discovery Channel.

Do your kids like Thomas the Tank Engine? Buy a handful of PBS episodes. Let the kids carry them on the iPod to Grandma's house. Maybe watch the iPod in the car during the four-hour drive.

Want to see last year's NCAA championship game? It's at your fingertips for $1.99.

Did you miss the "wardrobe malfunction" at the Super Bowl? For $1.99 you can share it with your whole family.

I'd definitely pay $1.99 for commercial-free Battlestar Galactica from the SciFi channel. I'm tired of setting my cable box, and then setting my VCR. I use NetFlix now to take DVD's on the plane with me when I travel. I could just watch shows or a movie out of iTunes on the laptop, or on the TV in the hotel.

I just can't understand why they didn't make Steve Jobs' keynotes immediately available for download. What better way to use the video iPod than to watch Steve? What were they thinking?! :)

My one prediction: Look for a device similar to Airport Express that will broadcast video from your Mac to your TV, just like Airport Express broadcasts music to your stereo. You could even control it with Front Row.


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