The Wall Street Journal reports Apple is in talks with Comcast for a streaming TV service that’ll be available in future versions of the Apple TV.
Apple plans to offer live and on-demand streams of TV channels over the internet in the future, and this partnership would give the company access to Comcast’s network of channels. Apple would deliver the streams over special cables on Comcast’s network, such that it bypasses “congestion on the Web.” Apple wants to ensure that the quality of the streaming video is as good as traditional TV networks, so customers don’t have to wait for the video to buffer. Comcast and Apple’s discussions are in early stages and aren’t close to an agreement. Comcast would be required to significantly invest and improve its network, so that the service quality is up to Apple’s standards.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
Apple’s intention is to allow users to stream live and on-demand TV programming and digital-video recordings stored in the “cloud,” effectively taking the place of a traditional cable set-top box.
Apple has proposed that users would sign on to the new device using Apple login IDs, and it is interested in controlling customer data, the people familiar with the matter said. Apple also has asked for a cut of the monthly subscription fees paid by customers, these people said.
Under the plan Apple proposed to Comcast, Apple’s video streams would be treated as a “managed service” traveling in Internet protocol format—similar to cable video-on-demand or phone service. Those services travel on a special portion of the cable pipe that is separate from the more congested portion reserved for public Internet access.
Apple’s also working on improving the software on the Apple TV. The updated version of the set top box will reportedly feature a “dramatically overhauled interface and a big emphasis on gaming” according to The Information. Apple already has partners for manufacturing MFi Game Controllers for iPhone and iPad, and it would make sense to extend compatibility of the same controllers to the Apple TV too.