Apple TV Rumors: A tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing

The latest, and best documented, Apple TV rumors to date make it sound like it's not going to that big a deal at all.

I like my Apple TV a lot. To me, Apple TV was never, as former Apple CEO Steve Jobs said, “just a hobby." Since then, there have been rumors that Jobs had “cracked” the code for a successful marriage of Internet, computer, and TV just before he died. Well, now we have what seems to be the most solid rumor yet about the Apple TV—and I don't see any code being cracked. I just see a whole lot of business-as-usual nothing. According to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report, Apple has been talking with the US' biggest “cable operators "about letting consumers use an Apple device as a set-top box for live television and other content." Related:That's what Apple has been working on? That's the big news? That Apple is going to take a page from TiVo's book and offer a combination cable digital video recorder and Internet media device ala the TiVo Premiere line? Oh, please!Don't get me wrong. I like what TiVo is doing. I've been using a TiVo Premiere for several months now and I'll soon be reviewing it. It's a great way to get access to both Internet video services, such as Netflix and Hulu and over-the-air (OTA), satellite or cable broadcasts. That's spiffy, but if all Apple ends up doing is just bringing us its own version of a Premiere... well, so what? We can already buy that. When you read the full WSJ story it becomes clear that these discussions aren't what Jobs had in mind. Jobs didn't really want to work with the cable operators. And, frankly, they didn't want to work with him either. Look at the history: Apple's been toying with the idea of working with cable companies since at least 2007. This is just more of the same old, same old. If Jobs actually did have some great idea about making the next generation of Apple TV be unto other Internet media players, such as the Roku, as the iPod was to other MP3 players, this isn't it.In fact, 10 months after Jobs' death I think it's become obvious that Jobs didn't really have a ground-breaking notion for the Apple TV. That doesn't mean that today's Apple TV is a good Internet media extender or that Apple may not eventually ship a TV with Apple IPTV functionality built inside it. It does mean that you should stop expecting some kind of Steve Jobs magic trick with the Apple TV. Jobs has left the building and he's taken Apple's magic with him.

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