Apple is reportedly moving forward with its plans for television — plans that go beyond merely adding new channels to its Apple TV set-top box.
According to a new report by Re/code, Apple is holding discussions with TV programmers regarding its own over-the-top pay TV service, which will deliver video content over the Web rather than through a dedicated video service provider:
The theory is that Apple would put together bundles of programming — but not the entire TV lineup that pay TV providers generally offer — and sell it directly to consumers, over the Web. That means Apple wouldn’t be reinventing the way TV works today, but offering its own version of it, with its own interface and user experience.
Apple is said to have shown prototypes of the service to prospective partner programmers. But pricing, launch time frame, and other key details of the service are yet to be settled, seeing as the talks are said to be still in their early stages.
At any rate, it’s somewhat reassuring to learn that Apple is making progress, however slow it may seem, on its unspoken promise to explore and expand the “area of intense interest” that is television.
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It’s certainly interesting to see what the company actually achieves with its supposed plan to work directly with content producers and offer its own over-the-top pay TV service like Dish’s recently launched Sling TV, instead of simply inking deals with pay TV providers like Time Warner Cable.
The proposed service aligns with one of the changes my colleague Bryan has suggested for Apple TV, which is “to circle back around to streaming video.” In addition, Apple would be wise to update the hardware of Apple TV and transform the set-top box into a gaming device.
See also: Could we hear more about the Apple Watch in less than three weeks?, Apple is planning to deeply integrate a revamped Beats Music service into iOS, Mac OS X and the Apple TV, and Google this: Apple might be prepping their own search engine.