The Apple TV is changing the TV industry. I love TV, but as a college student I simply don’t have time to watch my favorite shows when they are scheduled. If you are like me, you want to watch the shows you want, when you want them, where you want them, and how you want them. Apple TV is making it easy to do just that with their portable, easy-to-use, little black box the size of your palm.
All I basically need is WI-Fi, an iTunes Store account to purchase TV shows, and of course my flat screen TV. Everything flows wireless; I just need to plug in an HDMI cable from the box to my TV. With all the clutter of cables hiding in back of my flat screen, this single connection is definitely a plus for me. I might have to say good-bye to cable, since I barely even have to time to watch it. With this gadget I can purchase shows on SD for $1.99 or HD for $2.99 and download them to my iPod Touch or vice-versa. That way I have my shows to watch them either in the library as I am procrastinating on assignments or on my TV when I have friends over for movies. It also keeps track of my shows (so I don’t have to keep track on what episode I am on now.) Keeping up with recent episodes of House and Family Guy will be a breeze.
I will confess that I have my little brother connect the cables for the Wii Console in order to stream my Netflix account on television. Me and cables = a big no no. The Apple TV will make it easier to stream my Netflix account without any cables or connections. I can wirelessly log on to my account and stream it with the remote control.
Let me comment on the fact that it includes iCloud. So basically, if I buy a TV show on my iTunes store, it automatically syncs to all my iOS. I hate it when I have to transfer or download my purchases to all my devices separately. iCloud stores all my information somewhere on the net and wirelessly transfers it to all my devices. So, if I have friends come over and they have a show on their iPhone, they can use Airplay Mirroring to sync the show on my TV. (Click the cloud)
I will never have to run home to make sure I watch my favorite TV shows on time!
Of course, this is all amazing if I lived in a fantasy world where I can afford to spend $100 on this gadget and of course have access to other iOS devices. If I took my sister’s iPod touch, my brother’s Netflix account, my friend’s iPhone, and could afford to spend $2.99 per show, then I would consider buying the Apple TV. It is really a great product, but I think for now I will stick to having my brother connect cables to the Wii for Netflix, and go to sites such as Hulu.com where I can watch free episodes of House on my spare time. As a college student, I have to use my resources wisely.
The television business may thank me for not purchasing this product. As these technological advances of streaming television on iCloud, on many iOS devices, without advertisements are hurting the TV business. As demand for web based television, with features such as no commercials, and watching it when and where you want, cable operators are fighting to generate revenue in the traditional cable TV format. Broadcast networks generated revenue through advertisement sales, advertising spots on third party “affiliate” stations, and licensing fees paid by cable operators. In 2009 the TV industry attracted over $60 billion in advertising spending annually. This type of advertising was an essential part of their campaigns. Though, with traditional TV ratings going down, the value of television advertising is starting to rapidly decline. Cable operators and broadcast networks will have to find new ways of increasing their bottom line. One such way is by “charging by Web usage…cable companies may discourage customers from dropping traditional pay-TV service and slow the growth of Netflix, Hulu and an expanding list of online alternatives” (Demand for Netflix Could Lead to Higher Cable Bills). This strategy has already received many complaints. The reality is that gadgets such as Apple TV are transforming the television industry, so profits will have to be generated online. Whether its finding new, exciting, ways of creating short advertisements for online streaming sites, or adding banner ads, but the traditional way of watching television is going bye-bye.