Feeds

Smart telly trends make Apple 'iTV' a certainty

Cupertino would be mad not to

High performance access to file storage

Telly vision

Likewise, its AirPlay, Bonjour and other networking technologies are already present to make moving and streaming content from any one of the trio of devices to another easy and largely set-up free.

Of course, it's already doing all this, through its Apple TV set-top box, so why should Apple go the whole hog and build the box into a large display?

Here DisplaySearch's data shows a clear pattern: media streaming boxes have not proved a big hit. Apple TV remains a "hobby" product for Apple - translation: it sells in relatively low numbers. DisplaySearch figures for the time users' spend watching online video content presented by different devices shows media streamers well behind Blu-ray players and even further behind games consoles.

Media streamers may be cheap, says DisplaySearch analyst Paul Gray, but many Blu-ray players are barely more expensive and deliver video streaming as well as higher-quality optical disc playback.

DisplaySearch forecasts that media streamer shipments in Europe will struggle to exceed three million units a year over the next three years or so. Blu-ray player sales will have gone past 10m units by 2013, while games consoles average 27m units through to 2015.

But Smart TV shipments will grow from over 30m units this year to 50m in 2015. Even if Apple remains a very small minority player in the Smart TV market, it's going to sell a lot more tellies than set-top boxes.

And with European tablet sales forecast to grow even more rapidly - from 24m in 2012 to 50m in 2015 - Apple is in a strong position not merely to subsidise its early TV endeavours through iPad sales but also to leverage the latter to encourage TV sales.

Of course, today's TV vendors will be doing the same thing, some successfully, others less so. Unlike Apple, though, they'll be starting from a less tightly defined ecosystem. TVs have evolved by accumulating features and technologies, and that has led to inconsistencies that frustrate users. A given TV may play AVI files, for instance, if they're on a drive plugged into one of its USB ports, but not when streamed from a network share by DLNA.

Techies may, not unreasonably, complain about the relatively limited array of standards Apple supports, and the walled garden, but there's not question these things make life easier for folk who have bought into the Mac-iPhone-iPad ecosystem. Content plays, subtitles appear; there's no confusion between codecs and container formats.

So Apple is well placed to address the key challenges TV vendors have to face: the arrival of internet TV and the need to mediate and manage this profusion of content; and the growing similarity between the chips that sit behind the screen, whatever size it is.

Address this consumer need and the business case for entering a depressed, margins-pushed-to-zero-or-less market - which is what the TV arena is at the moment - is a lot stronger. Throw in the cost savings of cross-fertilising phone, tablet and TV hardware and software, plus the brand's price premium, design abilities and some advanced display tech for good measure, and you have a recipe for success.

Apple would be mad not to release a TV. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.