Feeds

SECRET Apple-Comcast CONFAB BLAB: Movies streamed to TV? – report

Come on, come on. Stalk the horse

Top three mobile application threats

Apple is reportedly in discussions that would see it create “... a streaming-television service that would use an Apple set-top box and get special treatment on Comcast's cables to ensure it bypasses congestion on the Web,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

The report says discussions are “still in early stages and many hurdles remain”, but says Apple's aim is to ensure that content downloads are always swift.

Perhaps more interesting, the Journal's report says Apple and Comcast can't agree on whose login should drive the service.

Apple's enjoyed great success with “over-the-top” content and software services that make it a lot of money but don't offer much nourishment for carriers. Comcast must surely be aware of that state of affairs and is reportedly pushing back against the idea that Apple accounts would drive any jointly-delivered service.

If talks are indeed taking place, it looks a lot like Apple is preparing itself for a near future in which streaming media becomes more popular. The likes of Spotify, Pandora and Rdio are already winning substantial audiences with supported music streaming services. It does not take a visionary to predict video will go the same way. Indeed, in your correspondent’s antipodean eyrie the local Fox outpost just this month introduced a streaming movies service.

The wider question of net neutrality will make this plan even more contentious, especially if Apple is able to negotiate exclusive access to Comcast's network.

Then there's the question of whether Apple would be content to deal with just one carrier, as while Comcast (thanks in part to its merger with Time ) would give it a mighty footprint in the USA it would not reach all homes. Apple's early iPhone deals with AT&T worked with just one carrier, but were possible because the iPhone was so far ahead of its early competitors. It's not immediately obvious what Apple could do with streaming video that would again make it so compelling a carrier would jump through hoops to seal a partnership.

Let's also consider the overseas angle: in Australia the dominant cable provider is owned by Rupert Murdoch. It's hard to imagine The Dirty Digger would be in a rush to help Apple carry away any cash from what is now one of the more bankable bits of his empire.

Perhaps it's best to file this one under “market tester”. “Sources familiar with” stories in prominent financial media are sometimes placed as a way of gauging response from investors, competitors and regulators. After all, we know Apple's spent years considering something televisual. Surely it can wait to get things just right. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple ran off to IBM
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.