Calling the television a "glorified VCR," Apple's Senior Vice President of Software and Services Eddy Cue has said that the TV needs an overhaul. His comments came in a conversation with HBO chief executive Richard Plepler at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit in San Francisco.
The staid interfaces of today's televisions bore the brunt of Cue's criticism as he spoke about a need to "reinvent the TV." He said the primary problem with televisions is the interface, adding that "the ways you interface with it are pretty brain dead. You're still setting things to record. There are 900 channels, but there's nothing to watch."
These comments come on the back of Apple's efforts to make a platform that unifies the various streaming services in the market to make it easier for the consumer to sift through the options.
"It's great to be able to tell your device, 'I wanna watch the Duke basketball game, I don't care what channel it's on.' I just want to watch the Duke basketball game," Cue said at the Vanity Fair event.
The TV has been on Apple's radar for a long time, with CEO Tim Cook as well as other senior executives talking about the need to 'fix' it time and again. The company was rumoured to be working on a high-resolution television that would have been the company's big entry into the consumers' living room. However, that plan was reportedly shelved later, and the company was said to be planning a streaming service next. That plan, too, was scrapped later, and the iPhone maker is now said to be creating a TV guide of sorts, bringing together all the streaming services under one roof.
This effort was took shape in the form of Single Sign-on, which was announced at WWDC this year. This feature allows Apple TV users to sign into a number of content services by entering the login credentials just once. Major US networks such as HBO, ABC, NBC, and ESPN are already on board.
However, it isn't all smooth sailing for Apple. The company is said to be facing resistance from other players in the field, such as Time Warner, Disney, etc. The primary reason behind the negotiations not going smoothly is said to be Cue's attitude; he reportedly tries to bully networks into the deal on the back of Apple's success.
On the other hand, rival companies like Google and Amazon have their own plans for the TV. While Amazon already has a streaming service, Google is said to be making deals with US networks for content to be available on its YouTube Red subscription platform. Amazon's Fire TV streaming stick already competes with Apple TV, while Google has the Chromecast and Android TV platform in its portfolio.