Apple IPTV?

Dave Zatz —  June 2, 2007

Normally, I’d immediately dismiss this as crazy talk… But coming from Peter Rojas of Engadget, we have to consider the possibility:

A well-connected source tells us that AT&T and Apple are working on adding IPTV capabilities to the Apple TV beginning sometime next year.

Even with Apple’s recent hard drive upgrade, the A-TV won’t become a DVR on it’s own… There’s no hidden tuner and no video input. Assuming Apple wants to go down this path (and I’m not convinced that they do), they’d need to either add a USB accessory of some sort or receive video broadcast via the Internet. So if this AT&T rumor has some truth behind it, what does it do to the chances of the Xbox 360 as an AT&T IPTV client?

5 responses to Apple IPTV?

  1. its 99% there already, im truly surprised it wasn’t a feature at launch, and it would probably have made sales much higher. i was a a grand opening best buy the other day and the atv was tucked away in a corner next to direct tv boxes…

  2. Actually, it doesn’t need a tuner for IPTV. It has ethernet and wifi, which is all that would be required.

    And yes, the Xbox 360 could just as easily be given IPTV capabilities.

  3. “Actually, it doesn’t need a tuner for IPTV. It has ethernet and wifi, which is all that would be required.”

    Yah, that was my point. Though to be as robust as what AT&T is currently doing with Motorola boxes for U-verse, ATV may require a hardware refresh (and possibly fiber to the house). If they’re just thinking Joost-on-TV with shows on demand, the current hardware would be perfectly sufficient and probably wouldn’t require that AT&T get operator licenses in each jurisdiction.

    “And yes, the Xbox 360 could just as easily be given IPTV capabilities.”

    The 360 is being built with full-on DVR capabilities. I doubt AT&T (and Apple+MS) would invest resources designing competing solutions for the same limited number of homes that they’re feeding fiber to.

  4. The biggest glitch in all of this seems to be content protection. Seems unlikely you’ll find HBO on the channel list for such an offering, given the lack of a cablecard slot. Same story for the XBox 360 of course. Not that they couldn’t offer a set of unencrypted channels that might satisfy a lot of people. Just unlikely it will include premium channels or VOD content.

    Cablelabs is apparently working on a downloadable security model, but it sounds like that won’t be available for another couple of years at least (I’m not sure why it would take that long either), which means that for the moment cable card is the only option here…

  5. Depending how it’s implemented, an IPTV solution may not have the same separable security requirement/burden.