The Apple TV Crash Course (2015)
Part One: What Is Apple TV
Your Movies and TV…on Demand
Apple TV may be making headlines more today, but it’s actually been around sense 2007. Even before they announced the media streamer, they had been thinking about the living room—albeit with more costly products; The Macintosh Television and Apple Interactive Television Box both tried to make it into the consumers living room in the nineties. And both failed. People just weren’t ready.
The first official Apple TV was a bit beefier than what you see on selves today; it also had a hard drive because you had to actually download the content. The problem from the start was two-fold: one, it was more complicated than most consumers wanted; two, it didn’t really do anything.
But there was actually a third problem always looming: cable television. Cable companies were doing everything possible to make sure cable channels like ESPN and HBO stayed exactly where they had existed for years—and they had the muscle to make sure it happened. As more consumers began adopting both media devices like Apple TV and Roku, and more “channels” like Netflix began popping up to provide cheap streaming content, cable channels took note: if they didn’t adopt new strategies, they would not survive.
Currently Apple TV offers dozens of channels (some free, some not), but from the start Apple has made it clear what they wanted: streaming that makes sense. Instead of paying for bundled cable to get all these channels you don’t even want, Apple wants to begin offering a pay as you go and individual option. That means you might one day pay only for the channels that you want.
This strategy was first laid out with HBO Now, but Apple was very clear that this is just a preview of what’s to come.
While other companies like Amazon Fire TV and Google Chromecast, tout more channels, the channels often are full of content you’d never watch. Apple is focused on quality content. Apple, at least for now, is also the first company that content providers come to. That means if you want channels like ESPN, then it’s most likely going to come to Apple TV…and everyone else a few months later.