After reporting earlier this week that Apple plans to make a cable TV set-top box, The Wall Street Journal has now followed up with additional details on Apple’s plans, claiming that the box will offer cloud-based DVR functions, on-demand programming, and more.
Apple’s vision for a new device that can be used as a set-top box includes features designed to simplify accessing and viewing programming and erase the distinction between live and on-demand content, people briefed on Apple’s plans said.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based company proposes giving viewers the ability to start any show at any time through a digital-video recorder that would store TV shows on the Internet. Viewers even could start a show minutes after it has begun.
Cloud-based DVR is cool. The ability to start shows from the beginning even after they have already begun is even cooler. But it gets even better. The report also notes that Apple wants to give users the ability to view all episodes of current seasons of all TV shows! In contrast, most services only provide a few episodes from current seasons.
Further details suggest that the device will have an iOS-like user interface resembling the iPad, as well as interesting social sharing features, and the ability to access the box’s content using an iOS device:
Another significant feature of the Apple set-top device is likely to be its user interface, which could resemble the navigation icons on Apple’s iPad. While the design may change, the interface is expected to be easier for people to use than existing cable on-screen menus, widely viewed as clunky.
Apple’s device also may create space on the TV screen for social media features, such as sharing TV shows through services like Twitter Inc., the people said. Apple also wants users to be able to access content from the device on other Apple products like iPhones and iPads.
While Apple still has an uphill struggle in convincing cable operators to sign on, the only question lingering in my mind at the moment is: where do I pay? I want one of these in my living room NOW!