Apple’s iTV: Using Evil Powers to Help The Little Guy?

My A-Team friends and I used to use our special ops training to build cabbage-tossing machines to protect the little guy. And after every car crash, you knew nobody got hurt.

What do Apple’s iTV, the A-Team, Leverage and Burn Notice have in common? Read on…

It’s been rumored that a $99 iTV may soon launched, and Bloomberg is reporting Apple “has a few content deals in the works that will allow iTunes users to rent TV shows for 99 cents” (via Technolog). Most Applephilaholics are fussing about the potential of a new iTouch that offers a camera and other features from the iPhone 4 (it’d be like an iPhone5 without the inconvenience of calls to drop). We at WillVideoForFood are not amused by incremental advancements on these products.

The prospects of iTV is wayyyyy more exciting. AppleTV, despite its strengths, is the red-headed step child of Apple. It’s still a bit expensive ($150 refurbished and $229 for 160GB), and is a conceptual leap for those in love with

  • high cable bills
  • road trips to Blockbusters
  • complicated DVRs
  • and the caveman-like posture from watching video on a laptop
My "Burn Notice" friends and I use our espionage and spy skills to help the little guy

Will a $99 price point change that? Yes if it’s fast and loaded with options. Hulu is cool, but I’ll pay $1.99 for 40-minutes of a cool TV-show to avoid slow streams, buffer problems, cheesy ads, and redirects to the network player. Of course most studios won’t want to piss off their primary revenue stream via cable providers — on the prospects of picking up some uncertain income from the 10’s of thousands of people that pick these up. However if adoption of the iTV doesn’t require a device and becomes pervasive as iTunes then we’ll see a radical improvement of the video space that will remind us of what Steve Jobs did to the music industry.

I’m not saying Jobs isn’t a black-shirt douche bag, and Apple does use its clout to pull a lot of dick moves (Flash-retardant). But iTV could help out the little guy, at the expense of Big Bad Cable.

Here’s what we like:

  1. This could make it increasingly mainstream to enjoy network ‘TV” shows on any device (television, laptop, smart phone/iPhone/iTouch) without the hassle of a damned app for every network.
  2. It will legitimize a pay-per-show model instead of ad-supported networks that are bundled with crap you don’t need. For example, I’ve become a USANetwork junkie (hanging out weekly with my friends on Burn Notice, where we use our skills of espionage to help the little people). I’m also watching a lot of TNT (hanging out weekly with my friends from Leverage, where we use our skills of con, grifting, cyberhacking to help the little people). And sometimes I want to catch up on classic episodes from vintage NBC (where I could revisit my old teenage friends from A-Team, where we use our special ops experience to help the little people). I buy an assload of television shows (despite having a minimalist cable bill), and my consumption would increase if I could rent for 99 cents instead of owning for $1.99 — I rarely watch the show again anyway… and if I miss it on the DVR/TiVO I buy it.

    My Leverage friends and I use our skills to help the little guy. The grifter, thief, hack, con artist... and me.
  3. You and I can pay for what we want. I’ve spent 100 times more on “TV” buying ala cart via AppleTV but I’m okay with that — because I don’t like monthly subscriptions that entitle me to crap I don’t need. My AppleTV is loaded with hundreds and hundreds of television shows… for instance, previous seasons of shows I now love. Force me to the “all you can eat buffet” cable bill and I’m just going to get sick while I eat sub-par food with 400-pound losers. It’s like receiving the stupid newspaper each day… it’s not the cost as much as the feeling of continual waste.
  4. By facilitating ala-cart options for viewers, studios will benefit from a new revenue stream independent of the abusively negotiated cable packages and suppressed ad income… and enjoy going direct to consumers, where they can upsell other shows and even develop sole sponsorships instead of cheap-ass GRP ads. I’ve never paid for HBO in my life, but there are shows I’d buy ala cart including Sopranos (a family who uses its mobster experience to torture the little guys).
  5. The biggest interim beneficiary will be “The New Establishment” (Next New Network, Revision3) who will gladly offer gratis its myriad of semi-pro content (Barely Political, Scam School, Film Riot) to gain vital new eyeballs and audiences. These players are aggressively marketing their content as “value adds” on Roku and TiVo. If we don’t see the Disneys and HBOs willing to adjust their cable-centric models, iTV would want to introduce this free and fresh content instead of old episodes of Alf (an alien who used his little-guy sarcasm for no apparent purpose).
Hi. It's Craig. Remember me? You used to pick on me in grade school. Now I work for a large cable company. So suck my Alf, baby. You'll use my shit-ass device, and buy what I tell you to buy.

8 Replies to “Apple’s iTV: Using Evil Powers to Help The Little Guy?”

  1. I couldn’t bear to read all of this.

    From what I understand there are several superior alternatives to the iTV. Of course if you’re enslaved to the cult of Apple or too dimwitted to set up something better, I guess this is good enough.

    If I were to buy a TV and set up a media system (not likely any time soon), I certainly wouldn’t settle for iTunes quality junk. This is 2010; why the hell doesn’t this thing support 1080p HD? Planned obsolescence, that’s what this is. Steve Jobs really pisses me off sometimes. He really does know how to take advantage of all the muddleheaded, financially irresponsible, pretentious sheeple.

  2. Mainstream internet-content-enabled TV = Google TV

    Apple’s iTV is going to suffer from iOverexposure, iExpectation, and iTheoriginalproductwasinfiriorandnoonelikedit.

  3. I had diarrhea earlier in the week. I had to take anti-diarrhea pills and it stopped the diarrhea, but in turn stopped me up for a couple days. I’m happy to report that the blockage was cleared this morning.

  4. Okay glad to see people are still hanging around. Even douche bags like Coffin who have, like ZackScott, zoomed past me in popularity while I was napping. Hey nutcheese- at least you’re not clogged up. That’s worse. I love diarrheah even if I can’t spel it. Which reminds me. Where’s maryland? BTW- point taken, Alexis and Peter, about the anti-mac sentiment. Yeah maybe this is Google’s war to win. I just like the friggin interface on appletv. It’s cooler than TiVo, and that’s saying a lot. Simplicity is the new high functioning.

  5. And really. Nobody’s going to say SHIT about the fat kid with the Alf shirt? Really? Do you people even look at the pictures? I don’t expect you to read but the PICTURES people.

  6. @nalts Pay no attention to me. At the moment, I’m not even watching any TV shows regularly.

    I looked at the pictures, but I didn’t recognize anyone. Made me feel like I was reading some pop culture magazine. The fat kid looks cuddly, but I’m not familiar with Alf either (probably before my time).

    [Edit] Correction: I did recognize Mr. T, just not the white dudes he’s with.

  7. Also, the thought of your expensive entertainment addiction makes me cringe (kinda like listening to my smoker friends discussing the cost of cigarettes).

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