If the rumor created by the Wall Street Journal is accurate, Apple and Comcast are working together to create a VIP streaming television service. If someone is using an Apple set-top box, they will become a priority, skirting around any congestion there might be on the Web, according to insiders who spoke to the WSJ. But will it happen? That remains to be seen.
It's all still in the early phase, where they are discussing how the service will work. The question remains whether or not it can become a reality. Of course, if it does happen, it will change the television viewing experience for those with an Apple TV.
How It Will Work
Again, it's all just an idea right now, but according to the article, Apple hopes to give viewers the power to stream all of their shows from the cloud rather than relying on their cable boxes, whether they want to watch an on-demand movie, live television, or something they've recorded. Anyone taking advantage of this service will be treated to an experience unavailable to the rest of the nation – they will have their own dedicated line.
Basically, Apple TV traffic will have their own private line, completely separate from other Internet traffic, just like what happens with Internet phone services. This is to keep frustration levels low by reducing the congestion for TV viewers, leaving those Internet users to fight over the limited bandwidth.
Apple is hoping to negate the dreaded buffering, making the experience as similar as it can to typical television viewing. If they can make it happen, they are completely changing the digital television game.
Others Just Not Good Enough
While the Roku and the Xbox do offer streaming television services currently – which many do take advantage of – they just don't deliver in terms of quality. There is a whole lot of buffering going on, and Apple isn't having it for their service. That's what's taken them so long to turn this vision into a reality. Why get into the TV game when you aren't able to offer the high quality experience you wish to offer?
If this Comcast deal can be solidified and everything works as Apple envisions, it will change the digital TV game forever. Comcast sees the value of this service as well. They're looking to modernize the cable television experience for its customers, who are increasingly jumping ship for digital solutions. They are worried there will come a day where cable television is a dinosaur.
Don't Hold Your Breath
While they are talking about it, the whole plan is still in its infancy according to inside sources. To make this a reality, a lot of updating must be done to Comcast's infrastructure. What's more, they aren't in total agreement on how involved Apple should be with the customers.
It's Apple's idea for customers to log in using their Apple Ids, but insiders say Comcast is worried that Apple will exert too much control over customer information. They also want a portion of subscription fees customers will pay monthly. Comcast would rather limit involvement in terms of customer data, giving them exclusive access.
Another wrinkle in the plan: the cost of programming rights that Apple must acquire. Comcast wants to keep these fees in check so that prices for the service aren't impacted. Who wants to pay more for this service when they can pay less for traditional cable service? Many details must be ironed out before this plan can become a reality. Would you be among the first subscribers if the service were to go live?