Apple and high definition content delivery

apple_tvAs someone who fervently follows all things hi-def I have to say I’m a little puzzled by some of the reports that Apple may enter into the HDTV content delivery fray. Don’t get me wrong it’s not that I don’t believe Apple has the means or capitol to do so, but I wonder why would they risk the potential exposure. I can only assume that Apple has been planning something along these lines, for quite a while and have weighed the potential risks, and feel they have enough killer app’ness to move forward.

Listen don’t get me wrong, I’m a believer, but you have to admit it’s quite an undertaking, the whole premise of going to existing bandwidth suppliers (Digital CATV and Direct Broadcast Satellite) with the goal of piggybacking on their networks, to deliver content to those same customer’s, sounds a little far fetched.

Lets say your Apple (lucky you) and I’m oh say Comcast (yay I’m rich) you say, we’d like about 10 to 15% of your current bandwidth please. Of course I’ll sit there and wait for the punch line, I might even try to crack a joke and say you need to download something big? Yeah that’s a silly analogy, but my point remains, where’s the benefit for those with the big data pipes? Which gets me to the point, I know, about time.

Those of us, who live in the real world, understand that such an arrangement would boil down to cold hard cash. Of course Apple has it, but why spend it? If I had to take the magic eight ball approach here, I’d say that this content delivery mechanism will become a reality, but not quite as fast or with the same depth that some are predicting. Even with H.264 a hi-def movie would be well over today’s 6 or 7 gigabytes that a standard definition DVD takes up.

Can you really see a system that takes many hours worth of downloading at current speeds and takes up 5 to 10% of the average hard drive’s space as a viable approach to deliver one movie? I might be a little narrow sighted here, but I don’t see it given current compression schemes and typical end user connection speeds. Which is why I’m perplexed, it’s the technical issues around the premise that have me scratching my head, not Apple’s potential in pulling it off.

B.Greenway

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3 Responses to “Apple and high definition content delivery”

  1. Jay Brewer Says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Also – Apple didn’t make iTunes when MP3s were just taking off – they did it after the response to the legal issues Napster and others were facing – almost the early majority instead of the early adopters.

    I’m sure that HD is taking off – but I don’t see people shelling out the money for it just yet in droves. When people see it they want it. I would imagine that NEXT year will be the year of HD.

  2. Philip Orr Says:

    A company in England “Be” http://www.bethere.co.uk/beonline/canBeHome.do are giving a 24Meg broadband for as little as £24 sterling that’s around $38.

    For HDTV, that speed allows live streaming of films and with Apple now giving 1Gb ethernet ports on their lower spec machines the home network will ba able handle it with ease.

  3. hdtv Says:

    Looking back now HD programming delivery seems like the next big step. Hard drives are going to need to be bigger and download speeds will have to increase but I think its the next logical step beyond Blu-ray.

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