NYT: Apple to integrate Siri into upcoming TV

Apple plans to use Siri as the primary interface of an upcoming HDTV set, according to a new report. Citing various sources, the New York Times reports that such integration would allow Apple’s TV to bypass the traditional remote control, allowing users to request specific programming—be it on traditional cable or Internet-based content sources such as iTunes, Netflix, or YouTube—and allow the TV set to find it for them, without the need for navigating through channels or directories of content. “Absolutely, it is a guaranteed product for Apple,” one of the sources told the NYT. “Steve thinks the industry is totally broken.” According to the report, which claims Apple still has “quite a bit of work to do” on the project, and may also need to wait on large display prices fall, Apple could announce the product as early as late next year, with an official release coming in 2013.

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  1. Still not buying these reports. Not saying they’re not working on this stuff, just saying I don’t see it happening.

    MOST people still watch a lot of TV, meaning live or recorded on DVRs. Which they pay either a cable or Satellite or Telco MSP a significant amount per month for.

    Yes over time I can see OTT video sources like iTunes replacing that TV for increasing percentages of people, but a) it’ll take a long time for there to be enough of those people, at least those with money for a multi-thousand dollar TV, and b) if this happened immediately it would swamp the internet with traffic and the ISPs would respond with even-more draconian caps which would kill it off.

    Because of this modern TVs don’t even use the tuners they have built in. Yes 10% of Americans’ get their TV signals over the air for free, but again most of those people aren’t potential Apple customers–they don’t have enough money. So TVs are just big displays hooked up to archaic cable/satellite boxes. The UI on those boxes dominates our experience with our TVs. Most people just put the remote for their TV away and never use it again after the initial setup.

    So, given this how could Apple respond? They can’t integrate a satellite tuner. They can’t integrate with AT&T’s U-Verse. They COULD build a TV with a cable card slot, and that would work for many people. Problem is cable cards are not well supported by cable companies. Just ask any Tivo user. The cable company will do everything possible to make your experience of getting that cable card up and working as painful as possible. Plan to stay home a few days, live without your pay channels for a while every so often, forget it if your provider is using SDV, etc etc.

    So, what could Apple do? That’s the question.

    Would they a) partner with an MSO, say DirectTV or Comcast or something? Like they did with AT&T to deliver the iPhone? Doing this they could guarantee the user experience. And kicking some money to their partner might get them allowed in the door. All that stuff where there is no IP control of devices? Cable card problems etc? Just grease the skids with money. Maybe Comcast stores and ships the TV’s to you. Solves Apple having to come up with warehousing for them.

    Or Apple partners with providers and requires you to have an “AllVid” like solution in your basement–basically a 4 or more tuner DVR with transcoding and IP access.

    Or Apple builds such a thing and makes you buy it, in addition to the TV’s in order to use the live TV/DVR features. You could use the OTT functions just fine without it, but for a full experience you’d need the whole home box.

    Or of course, they could wait for the FCC AllVid mandate to rollout and change the world. This is the part where we all laugh uproariously over the…

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