No alarms and no surprises, please.

Monday, September 11, 2006

iTV? No, how bout iCable? iSatellite?

Interesting article about how Apple still has yet to enter the TV fray and yet everyone is anxiously awaiting it, and even more importantly, expecting it.

I must say that I am a hard core TiVo guy. And many people compare them to Apple, primarily because both of them are seriously concerned with design. Whereas many companies will simply slap together a bunch of bits and cobble it together into a product, neither TiVo nor Apple will do so. They will not be rushed, and basically gamble their success on the ability to do better what they cannot do more quickly.

This leads to some agonizing waiting for those of us who love their products. For example, when TiVo came out with the Series2 Dual Tuner DVR, I was ecstatic. Finally, two shows at once! This is of course common functionality for CableCo DVRs but their software is gawd-awful. I can't stand it. Most of my friends have already made the leap to HDTV. Why have I not? I won't give up my TiVo. Series 3 is coming soon, though and will be the best yet.

Can Apple break into the TV Market? Maybe. If they do, they'll be entering a market that is cluttered with products and manufacturers. iPod succeeds because it created a market. iTunes, the same thing. But the TV market is much more like the PC market. A frontier-like open market where price beats product. This is one where a company like Dell can dominate a company like Apple that makes a better product. It's not Apple's strength to battle with Sony, Panasonic and the host of knockoffs sold at Wal-Mart.

So, when Jobs has his next dog and pony show here's hoping that he doesn't say they're building a Home Media PC. Or if they are, it's something so new and exciting that we can't even be sure it will work. That's what Apple does best. Please don't just give me iTivo.