In addition to supporting the likes of Netflix and Hulu Plus, Apple’s puck-sized set-top box marketed as “Apple TV” will soon offer support for the HBO Go application, which will open access to over 600 hours of video content from Time Warner’s cable television network.
People familiar with the negotiations between the two companies are telling Bloomberg that both cable and satellite subscribers who pay for HBO content will get “600 hours of films and television shows” on the Apple TV.
The deal will reportedly pass in the first half of the year – “by mid-2013,” says the report.
Apple has been attempting to make a foray in the television business for quite some time now, and while the company continues to label this particular division as a “hobby,” CEO Tim Cook has often stressed that Apple is keeping a close eye on this segment for future attempts to deliver a more compelling user experience.
Speaking to investors at an earnings call this month, Apple’s chief executive officer said, “This is an area of intense interest for us,” answering questions about Apple potentially launching a full-fledged television product.
“I tend to believe that there’s a lot we can contribute in this space. And so we continue to pull the string and see where it leads us,” Cook said.
A model where customers buy subscription apps to watch live TV is a promising first step towards Apple’s reported plans to take over the living-room.
In a recent talk at the University of Texas, Valve Software Chief Gabe Newell said his company’s primary concern – when it comes to the upcoming Steam Box gaming console – was not other consoles, but Apple, with its keen sense of innovation.
Newell suggested that Apple’s move into the living-room was imminent.
With almost a billion apps on file and the Apple TV running what is basically a variation of iOS, such fears are more than justified.