Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Breaking News: Apple working on ad-skipping tech for TV

By SheebaSudeep

Apple has long been rumoured to enter the TV space, either with a television set of its own, or a TV service with support from the big networks, or, indeed, both. While wait for the mythical Apple TV - the television - continues, a new report has disclosed some rather interesting details of Apple's TV service.

There's new fuel for the fire that Apple's working on technology for an updated TV set-top box or TV platform.

Apple plans to offer monetary compensation for any loss of revenue that may result from the ad-skipping. Based on the report, the initial response from networks doesn't seem to be very positive, though the negotiations are likely to continue for a while.

Apple's TV set-top box remains limited to prerecorded content instead of live TV channels, though that's expected to change. Apple has dabbled in offering live programming, but only its own presentations, like keynote addresses and concerts. A series of rumors has pointed toward the company expanding from selling content a la carte to a subscription that would rival what people purchase from their cable providers. Earlier this month, Apple was said to be in late-stage talks with Time Warner Cable to add live channels to the set-top box, presumably inside an app.

Apple would not be the first company to offer users a way to skip ads on TV programming. TiVo and ReplayTV offered the feature to consumers more than a decade ago, and it's since permeated to the DVRs cable providers offer to customers. More recently, companies like Dish and its Hopper technology can skip commercial blocks, though the feature can be limited on certain programming and has raised legal ire from major broadcast networks which say it violates copyright law.

The report claims the discussions have been "highly secretive" and CEO Tim Cook and Senior Vice President Eddy Cue held talks with some media companies as recently as last week at a conference in Sun Valley.

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