The current Apple TV can stream video from a variety of different services, but the company's television ambitions are grander than that.
Apple is developing a technology that would let users automatically skip commercials while at the same time paying content owners for the privilege to do so, according to a July 15 report by former Wall Street Journal technology reporter Jessica Lessin. The feature would be available in an upcoming Apple product.
It's unclear what device the ad-skipping feature--other DVRs, including the Dish Network Hopper--can skip commercials as well--would be integrated into: Apple TV lets users stream video from services like Netflix to an HDTV, while rumors have persisted for years that Apple is developing a stand-alone TV.
In addition to developing an online TV service, Apple is also said to be developing a stand-alone TV set, according to an Aug. 22 Quartz report. Rumors have swirled for years about a possible Apple TV set.
A July 18 New York Times report notes that Apple is in discussions with cable companies to be able to stream their channels over the Internet, delivered via Apple TV. Apple is already thought to be in discussions with Time Warner Cable over such a feature.
ESPN has held "preliminary talks" to offer its channels to Internet-based video services, Bloomberg reported Aug. 21. John Skipper, ESPN's president, said the channels would not be offered a la carte. Skipper did not reveal with which companies ESPN has held talks.
About the size of a hockey puck, Apple TV lets users stream movies and TV shows to their TV. Programming currently includes MLB, Netflix, and Hulu. WatchESPN was also added to Apple TV on June 19.
HBO GO, HBO's app that lets subscribers watch its catalog of shows like "Game of Thrones" and "Deadwood," is now available on Apple TV, Apple's $99 streaming media device. The app was first released for Apple TV on June 19. It had been available for iPhone and iPad since May 2011.
Apple regularly adds new apps to Apple TV. It added Vevo and Disney Channel on Aug. 27, MLS and Disney Junior on Sept. 26, and ABC, Bloomberg, and Crackle on Dec. 11.
Version 6.0 of the software that powers Apple TV, Apple's streaming audio/video device, was released Sept. 20 and added several new features including iTunes Radio support and the ability to browse the iTunes Store directly from the device.
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