Sorry, Apple. The future of television isn’t really Apple TV. It’s apps. We Apple customers are a hearty lot, imbued with patience and money, but you’ve let us down, Apple. No Apple television. No Apple streaming television service. Until recently, about the best Apple could do was to give us network apps on Apple TV– apps that required a cable TV account already. What’s the point?
Since Apple hasn’t figured out how to cut the cord I started looking elsewhere. Guess what I found. A cable TV cord cutter on Apple TV. It’s called Sling TV and, depending upon the package you subscribe to, you get more than 100 channels. In one app.
Fire up Apple TV, open the App Store, search for Sling TV, download the app, sign on and start watching much of what you can watch with your cable TV account but without an account. In other words, Sling TV lets you cut the cord with the cable TV company (except you might be using them for your internet connections, so you’re still paying the man).
The base package is called Orange and you get about 29-channels for $20 a month. For $25 a month you get 40 channels on Sling Blue. Or, pay $40 a month and get all the channels; over 100. We’re talking cable TV cord cutting channels here.
Even better, there’s a Sling TV app for almost everything, including the Mac. iPhone and iPad. Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, AndroidTV (whatever that is), Android, Windows, and Chromecast.
Why doesn’t Apple do what Sling is doing?
One of the major issues with Sling TV, and indeed, any other service that attempts to help you cut the cable TV cord, is local channels. Cable TV usually has all the local TV stations, and Sling TV does not (except for these major markets; Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Hartford, Conn., Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, and Washington DC.). That means no local news, and local stations account for a disproportionately large chunk of a cable TV’s local audience.
It’s arguable that Apple TV is the best streaming TV box available– it’s certainly priced like it– with games and apps now numbering into the thousands. But there’s no Apple streaming television service that competes with Sling TV or the various cable network channel apps, and no way to get local content streamed onto Apple TV.
Why? When it comes to creating, packaging, and streaming content, Apple is a great hardware company.
What would it take for Apple to do what Sling TV does? The company has the streaming technology and server farms already Apple has the investment money necessary to get started. There are over one billion customers running Macs, iPhones, and iPads to target.
Yet, still, no Apple streaming television service. So much for Think Different.™