My Dream of Having An Apple TV Cable Box

April 16, 2016

The FCC proposed a few weeks ago that cable providers open up set top boxes with third parties. Now Obama is getting in on the bandwagon. What this basically means is that you can watch Cable TV on whatever device supports it. While this functionality has been around for years with the use of cable cards, getting one and a device to use it has been a pain. Which is why I’ve never done it.

I love my Apple TV. It’s not perfect but it works. My wife on the other hand never uses it. That’s because in order to use it we have to switch HDMI inputs. If cable was integrated into Apple TV she would. I think if the next generation of Apple TV had cable and my wishlist below integrated into the box that would be a true game changer.

My Wishlist

Sports. I’m not going to pretend that I’m some sports buff. I’ve started watching sports only a few years ago. The one pain in my ass is figuring out what channel a game is on. If Apple TV had some type of notification system letting me know of when the games were on that would save me one huge hassle.

Genius movies/tv. I hope that there would be some type of notification letting me know of something that might interest me be on. For example, I love B-Movie Sifi flicks. I hope that the Apple TV would know what I watch and suggest things on/in the future.

Multitasking/Split Pane. Imagine being able to order a pizza while watching a game? Or sending out tweets while watching TV?

Better Cable Network viewer data. I know that Apple is all about user privacy right now. But it would benefit the user if Cable networks had better viewer data for TV shows. That way the cable networks could provide us with better programming.

DVR. One feature cable companies are not taking advantage of is charging to skip commercials of DVR shows.

Apps Truly Tailored for TV. The new Apple TV has an Appstore. But that Appstore is like my phone/tablet Appstore. Imagine apps that extend the functionality of TV watching? Let me explain. Instead a standalone app that does something specific imagine an app that extends video. So say for example the FaceTime app plugs into watching sports? So I can watch a game with with Father inlaw who lives in another state. But when I’m watching say Baseball I can add apps to watching Baseball and not the whole system. I know this seems like a stretch but just imagine with me for a moment. While watching Baseball there’s a banner at the bottom of the screen that shows whats going on in other games or whatever the cable network wants to shove down your throat. I would love to have a banner of games for teams that I’m interested in. Hence an app. Or how about a banner of different sports. Hence an app. Or how about a pizza app that shows me the deals for today and lets me order. If I do order hide the app.

TV Playlists. I know this one is kinda a stretch but hear me out. So if this new Apple TV had information such as what you like (the genius idea) and the TV schedule from the cable network what would stop Apple (or even some type of app) creating a TV playlist. Say I want to just lounge around the house on Saturday. Imagine an auto playlist of stuff to watch during the day in categories. Like Crime TV, Scifi or even TV marathons.

Show Discovery. Finding new shows is still a pain and mostly consists of word of mouth. I would love if the iTunes trailer app would let me know what’s coming and show me previews then let me add it to my DVR que when the show is released.

Separate Accounts. We’re all Apple in my home. I would love the ability to change accounts/profiles so that the Apple TV would be tailored with the stuff my children like. This ability would have to be super quick and I would need the ability to control it. I love how family sharing works on IOS. I’d love to have it on the Apple TV.

I really hope that Apple has the next generation Apple TV hidden in some bunker somewhere with cable integration. Who knows though, but as long as the cable companies hold all the cards the users will suffer and people will continue to cut the cord.