Apple CEO: TV watching a ‘terrible, broken process’

Apple CEO, Tim Cook

Apple CEO, Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook has described traditional TV viewing as a “terrible, broken process that none of us like” and claimed the new Apple TV will be fundamentally disruptive.

Speaking at the WSJDLive conference in California, Cook said that the new Apple TV platform marks “the foundation of the future of TV,” and that television needs to be modernised and made more interactive.

“It’s almost as if you step in a time capsule when you go in your living room and you turn on your TV. Why does a channel even exist? Think about it. My nephew asked me that once and I couldn’t answer it. It’s like when he asked what is this round thing? It’s a CD,” said Cook.

“TV should be interactive. There’s much of TV that we want to interact with, but the way that we do that today is we have a device and we’re sitting there [with it] on our lap with the TV running. We’re maybe doing something socially, but these two things should be connected.”

Discussing the TV experience today, Cook said it is “crazy” that TV schedules dictate what time to watch and that viewers have to decide whether to record a show in advance.

“We have all this technology that is made to skip all these ads. We’ve developed a whole infrastructure to try to fix this terrible, broken process that none of us like,” said Cook.

“The content owners have done a great job producing incredible content; there’s 700 channels of it. But you can’t find anything you want to watch, because if you just sit down and say ‘I’m interested in a comedy tonight’ what do you do? You start scanning through this age-old guide that was developed in the ’80s or so, and hasn’t really changed that much.

“The user experience is in another decade than the way you live on your iPhone or your iPad or your Mac.”

Apple unveiled its next generation Apple TV box last month, claiming the device had been rebuilt from the ground up.

The revamped streaming device will run on the new tvOS operating system, based on Apple’s iOS, allowing iOS developers to create new apps and games specifically for Apple TV. These will be delivered to users through the new Apple TV App Store.

Other new features include a new touch-surface remote control with built-in Siri voice commands, letting users search for TV shows and movies across multiple content providers by title, genre, cast, crew, rating or popularity.

The new Apple TV will run on the Apple-designed A8 chip and retail from the end of October, priced in the US at US$149 for a 32GB model and US$199 for a 64GB model.

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