The good? More channels. The bad, 50,000 channels and nothing good to watch. That just might be the case forever but more change agents are here to ensure the future does not look like the past. Apple TV 4K, matched with a visually juicy 4K HDR television, matched with streaming 4K HDR video represents the nearest future. One thing is missing from that future.
Live Channel Integration
Sometime soon you’ll see another glimpse of the future when Apple TV and the TV app on iPhone and iPad display live sports integration. Wait. That’s a new term. Live Sports Integration? Think of it as an ESPN sports app which displays live scores and video from multiple live games but on a single screen.
Perhaps something like this ESPN app on Apple TV but with 16 or 20 different channels.
This is a no-brainer and it could help solve the current Apple TV navigation catastrophe. Yes, Apple TV’s Little Remote That Can’t is a disaster for navigating through many different apps as channels, let alone apps themselves.
A better way– and likely to be the future– would be an Apple app that displays multiple channels and programming– live programming would be nice– on a single screen, with a single click to move to another screen with 16 to 20 different video thumbnails, much as we move from screen to screen on iPhone and iPad.
Yes, there are all kinds of issues and problems that need to be solved to make this happen. But that’s what Apple does best. Solve complex problems with a simple interface.
Here’s how it would work. Turn on the television. Turn on the Apple TV app. Click on What’s Playing Now. What you’d get is a screen of 16 to 20 or maybe even 24 channels– all displaying, well, what’s playing right now in a thumbnail. Move the onscreen pointer to select a channel and it moves from thumbnail mode to fill the television screen.
This is in contrast to the Apple TV app for iPhone and iPad which displays much the same fare as Apple TV. What I want to do is control which channels are displayed in the integration view. Apple TV’s interface now has more to do with getting users to pay for movies and TV shows, or to subscribe to various channels as apps, but that does not get me to where I want to go which is simple. Live screen integration of whatever I choose to watch, from whatever sources are available.
That’s what Apple needs to do to reach the future of television viewing.