Apple will build TV and companion set-top, Brightcove CEO predicts

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) will begin selling both a smart TV and a new companion set-top in 2013 that would allow cable and satellite TV subscribers to access TV programming and interactive TV applications through a new user interface, Brightcove CEO Jeremy Allaire predicted Monday.

The new Apple TV companion set-top would cost $149, and allow pay TV providers such as Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T to rely on a new application programming interface (API) to deliver high-definition live TV and video-on-demand programming to subscribers who would use an Apple TV user interface, Allaire wrote in a post on The Wall Street Journal's AllThingsD blog. "With program guide data, VOD metadata, and the ability to use network or local DVR APIs, the new TV app for iOS will become the simplest form we've ever had for watching broadcast television," Allaire said.

Apple will also likely build two smart TVs--a 46-inch model and a 60-inch model, Allaire said. The TVs and companion set-top will feature built-in front-facing sensors and cameras, he predicted. Apple will also be able to use the new TV and set-top to challenge gaming companies, Allaire said.

"There's every reason to expect the new product to launch in 2013. When it does, we're likely to see massive disruption of the broadcast and gaming industries, the rise of an age of TV apps and an even stronger leadership role for Apple in software, media, communications and consumer devices," Allaire wrote.

Allaire does not cite any sources for his predictions. Brightcove, the company Allaire founded in 2004, initially focused on providing an online video platform to programmers such as Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA) and Viacom (NYSE: VIA). After Apple's iPhone and smartphones running Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android platform became popular, Brightcove developed an application platform that can be used to deliver video to smartphones and tablets. If Apple does expand its iOS platform to TVs, that would benefit application developers such as Brightcove.

While Apple has never stated that it plans to build a new Apple TV companion set-top or a dedicated smart TV, CEO Tim Cook said earlier this month that TV "is an area of intense interest" for Apple.

"When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years," Cook said in an interview with NBC News anchor Brian Williams.

It's worth noting that Apple is already working with CableLabs, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and other major MSOs on applications that allow pay TV subscribers to navigate programming with an iPhone or iPad.

"That is an industry effort with Apple and all of the big cable companies," Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt told this reporter in an interview at The Cable Show convention in 2010. "Our engineers are working through CableLabs with Apple on that," he added.

For more:
- AllThingsD has this story

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