An very interesting post from GigaOM by Darrell Etherington shows that the tyranny of the Big Cable and the broadcasters are soon to be broken by Apple TV and AirPlay. Darrel start quite tough: Make no mistake: Apple is in the process of staging a coup. That’s what a very close look at the new Apple TV reveals. He later emphasis the AirPlay:
AirPlay will allow anyone to play whatever content they can view on their iOS device on their Apple TV. Where that once still represented a relatively limited content pool, Apple’s recent relaxation of App Store restrictions has allowed apps like CineXPlayer and VLC onto the iPad, which means playback of more video formats is here and set to improve in the future. While Cupertino would probably rather you still get your media the legit way from its iTunes store, it’s becoming more apparent that if it means selling more hardware, the company is willing to look the other way regarding how users acquire what they watch, especially if it can’t strong-arm TV and movie content providers into playing by its rules.
By avoiding having actual apps on the Apple TV initially, Cupertino is hoping to have its cake and eat it too. AirPlay allows them to access the media content of any app, in theory, which also has the advantage of encouraging iOS device sales. At the same time, it keeps the Apple TV platform relatively closed, something which should appease the content providers and avoid direct conflict for the time being. Now, if providers pull out in protest of Apple’s growing dominance over distribution, it has AirPlay and a more format-friendly iOS in its pocket to force them to make nice, lest iOS users turn to less legitimate sources for their content.