Consumers for years have had to manage a bewildering array of set-up boxes, cords and television ports to get all of the online shows that they want to watch on the biggest screens in their homes. No single TV device, for instance, easily plays content from Amazon Online Video and iTunes – the video offerings from Amazon and Apple that happen to be vying with each other for dominance in the living room.
That’s been inconvenient for folks who subscribe to Amazon Prime and own an Apple device – a population that is likely in the tens of millions. If you’ve bought a video through either company, you generally have had to switch between two television set-up boxes to watch those shows in a reliable way on the big screen in the living room. And we only have so many HDMI ports on our TVs after all – it hasn’t been fun to have to crawl behind the screen just because the show you want to watch isn’t available through whatever you have plugged into a port at the moment.
But the new Apple TV, which launched this week, offers a tantalizing breakthrough: It has the potential to be the only set-top box you will need.