The new Apple TV, which came out last month, has an iPhone-like App Store, so pretty much any company can build an app for it.
But don’t hold your breath for an app from the largest cable company in the country.
Marcien Jenckes, the executive vice president of consumer services for Comcast Cable, told Tech Insider in an interview last week that Comcast isn’t working on an app for the new Apple TV.
“We’re not philosophically against it,” Jenckes said of developing an app for the new device. “We just haven’t seen the need to run out and do that, given the fact that we’re already delivering content to the TVs in a way that has our customers already satisfied.”
Jenckes was referring to Comcast’s X1, an interactive set top box that about 25% of its video subscribers currently have. The X1, which costs subscribers around $US10 per month to rent, has apps, a talking guide, and a cloud DVR that can record up to six shows at once, among other features.
But a Comcast app on the Apple TV could theoretically allow Comcast cable subscribers to watch live and on-demand TV on TVs in their house that don’t have set top boxes connected to them, which could save them from having to rent a cable box each month. The experience wouldn’t be the full experience customers get with an X1 device, but it would save them money.
Time Warner Cable is already doing that with its app for the Roku, another streaming box, as well as for other devices like the Xbox and Samsung Smart TVs.
Comcast already has apps for iPhone and iPad that allow you to watch about 90 channels of live TV and thousands of on-demand movies and TV shows on your iPhone or iPad, but you can’t watch them on the big screen unless you have a Comcast box connected to your TV.
When asked why Comcast would make apps for those Apple devices, but not the Apple TV, Jenckes said that “there was a clear need” to be on those devices.
“Our customers wanted to be mobile,” he said.
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