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Will the iPad change how we watch TV? Maybe

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 28th 2010 11:03AM
steve_jobs_slates_mosesWill Apple's new iPad really change the way we watch TV? That was one of the big questions that we were asking before Steve Jobs' presentation yesterday in San Francisco. I thought that since he was conferring with network execs to slash iTunes prices for TV episodes, that the iPad would have a major TV viewing component.

Now that we've seen the device and watched it demonstrated, the answer isn't crystal clear. But yes, it should have some impact on TV viewing.

Oh, don't get me wrong. I agree with those that call the iPad just a bigger version of the iTouch or iPhone. On the surface, it is. However, while it's true that someone might prefer a one-hand device like the smaller iTouch or iPhone to watch a show on a commuter train, you have to imagine a different setting for the iPad.

Imagine that you are in bed after a hard day's work. You're comfy and cozy and you want to watch a couple of episodes of The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family before going to sleep. You pick up the iPad and watch without need of earphones or eyeglasses. And while you're at it, you click to the iTunes store and buy another couple of shows for tomorrow night.

Yes, you could watch the shows on the DVR in the living room, but for convenience and comfort, you're in bed.

But then, here's the other part of the deal with the iPad. In the morning, after you wake up and want to know what's going on in the world and what you have planned, the iPad is on the nightstand with the morning newspaper. That's right, The New York Times at your fingertips without the newsprint rubbing off on your fingers. And not the same way it looks online; this is a special iPad app that makes it look like a real newspaper. Hmm... that's nice. Push another button and it's your calendar like you've never seen it before. One more click and there's a Richard Simmons' Sweatin' to the Oldies workout download.

So, all that plus TV viewing in an intimate setting. A device that's less clunky than a laptop and more vivid than a PDA. Will it take off? At $499, I could see a lot of people jumping on this when it's available in two months.

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Ummmm until Apple starts making iPads and iPhones in hot pink I am NOT interested.

February 01 2010 at 1:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Eric H

I would rather the HP tablet

January 29 2010 at 8:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow and you can buy a netbook now and watch anything on it and do the exact same thing. Or if you have the knowhow stream your feeds from your main system with mulitple tuner cards in it to your netbook. But yes it isn't shiny, doesn't have the same exact amount of flash memory the initial netbooks had 2 some years ago, doesn't have that apple logo on it and isn't overhyped yet all they come up with is a large ipod touch. 2 some years and that is all they could come up with? Still no access to the file system, no expansion port for even a sd card, still well anything that was lacking from the iphone/touch since launch is still lacking in this.

Don't get me wrong I like the virtual keyboard on my touch but everything else about it I still regret buying it. Can't export simple text files from your notepad, i mean really is it that hard?? Also wonder if the horrid safari browser will still choke and crash on websites on the ipad at this date also.

January 29 2010 at 2:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

For what it's worth we have been looking to buy a Netbook for use around the living room and the iPad fits our needs far better than a netbook.

It would mostly be used as a web-browsing tool and the clamshell trackpad on a netbook is horrible for web-browsing, especially with such a tiny screen. Moving up to a bigger screen just means that you're lugging around a laptop around the house which is what we do now and hate (handing from person to person is always a balance/hold circus).

The reason I mention it here is because what I find myself doing is if my wife is watching something indigestible on TV I often start up a second show on teh computer with headphones.

So we may very well be using the iPad for TV-watching.

January 28 2010 at 3:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Now that Apple has it's giany iPod Touch to sell to idiot Apple fanboys with too much money and not enough sense, the industry will get to making touchscreen netbook tablets for $499 or less, and then people who understand what a computer is and how to use it will be able to watch whatever they want, in whatever form they want, wherever in their house/car/boat/train/plane/hotel room/wide world of the outdoors they happen to be.

Not really interested in another walled garden device that is crippled and overpriced. I'll use my netbook & kindle for everything the iTampon can do and more until someone develops a decent low-priced net-tablet.

January 28 2010 at 2:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Joel: I'll disagree with the hoi poloi here. Yours is the first moderately compelling use I've seen for this device that otherwise seems to be devoid of compelling uses. I don't want a TV in my bedroom, and if this can pull from my network recordings that I've transferred off my Tivo, its a decent alternative. Thanks!

January 28 2010 at 2:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No it won't. Now, those Tegra 2 Android Tablets that output 1080p are a whole other story.

January 28 2010 at 2:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wouldn't a netbook do all this? And at @ 300$$, a better deal, and no apps to purchase!

January 28 2010 at 2:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David S

No Hulu, No NetFlix, most p2p video content is not supported either.

I'm not sure how this device is supposed to change our viewing habits when it doesn't support the video I want to watch in the first place.

January 28 2010 at 1:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Are you freakin' kidding me?

If folks haven't made a "change to the way we watch TV" by watching it on their iPods, Droids, Archos, Zune, etc etc etc. then this overgrown iTouch isn't going to change squat either!

Jeesh, it doesn't "change" anything. It is an iPod Touch with a bigger screen...Oh, and it is priced at about the same level as a laptop....which folks also use to watch TV.

I don't know that I have ever seen a more pointless device come out of Apple....I was blown away by the silly name, and the clunky look of it...then when there was no multi-tasking, or camera, or expansion ports.....jeesh...made me kinda sad actually.


January 28 2010 at 1:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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