Report: Apple negotiating w/ media companies for pay TV service, working on full-fledged TV set

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A new report from Quartz today offers some details on Apple’s content negotiations for a much rumored revamped Apple TV. Most of the report echoes what we’ve heard several times in the past– Apple is apparently talking with HBO, Disney, MTV and others about a new TV service. According to Quartz, it could include a pay TV service that would see Apple “essentially becoming a cable company itself,” as well as the release of a “full-fledged television set”:

One alternative being considered is that Apple could essentially become a cable company itself. Under that scenario, sources say, Apple would launch what is formally known as a virtual multichannel video programming distributor. Apple is still interested in striking deals with cable companies that would allow people to plug their cable lines into the back of the TV set, bypassing a cable box, sources say. But at least two years of negotiations haven’t progressed very far.

Sources say Apple has concluded that it doesn’t need all, even most, content providers on board before it can release a TV set that people would buy. It just needs enough good programming to distinguish the new product, which will try to simplify the experience of connecting internet video to the TV.

The report doesn’t offer up any details that we didn’t hear around this same time last year (and the year before that), but it appears Apple could be closer to reaching the deals it needs to launch the next-generation of Apple TV. Earlier today we reported that former Hulu SVP Pete Distad has now officially started his new role at Apple as Product Marketing VP and is thought to be leading Apple executives through negotiations with cable and media companies.  Read more

MTV revamps iOS app with full episodes, on-demand video, & second screen experience

MTV is rolling out a huge update to its iOS app today that brings a ton of new content to both the iPhone and iPad. The previous MTV WatchWith app appears to be rebranded to simply “MTV” and now offers a ton of full episodes from the network’s most popular series, on-demand video, & a brand new second screen experience.

As for full episodes, MTV has signed up nine cable providers so far: AT&T U-verse, Bright House Networks, Cablevision (Optimum), DIRECTV, Hawaiian Telecom, RCN, Suddenlink, Time Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS. Subscribing to one of these cable providers will be necessary to access the full episodes, but MTV notes it is “working hard to get all TV providers to participate.”

Other content, such as on-demand video, won’t require you to sign in. Available through on-demand is sneak peeks, after shows, bonus clips and exclusive, original content for MTV series, but also great content from MTV News, MTV Style, MTV Geek, HTV Hive, HTV Other, and live coverage of the MTV Video Music Awards and MTV Video Awards: Read more

Vevo delivers lovely Vevo HD player for iPad

Forget Flash, really, forget it. I don’t care how much more efficient it is at last becoming now it faces much-needed competition — I do however care that US iPad users can now download Vevo HD, a beautiful app offering you access to all 25,000 videos in Vevo’s huge catalog — no Flash required.

“The app has a few special features created especially for the iPad, including our favorite one, Music Maps, which gives you a window into what videos people are watching in your neighborhood and around the world,” the company says on its website. Read more