Apple And Comcast Heading For Streaming-TV Service?

Apple is in talks with Comcast Corp about teaming up for a streaming-television service, if rumours are to be believed. Apple would get special treatment on Comcast’s cables to ensure no congestion on the Web, the sources added.

Sources pointed out the discussion between the two giant companies are still in early stages and many hurdles remain. But the deal, if sealed, would change the way of TV viewing.

Apple’s wants users to stream live and on-demand TV programming and digital-video recordings stored in the “cloud,” effectively taking the place of a traditional cable set-top box.

Apple’s goal would be to ensure users don’t see hiccups in the service or buffering that can take place while streaming Web video, making its video the same quality as Comcast’s TV transmissions to normal set-top boxes.

The proposal is similar to Comcast’s arrangement with TiVo; it sells boxes at retail that in some areas can access Comcast VOD.

Apple has spent several years exploring various avenues to enter TV, but it has been unable thus far to find business models that media companies and cable providers find appealing. Getting the support of Comcast would give Apple’s plans a big boost. The companies share a common goal: advancing set-top box technology so that TV more closely resembles the easy-to-use apps and streaming-video services to which consumers are growing accustomed.

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