Just a day after reporting that Apple was in talks with cable operators over a set-top box, The Wall Street Journal came up with another report Thursday, saying that the rumored device might feature an iPad-like interface and superior cloud-based DVR-like capabilities, blurring the line between live and on-demand content.
Mountain Lion includes updates to Safari and also incorporated a number of features from its iOS system, but the most important update of all is AirPlay Mirroring. Even though it's not being discussed as much, this is the unique feature to watch out for in the near future.
The AirPlay mirroring function basically lets you transfer any content playing on a laptop or tablet directly to an Apple TV. All a person needs is an Apple TV, which costs no more than $100. AirPlay mirroring enables the user to transfer content streaming on his or her laptop directly and wirelessly to an AppleTV television set with the swipe of a finger. So, for instance, if one is watching a movie on hulu.com's free service, all you need to do to get it on your TV is swipe your finger and the video will play on your Apple TV-equipped television.
Wired explained this feature more elaborately, saying that the AirPlay monitoring technology in Mountain Lion uses the same technology that iOS devices use, and the computer can wirelessly transmit anything that is playing on the Mac desktop or Apple TV. This shoots mirrored content into the HDTV via an HDMI cable, and the video can be watched on TV with the TV's settings after adjusting the resolution and color according to the viewer's choice.
This feature should be a matter of concern for cable TV providers as people might just disable their cable TV services altogether, considering that websites now provide streamed verions of their shows, and many movies are available online to watch at minimal or no cost.
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Gartner analyst Michael McGuire told Wired in an interview that "[Video Monitoring] is a longer term threat. It is the kind of thing the MYPDs [Multichannel Video Programming Distributors], the Comcasts of the world, dread." McGuire anticipates that this technology will become big in the near future as it is very simple and user-friendly. He says, "Sending video to AirPlay is a no-brainer that will appeal to a lot of people."
Saying this, it remains to be seen what strategies the MYPDs come up with to deal with the threat this product poses in the future.
This article is copyrighted by International Business Times, the business news leader