Is Apple planning a high-definition video network? We definitely cannot attest to the reliability of Mac OS Rumors as a, um, rumor site, but they're reporting that Apple is working on some sort of high-definition satellite TV network. Yep, we thought exactly the same thing: Voom 2? Despite the spectacular meltdown of that earlier high-def satellite network (which isn't actually mentioned anywhere in the piece), Mac OS Rumors claims that the rationale behind this major move is that Apple, "is eager to get a piece of the larger multimedia content pie but doesn't want to go directly head-to-head with services like Blockbuster's new flat-fee unlimited internet rental system." Supposedly you'll also be able to get your high-def content online and at Apple Stores, but it gets better:
Apple believes that this network will drive sales of Macs, but also create a market for low-cost home devices which act as a sort of "video iPod" without actually handling display duties — that's up to your HDTV or Apple Cinema Display. The company has long struggled with what form that hub device should take — and has settled on a system that emphasizes being a source for low-cost (or free) High Definition content that just isn't readily available from Digital Cable or traditional Satellite TV systems. The best of the Internet and traditional HDTV brought together plus that little something extra - Apple style.
It certainly isn't inconceivable that Apple will start selling high-def video through some sort of iTunes-like online store (Steve Jobs talked a lot about HD during his Macworld keynote this past January), but an Apple satellite network (at least as described) just sounds like some Apple fanboy's wet dream. Steve Jobs might have some billions to play with, but he isn't stupid. Anyone launching a new satellite network has to be prepared to lose lots and lots of money in the process—go ask Voom, XM, and Sirius what it's like.