History before the Apple TV. On Monday, January 19, 1953, I Love Lucy aired on CBS, just like it had done every Monday for the previous two years. That week’s episode, “Lucy Goes to the Hospital,” filmed in black-and-white and shot on 35 mm film, was a seminal moment in broadcasting that signified how far television had come. Just 30 years prior, this medium didn’t even exist. Now millions of families crowded around a small plastic box watching Lucy and Ricky, turning the dials to increase the volume.
On that evening, 72 percent of all televisions sets were tuned to CBS
a record yet to be broken…
Sixty years later, that same episode is being streamed on the on-demand service Hulu Plus, possibly on an HD television via the most-talked about digital media player out there — Apple TV. The setup box, released in its fourth incarnation on October 30, 2015, is a reminder of how television has evolved since “Lucy Goes to the Hospital” first aired. But how did the medium get to this point? And can Apple redefine the television blueprint for the next 60 years?
The Apple Revolution
If you asked a contestant on Family Feud, another perennially popular TV show that first aired decades ago, to name something associated with Apple, he probably wouldn’t mention the Cupertino-based company’s digital media player. But as Apple supercharges its marketing efforts in the coming months, expect the micro-console to be every bit as recognizable as the iPod, iPad and iPhone in 2016. The company describes the setup box as “the future of television,” offering content from WatchESPN, Netflix, HBO NOW and Lucy’s new home, Hulu.
If Apple’s marketing push is as successful as the promotional drive for the recent iPhone 6s, Tim Cook and the gang can expect big things from the online television streamer.
A one-minute teaser for the fourth generation of Apple TV — the first to feature the new tvOS operating system — has already garnered more than five million views on YouTube since it was uploaded on December 8, 2015.