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When Apple TV was shown off this past week at Macworld, with its ability to stream the growing list of 350 TV shows and 250 movies available…

When Apple TV was shown off this past week at Macworld, with its ability to stream the growing list of 350 TV shows and 250 movies available on iTunes, the blood pressure of cable and satellite execs surely must have gone up a few notches. But Apple still can’t come close to the comparatively infinite offerings of cable and satellite, at least not right now, counsels John Guillaume, SVP of Product and Marketing at New Global Telecom, a provider of VoIP technologies to cable and telecom companies. iTunes’ selling model is based on the a la carte pricing that cable has resisted because only the biggest sports and movie channels would survive. He and other executives tell Dow Jones that being able to offer all kinds of entertainment programming, including services like VOD, is what will keep cable and satellite competitive against comers like Apple TV.
Other advantages: “Comcast has a lot of VOD content, and there’s no reason why they can’t have as attractive a product, or more attractive, than Apple…Then if you have live programming, that’s another matter entirely,” said Matt Harrigan, cable analyst at Janco Partners.
Still, it’s conceivable that Apple

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  1. Sorry for the pun, but this is a comparison of apples and oranges. The AppleTV is merely a wireless streaming device that allows you to display on your HDTV what is on iTunes on your Mac (or up to five Macs). All it does is display iTunes. However, hooking up a Mac mini to your HDTV ($600 vs. $300 for the AppleTV) will allow you to do stuff TODAY that should make any cable company executive panic NOW.

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