Apple just bought a small startup company you probably never heard of called Matcha.tv. Why is this important? Because it might, maybe, possibly reveal what Apple sees as the future of Apple TV: a channel-less oasis, where it doesn’t matter what streaming service you watch your favourite TV show on, as long as it’s through Apple TV.
Matcha.tv was a video discovery tool that specialised in pointing users towards which streaming services had which shows. So if you were looking to watch Breaking Bad, Matcha.tv could point out that it’s available to stream on Netflix, for purchase on iTunes, airing on this channel and so on. If you wanted to check out another show, it might point you towards Hulu or Amazon Video or your pay TV provider instead. Basically, with whatever movie or TV show you wanted to watch, Matcha would show you the streaming services and online stores you could watch them at.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because the Xbox and other services have this same sort of engine powering their search. You just talk to Kinect about the show you want to watch and you’ll see everything you can watch, regardless of the source. If Apple implements Matcha.tv’s services into Apple TV, it could very well look just like that. Instead of having to dig around online for a movie, you can search (maybe through Kinect-like voice command with Siri?) through Apple’s Matcha-intelligence interface to reveal the Apple TV-wide results. The Apple TV could become a universal guide of sorts (and it could go even deeper if Apple ever figures out content deals with a la carte channels) for your entire television. As Apple gets more content onto Apple TV, this could be the way Apple organises it all.
Of course, looking into Apple’s acquisitions as proof of its future moves is a little like eating tea leaves and vomiting to predict your own future. Maybe snagging Matcha.tv was for it to be some stupid TV guide app you use on your iPhone. Maybe it’s just for a commercial. Maybe it will be for nothing at all. But Matcha.tv’s strengths make a lot of sense in making Apple TV, well, make sense. [VentureBeat]