Eddy Cue says TV ‘needs to be reinvented’

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Eddy Cue
Apple VP Eddy Cue runs Apple's media business.
Photo: CNBC

Watching television is still a dreadful experience, according to Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior VP of internet software and services.

The Apple exec sat down for a joint interview with HBO CEO Richard Plepler at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit in San Francisco today. The two media titans discussed the rapidly changing landscape of television, but Cue told the audience that more changes are needed to make the experience better.

“I do think television needs to be reinvented. Today, you live with a glorified VCR,” Cue said. “The problem is the interface. It’s really hard to use. Setting something to record, if you didn’t watch something last night, if you didn’t set it to record, it’s hard to find, it may not be available.”

Fixing TV

Apple introduced a new Apple TV box last year that lets users search for their favorite shows using Siri and Universal Search. The company has grander ambitions for TV, though, including creating its own original programming with shows like Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke, music documentaries and more.

“It’s great to be able to tell your device, ‘I wanna watch the Duke basketball game, I don’t care what channel it’s on,'” Cue said. “I just want to watch the Duke basketball game. Today you got to bring in the TV, go through the guide, find which sports programs or whatever — it’s just hard to do.”

Apple was long rumored to be working on a TV streaming package that would offer cord-cutters a bundle of channels to stream over the internet. Those plans have reportedly been scraped. The company now is focusing on making Apple TV an open platform that any content creator can use to reach viewers.

Cue praised HBO during the interview, revealing Apple has 1 million users with an HBO subscription. He also said that he an Plepler have a strong relationship because he “cares about making the best stuff.”

Some of the programming HBO is making may soon compete with Apple’s offerings, too. Cue told the crowd that Apple would have made Game of Thrones if it only had the opportunity.