Is Time Warner’s Chief Ignorant of Apple’s Looming Threat?

Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) AirPlay lets users stream content from their iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches wirelessly to their Apple TV set-top boxes and onto their televisions, posing yet another viable threat to the well-being of cable companies, but Time Warner Cable’s (NYSE:TWC) CEO doesn’t even know the potentially disruptive technology exists.

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Glenn A. Britt told reporters he didn’t think there was a simple way yet to get Internet-based video onto the television screen, and when asked about AirPlay, said he hadn’t heard of it. “I’m not sure I know what AirPlay is,” Britt said.

“Today we want to be on every screen,” he added. “Today it’s a little bit clunky to get programming from the Internet onto the TV — not so hard to get it on your iPad. What’s hard is the plumbing, what wires do you connect, what device do you use. So the current Apple TV, the little thing, the hockey puck, really doesn’t do anything to help enable you to get Internet material on your TV.”

AirPlay adds a button that gives the user the option of streaming the video wirelessly to an Apple TV box connected to a television. The Discovery Channel (NASDAQ:DISCB), ABC (NYSE:DIS), and PBS offer AirPlay-compatible apps. AirPlay will also be available in the new version of the Mac operating system.

Britt thought that Internet-connected televisions would be better than requiring an extra box to view web content. “I hate set-top boxes,” he said.

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