Jaman, which sells high definition movie downloads (rental and to-own), has announced that it will soon be releasing a plug-in for the AppleTV. With the software installed, Jaman movies will appear as a new menu option alongside existing content choices, which include television shows and movies downloaded via Apple’s own iTunes store. Although hackers have already had success adding new features to Apple’s set-top-box, this is the first known effort by a commercial company aiming to plug their service into the device to create a level playing field with Apple’s own content offerings.
Om Malik, over at GigOm, got a preview of the plug-in, and reports:
Jaman has done a great job of (unofficially) integrating their service with AppleTV, and the experience was as seamless as say YouTube. But more importantly, the visual quality on a big screen plasma screen was stunning… scratch that, breath taking, when compared to Apple’s own video offerings.
Malik says that Apple should give its blessing to Jaman’s service, arguing that it would give people more reasons to buy an AppleTV. Not only do I agree, having long called for Apple to open up its set-top-box to third party developers, but I think that without official support — similar to the recent partnership with YouTube — Jaman’s efforts will only benefit those users confident enough to modify the AppleTV. The press release announcing the plug-in actually links to a number of websites detailing how to install unsupported software, noting that “such modifications need strong tech skills and will void the warranty agreement for your device.”
If Apple were to allow third-parties to plug their services into its set-top-box, then the company could really achieve its ambition of making the AppleTV a DVD player for the Internet age. Ultimately, the decision will be a commercial one, and in contrast to the iPod where margins are high, it’s been reported that the AppleTV isn’t nearly as profitable, so it maybe that the company is hoping to make up revenue through selling television and movie downloads via its iTunes store. If this is indeed the case, then it would explain why Apple is keen to keep out Jaman and other competing services.
For more information of Jaman’s offering, check out Robert Scoble’s excellent video profile of the company.
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