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Apple exec Eddy Cue talks future of TV at Vanity Fair event

On Thursday Apple's senior VP of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, sat down for a three-way discussion at Vanity Fair's New Establishment Summit in San Francisco, where he spoke at length about the current state of TV and where Apple sees things going.

As he has before, Cue attacked modern TV interfaces, describing most of them as a "glorified VCR" and "pretty brain-dead." He positioned the Apple TV as a better solution, the fourth generation of which has Siri and an App Store, among other improvements.

Cue was on stage with HBO CEO Richard Plepler, and used HBO Now as an example of a better way of interacting with TV. HBO has over 1 million subscribers on Apple devices, and Cue suggested that the two companies are "at the beginning" of their relationship, without hinting at what they might have in mind later.

The two executives also exchanged praise for each other, with Plepler in particular claiming that whenever the two companies have run into an obstacle in the past, all he had to do was call Cue and the issue would be fixed in 10 minutes. "That's rare," Plepler added.

Cue suggested that TV will continue to evolve year-by-year, as old restrictions relax and content providers become more comfortable with advanced technology. Some networks have been reluctant to completely embrace streaming, not wanting to risk deals with cable and satellite companies —which in turn have fought the prospect of "skinny" or a-la-carte channel bundles. In some cases, contract obligations have helped maintain the status quo.

Apple's position in both music and video streaming will still be competitive in spite of rivals like Amazon and Netflix, Cue said, because it's able to host such services on its own platform. The company will allegedly succeed as along as it offers the best way to pay for and access content, regardless of which services are involved.