Apple is reportedly looking into the possibility of turning its Apple TV system into a full on set top box. This would allow it to handle live TV broadcasts as well as streaming its own library of content.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is currently in negotiations with a number of cable operators in the US to instigate such a move. It’s claimed that Apple had investigated producing such a cable box device prior to launching Apple TV two years ago.
Apple’s revised approach to TV is far from certain of success, however. According to WSJ’s sources, negotiations with cable operators have stalled due to Apple’s typically strong demands - including a 30 per cent cut of “certain transactions.”
Back in 2010 Steve Jobs related his own reservations about creating another cable TV box. One of his chief concerns was, rather prophetically it seems, the trouble of negotiating with local cable providers. He also pointed out the problem with the current Apple TV and its rivals - they added yet more clutter to the living room.
Not long before his death Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson about his last big project - to “create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use.”
While it may seem that this report of a separate Apple TV cable box delays or detracts from that project in some way, WSJ’s sources claim that the technology could be integrated into a smart TV. Is this a necessary step on the way to a pure, standalone, Apple TV?