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Apple TV set imminent?

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An Apple TV set is "imminent," according to one analyst report.

According to Jefferies & Co analyst James Kisner, a major US cable operator has been testing to see if it can handle the extra demands on bandwidth an Apple TV device would make.

"Our discussions with industry contacts suggest that at least one major North American multiple system operator is working to estimate how much additional capacity may be needed for a new Apple device on their broadband data network," said Kisner.

Jefferies & Co's interpretation of this information was that it "potentially suggests an imminent launch of the Apple TV."

It's been well documented that the last major project Steve Jobs worked on prior to his death was an integrated and ultra-intuitive TV set. This is in contrast to the half-way house Apple TV that we have at the moment, which is effectively an extra set top box with limited content and an extra remote control.

In recent months there have been numerous rumours that Apple has been negotiating with cable providers to try and add live broadcasts to its Apple TV offering.

How imminent is such an Apple TV set? As Cnet points out, Tim Cook's language following Apple's latest launch event - at which the iPad mini, new iMac, iPad 4 and the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display were launched - suggests that it won't be this year.

Cook called 2012 a "truly prolific year of innovation," which has a certain air of finality to it.

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