Apple tipped for live TV set-top box

It's no secret that Apple has been talking to content providers in the past, presumably for the mythical Apple Television, but the Wall Street Journal reports that the company is currently in talks with US cable providers to allow consumers to use a set-top-box manufactured by Cupertino. The box will reportedly allow consumers to access live television as well as other content, according to people familiar with the matter.

Instead of licensing content directly, Apple will go through the cable providers, offering a set-top-box that offers a mix of live television and custom apps. According to the report, the box that Apple is planning to build could cost "hundreds of dollars", not unlike the current devices offered by Motorola, among others. Rather than building an actual television, Apple could slowly but surely makes its way into the industry, building up credibility with partners before moving ahead with its own plans. The Wall Street Journal does note, however, that Apple has built prototype televisions in the past.

According to the WSJ, Apple hasn't yet reached a deal with any cable operators, as the companies may be reluctant to let Apple participate in the TV game. It's not the first time Apple has approached content providers with the prospect of some sort of device based around the television. Steve Jobs reportedly approached the CEO of CBS last year about providing content for a new Apple television subscription-based service, an offer that was met with rejection.

Rumors have popped up for years suggesting that Apple is working on a television, but things have been quiet on that front as of late. The last time we heard about the fabled Apple television it was said to resemble a Cinema Display, with voice recognition powered by Siri allowing users to control the TV with only their voice. Sharp is said to be providing IGZO panels for the TV, but if this new report from the Wall Street Journal is to be believed, Apple may be trying a different route instead.

[via The Next Web]