Up until now, the Apple TV as we know it as been something of a stop-gap device while the company works on something better. You can’t watch TV with the same ease as cable; you still need your own cable provider’s box in addition to the Apple TV. You can rent movies through it, play picture slideshows and music through it, but you can’t turn it on and click to a live on-air episode of whatever your favorite show is the way you can with a conventional set-top box.
Now, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has been in talks with some the major US cable operators about an Apple set-top box through which cable subscribers could consume their regular content—and enjoy the inevitable perks that such an Apple device would/could offer.
“Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr declined to comment on what he characterized as rumors and speculation,” the WSJ reports.
Of particular significance, the WSJ notes, is that such a device, which could cost easily several hundred dollars, would be a hard sell for the many current cable subscribers who pay only a a few dollars a month to rent their box directly from the provider. And, whether it will retain all the capabilities of its current iteration, it is still too early to tell. If these early rumors bear any semblance to the truth, it seems like Apple may finally be throwing us a bone here, or at some point in the reportable future. [WSJ]