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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is in talks with cable providers to offer live broadcasts through its own set-top box, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Wednesday. The report also alluded the possibility of an Apple HDTV. On Thursday, the Journal published a follow-up report that adds more detail to Wednesday’s story, including that Apple wants to greatly simplify the overall TV-viewing experience.
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According to the report, Apple’s vision for the set-top box includes features designed to simplify accessing and viewing programming, and would erase the distinction between live and on-demand content. Apple proposes giving viewers the ability to start any show at any time through a digital-video recorder — by no means a new invention — that would, however, store TV shows on the Internet rather than on the box itself. Viewers could also start a show minutes after it had begun.
As is the case with the current Apple TV, Apple’s plans the set-top box, or what could possibly be its own Apple-branded high-definition television, include an interface said to look much like the iPad, with rows of icons representing various channels and services.
Whatever it is, this future TV device would likely integrate with social networks, according to the Wall Street Journal. And because Apple would want users to have full access to any show on any channel to which they subscribe through their cable providers, all episodes would be available for streaming. Of course, that does mean Apple has a lot of negotiating with media companies in its future, but that’s never stopped the company before.
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