According to a report over at the Wall Street Journal, Cupertino, Calif. based outfit Apple is currently in talks with cable television networks in an attempt to utilize its Apple TV device as a proper set-top-box. Although once described by CEO Tim Cook as a "hobby" of Apple’s, the gizmo has slowly but surely evolved into a decent product – one which now uses an A5 processor to pump out 1080p media to HDTVs.

Apple has a wealth of TV-based content already via the iTunes Store, although that will not interfere with what is apparently being prepared here. The fruit company, it is alleged, will not build its own database of TV shows and content in order to compete with the services already in existence, but essentially route those services through Apple TV. The idea is not perhaps as prosperous to Apple as having its own TV service, but it’s most certainly a start, and it doesn’t necessarily mean Cook’s company won’t consider such a move in the future.

Apple TV New

The current third-gen Apple TV device only emerged in March alongside the iPad 3, but the WSJ report also stipulates Apple’s cable TV ventures wouldn’t necessarily be catering to the current Apple TV box. The plans could either be for a next-gen Apple TV device, or – sorry, we couldn’t help it – the incessantly-mentioned connected TV set Apple is said to be plotting.

Although Apple’s TV set is, to many analysts, a foregone conclusion, it seems to keep cropping up as a rumor before dying down, and the discussions Apple is said to be holding will undoubtedly pour gasoline on that fire once more.

Apple Inc. is in talks with some of the biggest U.S. cable operators about letting consumers use an Apple device as a set-top box for live television and other content, according to people familiar with the matter.

Apple TV

As the Journal’s report continues, "two people briefed on the matter" would not discount the possibility of the technology being embedded into a television set, whilst also adding Apple has prototyped such a project in the past. The report also adds that talks between Apple and the networks have yet to reach any agreements, although one suspects if the company wants things to work out in this particular field, it has the means to make it happen.

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