After the Apple TV failed to capture much market attention, the California tech giant may be looking for a new way to enter the television market. Reports suggest that the new Apple TV could be a set-top box designed to give viewers access to cable programs at any time.
According to the Wall Street Journal and CNET, Apple has been meeting with various cable companies to discuss a new set top box that would allow users to stream cable content on demand as an alternative to the set-top boxes that cable subscribers rent.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook and Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt have been confirmed to have met at a conference in July. No word has emerged about the topic of their discussion, but it would be surprising if Apple's new TV plans never came up.
Few details have emerged about the specifics of the concept, but it seems likely that Apple would introduce the set-top box as a replacement for a current Apple product, the Apple TV.
The second-generation Apple TV, launched in 2012, primarily allows users to stream content from the iTunes Store, Netflix, Hulu, and more. In March 2012, Apple revealed a third-generation of the device, offering a redesigned user interface and high- resolution streaming in 1080p.
Currently, the Apple TV is considered little more than a novelty by many users, especially compared to high-profile products like the iPhone and iPad. And Apple's current lack of publicity for the device seems to show that the company feels the same way.
The Apple TV also faces serious competition from devices like Roku and Google TV, as well as the Xbox 360's digital media streaming services.
A TV set-top box could reinvigorate Apple's attempts at delivering digital media to America's living room. The redesigned Apple TV would allow users much more choice in the type of media they stream, as well as allowing them to watch live television and record programs. If Apple's new approach to TV takes off, it could be the second media industry the company has revolutionized.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.