Save for FaceTime all that can be served from the current AppleTV. A device that is considerably more affordable than an HDTV. A device that can be updated and re-purchased often. A device that will work with any monitor that accepts HDMI. I’m just not seeing a business model that is more profitable than the AppleTV.
I’ve even made mention of a device that has CableCard options, an Apple Home Server, directly or remotely attached that can be used a DVR, a passthrough (HDMI-input) on the AppleTV so you can use your current sat/cable setup with the AppleTV UI as the primary interface, deals with networks, and deals with TV vendors for incorporating the AppleTV into it. There has to be a path to profit. Where is it?
I don't have your experience in technology and my opinions are my own. You maybe right from a business sense. Business needs to feed their stockholders and Apple is no different. But Apple didn't make profit when they bought SoundJam and many people didn't see the vision behind it.
Apple believes it makes more money indirectly from creating magic that people want. Consumers want stability, a trusted brand, platform security, and ease of use. TV are easy and popular, in part, because you just turn it on and it works. Even if Apple just made a cheap screen with a tuner, stick in some local storage, and that AppleTV box (which it could still sell for choice) to control everything including DVR, I know of many people who would jump at it. I know I would, and I believe Apple will do it even better than that and they could absorb the low margins with their economy of scale.
Remember, many in business said "Nobody wants an ALL-In- Computer," but the iMac showed them wrong. My guess is Apple won't actually make a TV. Just a much much bigger and more functional iPad that people will think is a TV and hang it on the wall.