Originally Posted by Sandyf
Quite frankly, it's not about the tube (old school). It's about content, access to content and ease of use.
True. Which then begs the question, why is this fabled device a TV and not a box that connects to the TV? Sure, a TV with an Apple logo on it is probably easier to market and would benefit from the halo effect moreso than a tiny, boring box like AppleTV. Is it because Apple thinks it's success in the all-in-one iMac is equivalent to thinking consumers also want an all-in-one TV? I'm not sure it translates (personally, I think it's wasteful to force us to upgrade a perfectly fine monitor just because we want to upgrade our CPUs, but that's another conversation).
I still think if there is going to be a TV with Apple's logo on it, it will simply be the flagship of an Apple TV line-up that will include "box-only" models, which will make up the bulk of the sales. You are correct that it's about content, and to make the deals they will need for content it would help to have a huge audience base to offer the content providers. And I just don't think they'll get the numbers if they don't sell a $100-150 box as a low-price entry point into Apple's latest walled garden.
All that said, picture quality becomes less important. Apple could go for top-notch and expensive, knowing that the low-priced box option is available for the rest of us. Or they could go for just good enough, knowing that the Apple TV garden isn't going to be judged as a TV (beause there are non-TVs in it) but as a source for TV content.