As has been mentioned in response to those people who are satisfied with their STB interface, that misses the point. "TV" is no longer a matter of tuning in to see what's on, or even time shifting via a DVR. It is an multi-screen, on demand activity, mixed with all kinds of input streams and easy transfer between devices.
The challenge for Apple would be to find a way to elegantly integrate all these options into an easy to use, easy to navigate, easy to access device. That's what Google was trying to do with their STB, but in typical Google style they thought it ought to be some kind of fantastically elaborate nexus of a far flung search web, and that without securing content-- ending up with needlessly complex show and irritatingly little go.
Apple truly is uniquely suited to figuring this out, which is why, I think, the rumors are so persistent. But there's no real way forward as long as a substantial portion of what people would like to see on TV is locked up behind an economic model the owners of which see little reason to change. I think Apple will move AppleTV as far along the road as they can, given what they can get access to, and continue to try and negotiate more, but clearly that time has not come.
Ok "Mr I HAVE DIRECT TV"... I HAVE CRAPPY TIME WARPER unCAPABLE and I FRIGGING HATE IT I HAVE THEIR DVR SHITTY BOX AND IT CONSTANTLY CRAPS OUT ON ME AND I AM CONSTANTLY REBOOTING AND RESETTING THIS DAMN BOX- THEIR SEARCH CONTENT INTERFACE TRUNCATES THE ENTIRE NAME OF THE SHOW YOU ARE SEARCHING FOR??!!! WTF THE BOX JUST WENT BLACK JUST AS I AM TYPING THIS (THANK GOD I AM ON VERIZON DSL for my Internet ssssheeeeshh and we are not allowed to switch to DIRECT TV OR GET FIOS HERE ITS A MOB CONTROLLED STYLED MONOPOLY TWC HAS HERE IN NYC I HATE IT (can't say this ENOUGH!!!!) I just bought the ELGATO EYETV HD SYSTEM from APPLE and I will be returning the shitty crappy box to TWC-ASAP-
are you not aware what APPLE HAS DONW for the MUSIC SHARING PUBLIC with their incredible easy to use music service iTunes and what they have done with the cell phone industry (they basically saved SPRINT from BANKRUPTCY with the iPHONE) - and what have they done for the TABLET SPACE with the iPAD???!!! where is you head so far up your ARSE you can't see the forest for the trees????
I wish APPLE would just outright just buy one of the Satellite Cable CO's and offer the damn content over the AIR and screw ALL THESE GREEDY BASTARDS for not partnering with them-
I WANT MY APPLE TV and I wouldn't mind if the band DIRE STRAITS remakes the famous MTV version but for an APPLE BRANDED TV
HURRY UP APPLE YOU GUYS HAVE ALL THE $$$$$ in the WORLD just buy the goddam cable companies and give us the CONTENT!!
my 2 cents... BITZANDBITEZ..
Well, that's really how all of us feel; we're just too polite to say so.
Minus the few things in there that would be truly illegal/anticompetitive, of course.
Which means that they've signed the content deals and are now just waiting for the hardware to be baked. Great way to mislead the competition.
One other aspect to all of this is the FCC proposing replacing CableCard with a thing called AllVid. AllVid would be for all Pay-TV and could conceivably use an ATV on the actual TV interface to interact with the content, with the TV being a "dumb screen".
For more on AllVid: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AllVid
This all makes sense and underlies the issues with dealing with rumors; I'm pretty sure that reports of apple talking with content providers and cable companies were accurate, but when you get this information whilst negotiations are in progress the whole thing become conjecture and somewhat pointless. Love this site but sometimes it doesn't make sense to print everything that Apple does.
I have said all along, that if Apple was going to make a TV, and make it revolutionary and simple to use, they need to be a content provider. That means either striking deals with networks and studios. If that fails, then Apple would need to by a distributor that has the deals in place. I have mentioned Dish Network as an ideal company to purchase.
The whole idea of a Apple TV being revolutionary is that it would eliminate the Cable/Sat box receiver. The clutter, the remotes, the universal remote, the interface all the crap needs to be eliminated in order for a Apple TV to shine. Apple can't accomplish any of it if they can't distribute the content themselves.
I think the rumors are contingent upon Apple locking up any distribution chain. If they can't control the experience from start to finish they won't make a TV. If they could not control the experience by telling AT&T to leave their crap off, we wouldn't have an iPhone, and it htink the same goes for a Apple TV.