Apple’s cable box replacement to feature dramatically overhauled interface, big emphasis on gaming, sources say

“The years-long dance between Apple and cable operators marches on, as Comcast and Apple continue to discuss enabling the cable company’s subscribers to watch TV through an Apple set-top box instead of a Comcast one, people familiar with the talks said,” Jessica E. Lessin and Amir Efrati report for The Information.

“While no deal has been reached, teams at Apple’s Cupertino, Calif. headquarters are working full-steam on the new device that would fully replace a customer’s cable box,” Lessin and Efrati report. “It has a dramatically overhauled interface and a big emphasis on gaming, the people said.”

“The new box under development would blend live TV listings with apps and Web video,” Lessin and Efrati report. “One person involved with the Apple product says the company hopes to attract more iPhone and iPad game developers to make their games work with the new box so that people can play them on their TV screen, using iPhones and iPads as controllers.”

“The new box replaces the traditional channel guide with on demand menus, and Apple has been seeking deals to allow people to watch virtually all their content on-demand,” Lessin and Efrati report. “Unlike the existing $99 Apple TV, the new box would serve as a full replacement for a cable box, offering cable content as well as iTunes and other Web video. Apple has also been working to release an updated version of the $99 box, which supports a growing number of video apps, including apps from Disney and HBO.”

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  1. I sure hope it has 3 HDMI inputs so you can use it as a switch for all your other video gear. I doubt it will though, knowing Apple’s aversion to adding ports to its things.

  2. This excites me and infuriates me at the same time. I remember when OS X 10.0 was in pre-release beta and up until I believe OS X 10.1, was capable of playing Playstation games. Yes, you read correctly, the colored iMacs could play PS1 games!! Somehow that was later stripped from OS X and never brought back.

    Gaming for a long time was strategically ignored by Apple, they allowed Sony, Xbox and Windows dominate the gaming worlds for the longest time.

    The iPad has changed that shift, finally, and mobile gaming is overtaking them ALL… Gaming will finally come back to Mac when the OS X system allows you to run iOS and or the two operating systems are merged back together….

    Its just frustrating as hell to be a loyalist Mac user and gaming has always been an afterthought of the Apple infrastructure.

      1. Certainly Apple back then was cosying up to Sony but the latter didn’t feel it needed Apple particularly when offered operation on the iPod. I suspect gaming was an important part of the attempts at cooperation but I don’t think it was Apple who backed out, Sony invested heavily in the Vaio and Playstation and tag rest is history. Big mistake on Sony’s part.

  3. Has it to do with 64 bit graphic computing between Apple devices? Or I am getting it wrong? Sorry not a tech savvy one here but somehow wanna be inspired by the much literate crowd.

  4. I’m going to be hard pressed to buy yet another AppleTV if the AppleTV gen 3 is not updatable. Let alone the gen 2’s I have for two kids.

    I am an original AppleTV user x 2, upgrading all along. Accepting being like a beta tester of sorts for Apple. But no longer Apple. Apple must thank in some way we users that have helped them all along with this

    1. No one twisted your arm to buy them.. No one asked you the beta them.. U bought them and u used them for the utility they offered !
      Now go collect you troll pay!

  5. The dance marches on?! This one goes in my mixed metaphor scrapbook. I only collect the most obtuse, unintended garblings of the language of Chaucer. Tech writers are well-represented.

    1. A few collected garblings…

      • So without further adieu, I will tell you…
      • scraping the bottom of the bottle.
      • their just deserves.
      • This will give you piece of mind
      • Terrorism: Route Causes

      • Sprint and all of the others try to offer an almost the same matching device that can only follow with a imperfect elusion of something that is kind-alike what Apple is supplying.

      • It would seem like ensuring that Psytar seizes to exist would be a good thing for Cupertino.

  6. Wow… I’ve been making this prediction for at least the last two years. 🙂

    Here’s an additional benefit to Apple. Comcast can subsidize the “cable box” version of Apple TV, so that it is free with contract. AND subsidization finally allow Apple to release the complete “iTV.” With a subsidy, the upfront cost to the cable customer can match (or even beat) “dumb” HDTV sets with similar screen quality and specs. The cable company can collect back the subsidy by replacing the monthly “rental” fee for the current cable box.

    This is the iPhone strategy, played out in the TV world.

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