Today's Apple TV box is mainly used to play Internet downloads and stream content—but the next Apple set-top box could play live television. Apple is currently in talks with top US cable providers to that end, insiders tell the Wall Street Journal. Customers would get to own the box (at a cost that could hit a few hundred dollars), as opposed to leasing one from their cable companies (which typically clocks in at $10 to $15 a month). The Journal notes that TiVo and Samsung currently sell these type of boxes.
And for Apple, dealing directly with a cable company would mean a content windfall: The tech firm wouldn't have to deal with individual media companies to license already-broadcast shows, reports Bloomberg. The Journal calls the approach "a less radical path to expand in television than [Apple] has contemplated in the past." But it doesn't look like Apple has made a deal with any of the cable companies, who may be wary of giving the tech giant the OK to invade their turf.