Apple TV has evolved, and is a pretty good little box for renting or buying on-demand TV shows and movies, but Apple’s plans for the future of Apple TV is to work with cable providers to give people access to more live and on-demand content than you could dream of.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based company proposes giving viewers the ability to start any show at any time through a digital-video recorder that would store TV shows on the Internet. Viewers even could start a show minutes after it has begun. Time Warner Cable Inc. offers a limited version of this feature called Start Over.
Another significant feature of the Apple set-top device is likely to be its user interface, which could resemble the navigation icons on Apple’s iPad. While the design may change, the interface is expected to be easier for people to use than existing cable on-screen menus, widely viewed as clunky.
Apple’s device also may create space on the TV screen for social media features, such as sharing TV shows through services like Twitter Inc., the people said. Apple also wants users to be able to access content from the device on other Apple products like iPhones and iPads.
Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr declined to comment on what he characterized as rumor and speculation.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Apple has been talking with major cable operators, including Time Warner Cable, about letting consumers use an Apple device as a set-top box for live television and other content.
In recent weeks, Apple also has approached entertainment companies, which own television content, with an outline of what it wants the new device to do, distributing, in at least one case, a document outlining its capabilities, one of the people said.