Apple’s vision for the future of TV is an actual physical set, and it’s reportedly already being worked on. According to Quartz, the iPhone maker has been sparking up conversations with media companies—Viacom, HBO, Disney and ESPN—about a new streaming service for its upcoming prized pony; forget actual cable providers, Apple is going straight to the source.
The experience, people close to Apple’s plans say, would rely on an on-demand-type streaming service focused through a series of apps. So, basically, people would have access to their favorite channels a la carte—people have been clamoring for something like HBO without the ickyness of other unwatched channels, and Apple might finally make it happen. But only if you buy an actual TV set from Apple; Quartz’s report reignites one of the more ancient Apple rumors, which originated as far back as 2011.
There’s been a lot of hazy discussion about Apple possibly building an HDTV, but those rumors have largely cooled off as reports began gravitating more toward a service built around Apple’s current set-top box. The company already has an established userbase with its Apple TV platform, but it appears the company wants to be the very centerpiece of your living room with a physical set—an Apple TV hockey puck bridged into a Samsung HDTV just doesn’t sit quite right it seems.
Other companies are allegedly in discussions to offer on-demand streaming services of their own, but all eyes are still focused on Apple, and whether the company will turn its favorite hobby into a profession. If Apple does manage to convince ESPN or HBO, or both, to let customers have a direct line to their content, without the mess of cable companies, the service would certainly be very compelling. But if its just an HDTV and that’s it? Less so.