Apple is in talks with Comcast to bring streaming television service to an Apple set-top box (there is no mention whether this will be Apple TV or a new product). According to the Wall Street Journal, the deal with Comcast would insure that Apple would receive preferred treatment on ComCast's network, which would allow for congestion free content streaming to millions of users. Comcast has recently merged with Time Warner Cable (pending approval) to become one of the largest cable providers in the United States providing service to roughly 30 million customers.
Unlike traditional set-top boxes, Apple would like to allow its users to stream live and on-demand television programming which would be stored in the cloud. One of the main hurdles in a service like this would be the quality of the transmission of content, but by partnering with Comcast, Apple hopes to create a streaming service that will rival the quality of traditional TV programming. This unique service would be something not offered by current competing set-top boxes like Roku.
While there has long been speculation of Apple releasing a TV, it has yet to materialize, but this seems like a solid first step in that direction. Apple could unveil the details of this partnership at WWDC or a planned event later in 2014.
Source: Wall Street Journal | Image via Apple