As the months tick by, the rumors of Apple creating its own television set become less speculation and more official. There is still no word from the company itself as to whether an HDTV is actually in the works, but many analysts are claiming to have heard from supply sources that the dubbed, iTV is headed for the assembly line and will be on store shelves by the fourth quarter of this year.
Apple’s recent talks with EPIX has further fueled the fire by giving us hope that another movie streaming company will be included in the package.
Reuters recently reported that Apple began talks with EPIX earlier this year to stream content from the company’s set-top box, as well as “upcoming devices that stream content.” EPIX is a movie streaming company created by Lions Gate, MGM and Paramount Pictures that currently holds an exclusive contract with Netflix.
Apple has had a hard time securing contracts with TV executives for content streaming services. A few months ago, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves admitted to turning Steve Jobs down for a collaboration that would allow Apple the rights to stream the Network’s content.
If Apple can convince EPIX to seal the deal, it would mean access to hundreds of movies on Apple TV. EPIX owns the rights to such films as “Thor” and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.” Currently, EPIX’s deal with Netflix gives the media streaming giant exclusive rights to all their content through September of this year, which is earlier than Apple’s expected launch for their HDTV. According to Reuters, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told analysts that the company was in a “broad range of discussions” with EPIX about “how to operate most effectively for both of us.”
If Apple is able to strike a deal with EPIX, it may not be the signal that an HDTV is officially in the works, but it would surely mean that Apple TV set-top box owners would see a tremendous increase in available movie titles that could be streamed to their non-Apple branded televisions sets.