Apple's TV set just won't go away. For a couple of years, its rumored existence has been a favorite subject of analysts and tech blogs. Just as we thought iTV Fever had died down, another analyst has chimed in, predicting that the its release is "imminent."

James Kisner, an investment analyst with Jefferies, thinks the time is now for the Apple television. He says that a cable company is investigating how much extra bandwidth it would need to handle the Apple TV set:

    "Our discussions with industry contacts suggest that at least one major N. American MSO (Multi system operator) is working to estimate how much additional capacity may be needed for a new Apple device on their broadband data network. We believe this potentially suggests an imminent launch of the Apple TV …"

That's quite a leap. One cable company is wondering how much bandwidth a long-rumored product would require, and now it's "imminent?" There's some chance Kisner has additional inside information that he can't divulge, but don't bank on it.

You say you want a revolution ...

To be revolutionary, an iTV would need to be more than a nice design with Apple TV software

Apple likely has its sights set on an iTV, but there are obstacles. An Apple TV set with an innovative design and user interface would be nice, but the key is content delivery. Attractive design masking the same old cable packages would be too similar to what's already available.

To make the kind of splash it made in the MP3 player, smartphone, and tablet markets, Apple needs the content providers to play ball. But they're reluctant to give Apple too much power. If there's going to be a Smart TV revolution, they want control over their content.

Would Apple release the set now, and improve content delivery later? Or would it prefer to wait, hoping the providers get desperate? Unless there's been an unforeseen change of heart in Hollywood, this is Apple's dilemma.

Source: Barrons via 9to5Mac