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Apple TV to be your new, improved cable box?: Rumor Has It

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Rumor Has It: Apple TV to be your new, improved cable box?

4:47 /

This week in tech rumorland, we wonder what Motorola plans to unveil on Sept. 5, RadioShack might try to sell you a no-contract phone, and is Apple ready to dip its toes into cable TV?

KARYNE: Hey, Im Karyne Levy. EMILY: And I'm Emily Dreyfuss. KARYNE: Welcome to Rumor Has It! The show where we round up the week's biggest tech rumors. EMILY: And vote on what sounds legit, and what were pretty sure is someones pipe dream. KARYNE: And remember: you can vote on all the rumors! Keep your eye out for the poll in the interactive player, if you're watching on CNET. EMILY: First up in rumorland, Motorola is having a mystery event September 5th (7 days before the iPhone 5 is expected to be announced). The invite tries to tantalize us by saying: Motorola. On Display. Forgiving the incorrect usage of periods in that statement, it seems the emphasis is on visual display...so could this be where well see the Droid Razr HD? Probably. We noticed over the weekend that a handful of tutorial videos for the phone posted on YouTube, only to be taken down when the rumormill started asking questions. The videos taught us that the Droid Razr HD is going to be a whole lot like the Atrix HD, big, crisp, and Ice Cream Sandwichy. KARYNE: Our next rumor comes from Engadget, which picked up a leaked RadioShack document. Emily: Ahem, isnt it just The Shack now? KARYNE: No, they realized that was the worst and changed it back... Anyway, the document indicates that RadioShack will launch a no-contract wireless service on September 5. The service will be powered by Cricket and will offer "an exclusive 8GB SD memory card with all Muve Music phones." So wow, now RadioShack will have everything...except relevance. EMILY: The deal was suggested after someone asked, "Hey, who wants to buy a phone from RadioShack, where everyone is on commission and so is always up in your grill?" *crickets* KARYNE: Next up, according to a Wall Street Journal report, Apple wants its streaming set-top box to double as a cable box. According to the report, which cites "people familiar with the matter." EMILY: Drink! According to the anonymous sources, no deals have yet been made, but Apple s CEO Tim Cook has at least talked with cable provider Time Warner, and the conversation took place in my home town in Idaho, at one of 6 restaurants I used to eat at as a kid, according to my local spies. KARYNE: Emily, the Internet doesnt care about Iowa. EMILY: IDAHO! KARYNE: Whatever. Then the Internet blew up and everyone freaked out. People are speculating that THIS is what Apple has up its sleeves. Not an HDTV, but an updated Apple TV that's your one-stop shop for cable, streaming movies, buying movies, etc. And I agree. I was all into the HDTV rumor, but I actually think this makes more sense -- at least in the short term. The Apple TV is due for a major refresh, and this seems like the perfect way to do that. EMILY: I dont think this precludes a full-on Retina Display Apple television set from happening in the future. In fact, it would be a nice way for the company to dip its toes in the muddy waters of cable television, try out an interface with minimum risk, and then take what it learns here and implement it in the big million dollar television they hope we all go into debt for next year. KARYNE: We asked people this question at our Rumor Has It Launch Party at CNET headquarters. EMILY: Which was so much fun. Lets see what CNETers and our fans had to say. EMILY: And the verdict is: Yes! Four out of five editors think that the Apple TV could double as a cable box. KARYNE: Our comment of the week comes from Applerod, who writes about the Surface tablet: "If it goes for less than $350, I'll eat my hat." EMILY: We asked our guests at the Rumor Has It launch party to come up with what they think the next iPhone will look like. Here's the winner! KARYNE: Thats our show everyone, send us your drawing of what the iPhone 5 will look like to rumorhasit@cnet.com. And tweet us! EMILY: Tune in next week for more tech rumors. And thanks to this week's sponsor, eBay.
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