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Apple TV plays hooky again at iPad event, all eyes turn to 2014

Even the Apple TV rumor mill largely sat this one out. Another Apple event has come and gone, and the world will continue to await a refresh to the set-top box or introduction of a long-rumored flat-panel television.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

With most eyes trained on 2014 as the year of Apple HDTV news, another Apple presentation has come and gone without word about the Cupertino, Calif. computer maker's ambitions for the living room.

As expected, Apple unveiled updated MacBook Pro laptops and next generation of its tablet, the iPad Air and iPad Air Mini, at an event Tuesday. But the company didn't have anything to say about Apple TV.

The latest discussion around Apple's television aspirations -- as it has been for more than a year -- is that late 2014 will be the time for a launch of an ultra-high definition Apple TV with 65-inch and 55-inch frameless screens at a price anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500. That's according to Advanced Research Japan analyst Masahiko Ishino, who spoke with The Wall Street Journal in a blog post Tuesday.

Speculation about some Apple TV news to come at Tuesday's presentation limply got out of bed Friday after Amazon France and Amazon Germany both indicated that Apple TV units were unavailable and would not be replenished until the day after the anticipated iPad and MacBook event. Amazon US still had Apple TV units available, as did Apple's own online store.

Hype about an Apple flat-panel television stretches as far back as 2009. Despite Steve Jobs and later Tim Cook's stated passion for producing a revolutionary device to supplant the typical living-room centerpiece, in recent years the extent of Apple's progress has been limited to minor updates to the Apple TV set top box.

After starting out as a glorified Netflix streaming box, Apple TV has bulked up with some desirable channels, this year adding Hulu Plus, HBO Go, Watch ESPN, and Major League Soccer. Though the addition of HBO Go in June made good on one content stream that was rumored to be in the offing, Apple has also been said to be working on a deal for Time Warner Cable channels, and CW President Mark Pedowitz earlier this year said the network would be on Apple TV imminently -- but an app for the channel had yet to materialize.

See CNET's complete coverage of all of today's Apple iPad and Mac news.