The talks represent Apple's most ambitious crack at infiltrating the living room after years of trying. Apple doesn't appear to have reached a deal with any cable operators. One obstacle may be the reluctance of operators to let Apple establish a foothold in the television business.
If the report is accurate, Apple may have decided to seek a less radical approach for television. Previously, Apple was thought to be trying to license content in an attempt to directly compete with cable.
Notably, Apple CEO Tim Cook met with Glenn Britt, CEO of Time Warner Cable Inc., at the Sun Valley media conference last month. The Journal's source says Time Warner Cable is one of the operators talking to Apple.
Whether Apple would update the Apple TV to offer set-top box functionality or release a new device is unclear. It's also said that the technology could make its way to the rumored Apple Television.