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Wednesday, September 19, 2012, 08:40 am PT (11:40 am ET)

Time Warner would give up user interface control to an Apple cable box

An executive with Time Warner has indicated that his company would give up control of the user interface of its services to Apple in order to broker a deal.

Rob Marcus, chief operating officer with Time Warner, said at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference that his company has spoken with Apple about possible agreements, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Apple has reportedly been interested in providing or controlling the cable operator's user interface in a push to have a greater presence in the living room.

Marcus said to achieve its goals, Time Warner may consider "giving up control of the interface" to "maximize the capabilities" and "give Time Warner Cable customers the best possible experience."

If Time Warner were to relinquish control, Marcus said the cable operator would need to ensure that customers know its TV services are being provided by Time Warner Cable and not any third parties. While he said Time Warner would give up user interface control, the company will not "give up the customer relationship."

The comments come after a number of reports have indicated that Apple has expressed interest in building a set-top cable box. Such a device is not expected to hit the market anytime soon, if at all, because of stalled talks with media companies and cable providers.

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Apple TV


But the comments from Marcus suggest that Time Warner is not one of the media companies allegedly standing in the way of Apple's plans to have a greater presence in the living room.

Apple is said to have had discussions with major cable operators to let consumers use a branded set-top box to view both live television and Internet-based content. Apple is rumroed to have proposed an advanced cloud-based video recording service that some said would blur the line between live and on-demand content.

Apple was said to have been particularly interested in storing recorded content in the cloud, which would allow users to start any show at any time from a number of devices beyond their living room television set.