The evidence pointing to a revamped Apple TV set-top box continues to amount, after a US cable network claimed the iPhone maker is exploring the development of a new set-top box.

In a filing to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Comcast cited Apple's plans while defending the proposed merger with Time Warner Cable, which is under scrutiny from regulators stateside.

Comcast said the controversial merger is necessary to protect the cable industry given the increase in competition, on multiple fronts, from Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon.

The company believe cable company's territory in being invaded by the tech giants, not just in the TV industry, but also in the home broadband sphere through initiatives like the proliferation of Google Fiber.

Prime position

The filing read: "Today, Google competes as a network, video, and technology provider, and 8 out 9 of the next Google Fiber markets the company announced are in Comcast or TWC areas. Apple tablets are viewing platforms for cable services even while Apple offers an online video service, Apple TV, and explores development of an Apple set-top box."

"Microsoft just announced that it will feature ads on the Xbox One, creating a new video advertising platform. And just last week, Amazon announced its own set-top box while it continues to leverage its unequaled sales platform and family of competitive tablets to promote its burgeoning Prime Instant Video business."

Whether Comcast has an inside line into Apple's plans or not isn't clear, but the speculative shouting surrounding an Apple TV refresh has been building to a cacophony for months now.

In 2014, reports have claimed the new set-top box will have a heavy focus on gaming, while others have suggested it will arrive in April with support from cable providers.

Via 9to5Mac