Hop, skip and an ad away: Future Apple TV could skip the commercials

Apple TV ad-skipping technology
Apple may take on TiVo

Apple could reshape the way we watch TV, just like it changed the way everyone downloads music today.

The idea is to bring ad-skipping technology to live and on-demand television through an Apple set-top box or television like the Apple TV, according to a Wall Street Journal report by tech journalist Jessica Lessin.

"Apple told media executives it wants to offer a 'premium' version of the service," wrote Lessin citing unnamed sources.

"That would allow users to skip ads and would compensate television networks for the lost revenue."

More than a hobby

An Apple TV or iTV that could skip commercials would be a radical change for what Tim Cook deemed a hobby set-top box.

Today's Apple TV devices have apps like HBO Go and WatchESPN, but users can't watch broadcast television through the boxes.

In fact, Apple TV doesn't even have a natural app store in which hundreds of developers are invited to make their own programs; it's a closed system.

Deals in the making

This shake up would reinforce reports from earlier this month that Apple is seeking deals with major cable companies like Time Warner Cable.

Lessin's report mentions Apple's desire for a deal with Time Warner Cable, but also notes that "discussions have been highly secretive," so the future of Apple TV remains a mystery for now.

Matt Swider