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Apple hires streaming vid bloke: Nurse, the corpse of Apple monster telly is twitching again

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Apple has taken another step towards the introduction of a full-blown big-screen fruity goggle box with the hiring of a cable telly supremo.

Jean-Francois Mulé has defected to Cupertino from Cablelabs, a non-profit research body paid for by cable television companies, according to the New York Times.

He will join Apple as an engineering director, where he will most likely be put to work developing the iTelly, or whatever Cupertino decides to call its rumoured invention.

The telly bod worked as an executive of technology at Cablelabs, where he developed software to assess the quality of video beamed over wi-fi.

According to his LinkedIn profile, he's "part of something big" at Apple.

Although Apple already has a set top box in the form of Apple TV, rumours about its small screen ambitions have been circulating for years.

It looks likely that Apple will want to introduce a proper television, complete with on demand media services and access to iTunes or other fruity services.

Apple also posted the following job advert on LinkedIn last week:

Apple is looking for a dynamic, highly motivated Product Manager to join the Worldwide Product Marketing team. Bring your passion and market expertise in home electronics, audio and video, and help shape the future of how people will enjoy their movies, TV shows, music and home media.

So far, Apple has been tight-lipped on television, only admitting it was an area it is studying with some interest. At the end of last year, Tim Cook told NBC: “When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years,” Cook said. “It’s an area of intense interest. I can’t say more than that.”

Apple likes to make sure everything is in place before a massive product launch. When it launched the iPad, for instance, Steve Jobs made sure to sign on the dotted line with many of the big book publishers.

The fruity firm has already hired an executive from Hulu to help lead negotiations with big boys like Time Warner. ®

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