We like the Apple TV. We can see a future for it as a games console, running titles originally developed for the iPhone/iPod touch/tablet on your TV; now it looks as if Apple’s working to ramp-up the video it makes available through iTunes to transform its “hobby” into a product to take on cable TV firms.

Piper Jaffray analyst, Gene Munster,
has issued new client guidance claiming Apple will liberate its iPhone from carrier exclusive deals in the next 12 months or so. But his research also includes a few fillips for fans of Apple’s set-top box…and these promise even more utility for the millions of owners of these systems.

“We continue to believe that Apple will eventually offer a monthly subscription for iTunes TV shows accessible on Apple TV, iPods, iPhones, and Macs/PCs,” Munster notes.

He also speculates the company may begin offering an all you can eat, watch what you like TV service for a standard monthly fee, which he pegs at $30-40 per month.

“Such a product would effectively replace a consumer’s monthly cable bill (~$85/month) and offer access to current and older episodes of select shows on select channels,” he writes, as noted by Fortune.

The analyst warns that putting the relevant required deals in place may take the iTunes team a while, but posits the suggestion the new purported service will launch with a new version of the Apple TV, or its software, which he somewhat uncertainly slots into a time frame of “within the next year”.

We wonder if Apple will be able to achieve such a nadir, given the impact this might have on sales of DVD box sets of classic series, such as The Prisoner.

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