We’ve been told not to expect an Apple TV at today’s Apple event, and speculation has pretty much moved away from the device, now an analyst has re-ignited the discussion, voicing his opinion the Apple TV will gain Web browsing in a software update.

“We believe that Apple TV does not sell because it does not support the fastest growing distribution medium for television content: the Web," wrote Technology Business Research analyst, Ezra Gottheil.

"We think Apple will fix Apple TV and realize this potential,” he added in a note released to clients late last night.

While movie rentals have helped Apple triple sales of the Apple TV, Gottheil thinks the company can take it much further.

“A full Web browser would significantly enhance any home theatre installation," he said. "The Web is rapidly emerging as the dominant delivery system for video, including television and movies." The analyst speculates that to enable Web video, Apple would have to license Flash for use on the device.

We’ll wait and see.

Sources have said there’ll be no Apple TV news today, so this announcement may not surface during Apple’s keynote later on.
We do know Apple will launch a new iPod range, though these may potentially not ship until a later date following this morning’s price discount on its existing range. The iPod touch is expected to carry an aggressively low price.

We also expect the introduction of iTunes 9, equipped with the capacity to create digital copies of films you purchase on DVD, saving tedious trans-coding sessions. (Microsoft and UK retailer, Tesco, announced such a move in the UK this morning, we don’t expect Apple to stand still on that opportunity). Apple will also bestow some social networking features to iTunes. There’s even talk of music subscription services and iTunes in the cloud. One thing we do know is that iTunes 9 will usher in a new music format, Cocktail.

Other expectations favour new iPhone/iPod touch software, the potential that Apple CEO Steve Jobs will use this highly starred event to make a return to the keynote stage he excels at hosting.

There’s talk too that the Beatles may make it to iTunes (Eversheds, their lawyers, has revealed it took six months to get all the requisite deals for Rock Band and the new Beatles boxed set together – could online deals have been part of this? Otherwise given that some see Cocktail as being more like an application than a music download, could the Beatles and Apple have concocted a Cocktail deal, to side step EMI’s reluctance to vouchsafe true online downloads?)

The Beatles deal remains completely confusing, with Yoko Ono last night claiming an iTunes deal had been clinched and music from the band would appear on the Apple music service, even while UK music industry insiders we’ve been speaking to have heard nothing – absolutely nothing – to confirm such a deal. EMI execs have also denied such a deal is in place.

Interesting times. We’ll find out more later on, check back for our live event coverage here on 9to5Mac.

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