Apple has a long and tortured history when it comes to the development of its own TV offering. But now, it seems Apple may be trying once more to build its own small-screen provision.

According to Re/code, Apple is currently in a new set of talks with TV programmers to develop its own "over the top" pay-TV service. The theory, if the report is accurate, suggests that Apple would put together different bundles of programming—but, as Re/code points out, "not the entire TV lineup that pay-TV providers generally offer"—and sell it to customers over the web.

It's not quite the technological transformation of TV that Apple may have wanted in the past. Instead, it's a repackaging of the way TV works today, delivered over the Internet via Apple hardware and software—and so with the shiny interface and user experience we've come to expect from Cook & Co..

Re/code's sources suggest that Apple has already been showing programmers demonstrations of the proposed new service. But, and this is a pretty weighty but, the same sources also explain that talks are in "the early stages," which means that you can forget any notion of pricing or availability—and perhaps, for that matter, the very existence of the service at all.

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This is, of course, simply the most recent in a long run of stories about Apple negotiations with TV suppliers. This time there may be a tiny glimmer more hope than usual, though: Dish and Sony have both recently reached agreements with programmers to deliver both live TV and content-on-demand. In other words, there's now a precedent for this stuff actually working—and where there's a precedent, there's hope.

But for now, that's all there is. One day, there may be a proper Apple TV service—but currently, all there is is rumor. [Re/code]