Apple smoke signals in The Wall Street Journal almost always mean there’s a fire burning somewhere, because the Journal doesn’t report rumor. I guess we’ll see the result of any such development in the spring of 2013, earliest.
Recall that Apple refreshed or reintroduced almost their entire product line-up this past fall, leaving no obvious announcements, save the Mac Pro, for the next six months leading up to WWDC 2013. WWDC usually brings the unveiling of OS X’s next version.
How interesting is a new television? Not very. The market is saturated with fine examples this many years after the US switch to digital broadcast. Indeed, high definition TVs have become commodity items.
Interest in an Apple television stems from the crappy viewing and recording experience we’re currently stuck with, and how the company has “cracked” the problem of making a TV experience that doesn’t suck. A television that plugs into my local computer network and allows both live and view-on-demand from my cable Internet provider would go a long way to removing the suck.