AT&T has been working on IPTV for Apple TV since 2007

You know the old saying, “where there’s smoke, there’s fire?” Essentially it means, well the way we use it anyways, is that we wouldn’t be hearing consistent rumors from a bunch of different sources unless there was some kind of truth behind them.

This proved true with the recent iPad gossip, and we imagine the same will hold true for the rumored Apple TV set. Chatter has really picked up over the last year regarding an Apple-branded television, but it’s actually been going on for more than 5 years…

We recently came across an old Gizmodo article, written back in May of 2007, that talks about AT&T working on an IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) solution for the Apple TV.

“Maybe this shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise, but when AT&T execs talk about having a long and close relationship with Apple, they’re not just planning on putting out future iPhones. A well-connected source tells us that AT&T and Apple are working on adding IPTV capabilities to the Apple TV beginning sometime next year.”

Obviously this rumor never materialized, but it’s still interesting given what we know now about Apple’s plans to invade our living rooms. An IPTV service would be a near-perfect solution for Apple to bring content to its TV set while still allowing it to have full control over the front-end user interface.

AT&T certainly has the capability to provide such a solution. Its AT&T U-verse service travels on one of the largest FTTP (Fiber to the Premises) networks in the US. It’s available in over 22 states to more than 30 million households. Verizon has a similar service, Verizon FIOS, but it’s not nearly as widely available.

Last month The Globe and Mail, Canada’s largest newspaper, reported that carriers already had Apple’s TV set in their possession. And considering that AT&T has been working on an IPTV solution for Apple for at least 5 years, it wouldn’t surprise us if this was accurate.

The Apple-branded television is expected to come in multiple sizes, up to 55-inches, and host a number of features including Siri voice control and FaceTime video chat. Most folks believe that we’ll see the TV set by the end of this year or in early 2013.