Apple has turned to Jeff Robbin, who helped create the iPod and the iTunes Store, to guide development of the company’s HDTV effort, reports “Bloomberg” (, quoting unnamed “people with knowledge of the project.”

According to the sources, Apple is working to integrate seamless content search features into the device. “For example, instead of having to separately check to see if a movie or show is available through Netflix or a cable service, all the material could be integrated,” the sources told “Bloomberg.”

Robbin worked for Apple in the 1990s as a system software engineer. After leaving Apple he developed a number of applications for the Mac including Conflict Catcher and helped developer the SoundJam MP, MP3 playing software, for Casady & Greene.

In 2000, Apple bought the rights to the software, hired Robbin and turned it into iTunes with Jeff as lead developer He was also involved in developing the iPod, as co-lead of the initial iPod team with Tony Fadell and acting as lead developer of the initial iPod firmware.

Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry has said he thinks Apple will launch a new high-definition television in March 2012 with three screen sizes and price points. He thinks the Apple HDTV would be akin to Bose’s pricey VideoWave (pictured), an US$5,200, 46-inch LCD HDTV with an integrated surround-sound speaker system. Also, the analyst thinks any television set from Apple would have just one cable, would be about two inches thick and sport a 16-speaker, Surround Sound system.

In a note to clients — as reported by “AppleInsider” ( — Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu sources have told him that Apple “would love” to allow users to choose customized programming for a monthly subscription fee. With this plan, users could choose whatever channels or shows they wanted to subscribe to, offering an “a la carte” option instead of bundles with dozens of channels as currently provided by cable operators.

However, the analyst notes that live television seems to be a content-related obstacle. Wu said that Apple could “bypass” this by integrating its TV with existing cable or satellite providers, but he thinks Apple could better differentiate its product if it were able to offer live programming over the Internet.

— Dennis Sellers