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Rumor Roundup: Apple-branded HDTVs, Blu-Ray, more NVIDIA

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The rumor mill is heating up this weekend in advance of Tuesday's press event, and one left-field rumor is coming from a familiar, yet unlikely source: Weblogs Inc./Mahalo founder and TUAW godfather Jason Calacanis, who dropped a mild bombshell in an interview with a CNET.uk blogger on Friday (yo, JC, where's the love?): Apple is developing HDTVs that will support streamed content from iTunes, says Calacanis, integrating the Apple TV functionality along with the display and tuner.

I would file this one under "signs unclear, ask again later" -- while Apple clearly has both the display and playback engineering already done (Cleve @ 9to5Mac suggests that "[t]echnologically speaking, Apple could probably put together [this] product in a three day weekend") it's not clear that a single-box product is that much more compelling than an Apple TV with a cheap HDTV. Then again, the magic of Apple integration could make the whole a stronger sell than the sum of its parts.

Word from London, meanwhile, reported via Edible Apple: star rumormonger and Digg founder Kevin Rose announced his expectation that the next round of MacBook laptops will feature Blu-ray drives onboard. This one rates a "probable" and certainly would be a great value differentiator for the new machines.

Lastly, as the NVIDIA-related reports continue, AppleInsider and PC Perspective are stating with high confidence that the new MacBooks will be the first to move away from the Intel integrated graphics chipset and onto the Nvidia MCP79 'system on a chip' platform. Intel processors will still be at the core of the laptops, but the NVIDIA chip will handle graphics, memory access and more. Interestingly, one of the purported features of the NVIDIA hardware is full Blu-ray functionality... ties in nicely with the Rose rumor above. Call it "more than likely."

[via Techmeme]

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