Apple has had a hard time courting media companies for its long-rumored pay TV service, but the company is trying a different angle to make its set-top box more useful in the meantime. According to a report on Recode, citing unnamed sources, Apple's current plan is to work on a "digital TV guide" for the Apple TV and its other devices that would display content from sources like Netflix and HBO all in one place.

The company already partners with a few dozen content providers for its voice-controlled universal search feature on tvOS, with more being added regularly. But the proposed guide would allow users who are not looking for a specific program to browse content from their subscribed channels without having to open up each app individually.

Combined with the single sign-on feature introduced at the WWDC 2016 event, users would be able to start playing TV shows and movies with one click.

In order to make the guide useful Apple needs content providers to share meta data for their offerings on a real-time basis. Apparently some networks are still apprehensive about making surfacing content from multiple sources on the Apple TV too convenient, as it would presumably diminish the ability to promote their own shows, and some are also concerned about upsetting the cable cash cow and lose their leverage to dictate prices.