Apple Hires Cable Veteran Jean-Francois Mulé for Mystery Project

CableLabs senior vice president of Technology Development Jean-François Mulé has a new gig working for Apple on an mystery project he called "something big." Mr. Mulé started working for Apple in September, and his experience in the cable television industry could be a hint that the iPhone and iPad maker has big plans for its Apple TV set top box.

Apple hires Jean-Francois MulÚ for big mystery projectApple hires Jean-Francois Mulé for big mystery project

There isn't any word on exactly what Mr. Mulé is working on, but he said on his LinkedIn page that he will be "challenged, inspired and part of something big" at Apple. Enticing words, and likely a hint that the company is working on a way to potentially disrupt the home entertainment market.

The company has been adding new channels and content to its Apple TV set top box, most recently bringing iTunes Radio music streaming to the device. Apple TV also offers content from HBO, Smithsonian, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Disney, ESPN, and more.

Multichannel reported that Apple is currently working on a TV Everywhere deal with Time Warner, too.

Apple's content deals don't rule out the possibility that the long-rumored Apple HD television could be coming, although it makes more sense for the company to stick to the set top box market. Apple can swing content deals, sell a relatively inexpensive entertainment appliance that attaches to the HD televisions already in our homes, and avoid having to break into the television set market.

Instead of becoming a television maker, Apple can use Apple TV to take over our living rooms, and Mr. Mulé's experience will likely play a key role in that move. His experience setting up the CableLabs San Francisco offices also shows his experience as a project leader -- another skill that will come in handy if he's in heading up the team working on expanding Apple TV's capabilities and content offerings.

Even without knowing exactly what Mr. Molé is working on, his presence at Apple sends a clear message: Apple is serious about making a lasting mark on the home entertainment market.