The original Apple press release is gone (and gone from the Wayback Machine too), but back in 1995 Apple announced a different set-top box, also called the iTV, for a six-state trial of interactive television services.
Apple’s ITV system incorporates key technologies including a subset of the MacOS, QuickDraw and QuickTime. In addition, it includes an MPEG1 decoder and supports PAL and NTSC video formats as well as E1 and T1 telephone protocols.
The device was one of a number similar Apple media players (real or imagined). A page at The Apple Collection rounds up most of those past efforts. Of course, today Steve Jobs announced and showed off the real iTV, a $299 goody that brings Front Row from the computer room to living room.