Yes, there are a lot of problems that need to be solved, but the Macalope doesn’t really see where they’re that much bigger than the ones that supposedly were going to prevent the iPhone’s birth. Maybe it comes out for Comcast at first, like the iPhone with AT&T.
The AT&T iPhone was nationwide in the US, and used a global mobile standard (GSM) so Apple could roll it out in other countries. A Comcast “iTV” would only be regional in the US, and there is no global TV standard so that’s as far as it would get.
The carrier problem was one of control (i.e., dictating hardware, features and services), not getting to market. Apple got around the control with an AT&T exclusivity deal (and AT&T making a bold decision), and the rest is history.
The cable company problem is not about control of the hardware, but rather getting it to market. One GSM iPhone covers many markets across the globe, but for an iTV you’d need nearly as many models as there are markets.
I’m not saying the cable company issue is insurmountable, only that it won’t be solved the way the carrier problem was. They’re not the same problem.