I'm skeptical of this deal but it does make me wonder if the recent FCC leak of the slightly smaller Apple TV design is for attaching to the back of an HDTV.
This would allow the customer to choose from a variety of HDTVs in various sizes, shapes, type and features that have partnered with Apple. It would also resolve the issues between TV update cycles and computer update cycles, potentially allowing you to keep an HDTV for a decade whilst updating your Apple TV yearly.
Since Apple doesn't already have a lock in this area I would expect any connector that will make the Apple TV the "brains" of the HDTV to use a proprietary connector that Roku, Google, et al. couldn't ape.