“A series of Apple patent filings published this week reveal a version of the Apple TV media device capable of browsing and recording live television programming in addition to serving up pre-aired content from the company’s iTunes Store,” AppleInsider reports.

“Originally filed back in October of 2006, the filings clearly show considerable work on the part of the electronics maker to create an alternative to products like the TiVo digital video recorder (DVR), complete with a searchable on-screen guide and configurable touch-based remote control device that would serve as a portable program guide.

The remote, similar in appearance to second-generation iPod nano, would include an LCD display, storage component, and touch-based navigation pad that would allow users to download several weeks of programming information from the Apple TV media device onto the remote interface for later interaction,” AppleInsider reports.

“‘For example, program data for upcoming programs, e.g., for the next month, can be downloaded and stored on the remote control device,’ Apple said. ‘Thereafter, a user of the remote control device can search programs that are to be broadcast and determine which programs to record. The recording settings can be programmed onto the remote control device, and then be provided to the video device when a data communication is established between the remote control device and the video device,'” AppleInsider reports. “(Note: it would seem logical that this functionality could also be integrated directly into the iPhone or iPod touch.)”

AppleInsider reports, “In real world instances, this would allow users to pre-load the remote with the following month’s scheduled television programming, pack the remote with their belongings, and then while on “a commute on a train,” for instance, use the remote to determine what programs to record.”

Much more, including many illustrations from Apple’s patent application, here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Michael” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: If you wanted an advanced Apple TV (and Mac) remote, wouldn’t your iPhone/iPod touch/future Apple multi-touch devices would be perfect for just such a purpose?