Should Apple add a DVR to Apple TV?

“With Apple holding onto 91% of the market for digital video downloads, one might think that the company’s rapid ascendancy in movie sales would have received more attention by the media,” Daniel Eran Dilger writes for RoughlyDrafted.

Dilger writes, “Instead, reporters have suggested reasons why the figures don’t really matter and analysts are offering their advice on how to ‘fix’ Apple’s digital strategy. Most of the suggestions involve Apple stooping to copy the failure of Microsoft’s DRM-centric rental revocations or the Media Center/Tivo DVR money pit between the rock of cable providers and the hard place of consumers looking for cheap hardware.”

“It’s hard to see why it would make sense for Apple to copy existing products that don’t sell well rather than keeping the Apple TV as what it was intended to do. Part of the reason why decent products like the TiVo aren’t selling is that… there is no market for third party cable set top boxes when the provider is renting out units at cost in the hopes subscribers will blindly pay rent for several years without thinking about it,” Dilger writes. “If Tivo–which has a devoted following and a highly regarded product–is struggling to sell its DVR in competition with those offered by cable and satellite providers, how will Apple jump into that market and dramatically accomplish anything different using Tivo’s same strategy?”

Much more in the full article here.


  1. Allow ATV to access certain websites (,, etc…) that give TV content online streaming for free (legally) with a few ads. DVR programming will not be needed. Simplest solution and no extra hardware needed, just an ATV update.

  2. Funny how the media only wants to talk about how NBC left iTunes; how to ‘fix’ Apple TV; and how nobody wants movie downloads.

    Yet iTunes TV shows are going through the roof (now selling in Canada and has 99% share of legal downloads); those who have bought Apple TV love how well it does what it is programed to do; and iTunes has 42% of legal movie downloads with only 4 studios and only 1 of those giving new releases.

    I’m glad Steve doesn’t listen to the media.

  3. I would buy one in a heart-beat if it had DVR capability. Seems like all the DVR’s are tied to monthly subscriptions. I don’t want recurring bills. But if I could buy an Apple DVR that also included other features (movie rentals?) I would be set.

    Same with the iPod Touch– when they include all the features I want (like email), I’ll buy one.

  4. I don’t really understand this DVR business. If you’re using an ATV then you have to be using iTunes. If you’re using iTunes, you have to be using a computer. Just buy the DVR thingy for your computer and set it to record for ATV. I do this nearly every day with my Eye TV Hybrid.

  5. If they did and it was blue ray and the other format compatible they would sell shit loads.

    Thats the only thing that is stopping me buy an Apple TV – that fact you cant record video from it of the tv.

  6. I’m just waiting on a cablecard version of EyeTV myself, though if one came out, I might unplug the Mini and 8 hard drives from the TV and get a standard AppleTV to make viewing on the TV simpler.

  7. I’m with mr_matalino. The biggest thing I’d like to see added is access to the networks websites to watch their streaming videos.. Many of the networks do stream their own shows for free and watching a couple 30 second commercials is much better than 20 minutes of them in an hour..

    The second thing is the video rentals.. I don’t want to own, or store the huge files. I usually only watch a movie once.

    Third would be a a DVD player, or access to the computer’s DVD player.

    Fourth a DVR, or ability to use an EyeTV in conjunction with AppleTV..

  8. Apple should just use that extra USB slot in the back of the Apple TV and create/license a hi-end(true HDTV) wireless or wired version of el gato to record your TV shows off of your cable box and on to the Apple TV hard drive.

    Having the built in Front Row recognize the hardware, you would get the simplicity of what you’ve been used to.

    That would put an end to all this stuff for the mean time.

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