Patent filings reveal Apple TV DVR, live TV interface

“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?


  1. Now this would finally be something that would make the Apple TV a worthwhile purchase for me. While it has appeal for others right now, I’m content to use my PowerMac for downloading movies and don’t see the value of the ATV. But if it was a true Tivo replacement…

  2. I have been dying for Apple to create a DVR system that integrated with iTunes and my iPhone. I thought I could do it with TiVo, but the CCI copy protection issues made it impossible to do so on every channel except broadcast channels.

    I questioned whether or not it made business sense for them, but I certainly hope 2nd generation Apple TV hardware includes tuners and CableCARD (or whatever the latest iteration of CableCARD is) so I can dump my Time Warner DVR.

  3. Finally some evidence that this might happen… If the AppleTV had some DVR capabilities, I’d go buy one today. It would be nice to avoid the monthly fee that Comcast charges to rent their DVR box.

    I wonder how Apple will deal with offering the DVR capability while trying to sell the same content through iTunes.

  4. Well, if you believe they only have the content to drive the hardware uptake, a DVR option makes the itunes side less necessary. It would allow Apple to spin off the itunes as a separate entity at some point down the road.

  5. So the big question:
    Will it record HD and then stream it to another TV or Mac or AppleTV?

    Current Cable/Satalite DVRs suck. You need a DVR for each TV you want to watch and you can’t record on one box and send to the other.

    Hence, record everything on one in Livingroom. Stream to kids playroom or bedroom or kitchen depending on who or what is watching.

  6. @ Think:

    You might want to see if you can get FiOS in your area. My grandparents have it and they have 1 DVR and 1 standard cable box, and the DVR will stream recorded shows to the regular cable box.

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