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Apple developing live Apple TV recording?

updated 11:10 am EDT, Thu March 13, 2008

Apple TV to become DVR?

Apple may be aiming to eventually transform the Apple TV set-top into a full DVR, new filings with the US Patent and Trademark Office suggest. Submitted in October 2006 but only just made public, the filings depict a unique interface for the Apple TV, able to browse and record live TV programming, in addition to downloading movies and TV shows sold through iTunes. Such features would put the Apple TV into direct competition with TiVo, whose set-tops can not only record TV but buy movies through Amazon's Unbox service. Recently, the company announced that it would support YouTube content, much like the Apple TV.

Also mentioned in the Apple patent is a new remote, an upgrade from the design also associated with iMacs. The concept remote more closely resembles a second-generation iPod nano, and includes an LCD, storage and touch-sensitive buttons. The storage would be used to download programming information from an Apple TV, enabling people to pick programs to record in advance, without sitting in front of their television for several minutes.

When in front of an Apple TV, users would control an interface blending the appearance of traditional program guides with Mac OS X, including a "Dock" interface and the ability to search live listings as well as pre-recorded content. Preview clips would be displayed in a small window while the main feed continues in an angled view.

To date, Apple has not announced any plans for adding DVR functions to the Apple TV.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. benhur

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2001



    I think a lot of people are saying AFT about this! I've always wished for Apple to buy Tivo but it looks like their going their own way and maybe even make it better.

    I really like my Tivo and Tivo folk are very similar to Apple people. They love their gadgets.

    It's been a long time since the Apple and Tivo rumors. I hope this one's true.

    I will finally buy an Apple TV.

  1. rubaiyat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Feb 2006



    I like the look of this.

    It does support AAC files?

    Be nice if it also did Lossless of one form or another.

  1. Feathers

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Oct 1999


    more rumours...

    More immediate than some fantasy Apple TiVO is the prospect of an upgrade to Apple's line of iMacs some time very soon as it appears that they are desperately trying to shift refurb inventory (on certain stores) with the caption (in red): "Limited time special price!" although the prices aren't particularly special. They did similarly in the lead up to the recent spec bumps of the MacBook range.

  1. danviento

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005


    The final staw?

    The last thing holding many people back from purchasing an AppleTV is the lack of DVR abilities. Why would you want yet another box to add to your entertainment shelf when you've already got a cable box, dvr, DVD/BluRay player, headunit, etc?

    Apple combining this ability in its usual uber-useful/simple interface would bring over many of the hold outs, and even make it a serious consideration to a lot of people. No fees to a provider, and you're in total control of what and how much content you want recorded.

    For those holding out for a optical disc drive, I wouldn't hold your breath. Apple's new content push is in the disc-less media (aside from mass storage media). Since the AppleTV is less of an essential business leg than the Mac, iPod, or iPhone, and Apple will try and extend their own ecosystem design because they can without risking much loss.

    Personally, I believe Apple can do a little better than the drawn intereface below, though it does show similarities to the current AppleTV interface. I'd be interested to see some real-life moch-up screen shot ideas.

  1. malax

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2006


    flop in the making

    In this HD age there is no way people are going to want to watch TV that looks like that. I guess it's kinda cool that they can turn live color TV into 1-bit cartoon looking images, but consumers aren't going to go for it. You can hardly tell that David Letterman and I have no idea who the guest is. Back to the drawing board Steve.

  1. adamj575

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2007


    That aint Letterman

    Good point malax but to correct you on one thing. THAT AINT LETTERMAN THATS CONAN, DUH! lol nice post bro!

  1. moofpup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2007



    Are you making a joke?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001



    Yes, yes he is (several actually).

  1. ClevelandAdv

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2004



    That is obviously Jay Leno, just look at the chin and the hair. Actually I like the 1-bit cartoon look, with what is on TV today anything is an improvement!

    As for a DVR AppleTV, sign me up- this is what I have been waiting for.

  1. MhzDoesMatter

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2002



    that was hilarious.

    However, I am starting to wonder whether or not Apple will include optical after all. Sure they want everything online, but it looks like they're also trying to shoot some of those other boxes down off of the TV stand. For the AppleTV to be integrating HD television at this juncture means it's either going to be cable card or IR blaster equipped, which either replaces or necessitates a cable box entirely. The DVR features would either make a cable receiver or Tivo completely redundant as well. Why not just stick a bluray drive in there, sell it well enough below the cost of a PS3 and become the new flagship Blu-ray player.

    I dont know. It doesn't seem any more detrimental to their strategy complete internet distribution than adding TV/DVR right beside iTunes shows. Especially if more iTunes copies are included and are easily ripped from the AppleTV, synced back to the comp, and then to iPods and iPhones.

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