updated 11:05 am EDT, Fri March 14, 2008
Apple TV DVR Gen 3 Soon
Apple may incorporate the technology from its digital video recording patent filing into the Apple TV as early as the media hub's third generation, according to a new investment note by Shaw Wu of American Technology Research. The analyst believes that the live capture functionality and iPhone/iPod remote control functionality could be used either in the third or fourth generation of the product to turn the device into a "real business" as opposed to the "hobby" it has represented for the California firm so far.
Importantly, the addition could provide a significant gain for relatively little cost. "We believe adding the ability to watch and record live TV could turn this into a billion dollar, if not multi-billion dollar business," Wu says. "We estimate that the cost of hardware components is not that expensive or at about $12-15 in incremental cost."
The researcher nonetheless cautions that patent filings do not automatically translate to shipping products, although technologies such as Bluetooth stereo earphones are likely once they become financially viable for the company.
Wu also echoes Sony claims and cites sources who say talks are underway to bring Blu-ray to Macs and the Xbox 360 in an official capacity. He does not provide specific timeframes but says Apple and Microsoft are in "final discussions" with Sony, indicating a near-term release.
Apple is widely believed to be under little pressure to adopt either Blu-ray or DVR features into its devices. The company has so far pushed HD solely through iTunes rentals from the Apple TV and encourages customers to purchase TV shows from the iTunes Store, going so far as to use its online video catalog as justification for the absence of an optical drive in the MacBook Air.