AppleInsider reported yesterday that Apple had filed a patent for a DVR application that could be used in future releases of the AppleTV. The DVR would have on screen menus similar to what you would find in DVRs of today but would also feature a remote with an LCD screen that would let you decide what programs you wanted to record while only interacting with the remote.
It’s very funny to me that Apple has a patent on this, not that it is a dumb patent or anything like that but because shortly after NBC pulled content out of iTunes I had several conversations with friends of mine about how Apple could build a USB TV Tuner for the AppleTV (possibly with the help of elgato) that would use its USB port. I figured that would be a great way for Steve Jobs to say to NBC “Ok if you don’t want to cooperate with us than we’ll make it easy for our customers to get your content by recording it… without any DRM.” I figured that would shake things up a bit in the whole NBC not in iTunes deal.
The only problem is that Apple isn’t really the kind of company that would come out with an add-on for an existing product, it’s not very Apple-like, it is more likely that they would have a hardware refresh for something like this to be done.
The patent filing does look really cool, often times patent filings just don’t seem like anything I would want but this is something I would definitely want.