DVR functionality could be built into an Apple TV

DVR functionality could be built into an Apple TV

Summary: In recent briefings to media executives about its plans for an eventual Apple television, the company floated a number of ideas to shake up how you watch video in your living room. While some will seem familiar or obvious at this point -- Siri-based voice controls and iCloud integration -- integrating DVR capabilities hadn't been bandied about as much.

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TOPICS: Hardware, Apple, Mobility
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In recent briefings to media executives about its plans for an eventual Apple television, the company floated a number of ideas to shake up how you watch video in your living room. While some will seem familiar or obvious at this point -- Siri-based voice controls and iCloud integration -- integrating DVR capabilities hadn't been bandied about as much.

So let the speculation begin about how those DVR functions would work. Would they just be for shows rented or purchased from iTunes, giving you the ability to offload content so you wouldn't have to rely so much on streaming? Or would this include the ability to record content from the Apple TV itself, which would put it in competition with pay TV providers' own DVRs?

The latter case would once again suggest that Apple is gunning for cable and satellite companies as much as it is other TV manufacturers. If it could get enough content providers on board, the company could provide its own subscription plan for those who are no longer interested in a full slate of cable channels and just want to watch certain programs easily at any time. At a time when cable rates are rising thanks to channels like ESPN asking more for its programming, an Apple TV ecosystem could lead to a lot more cord-cutting.

We have no idea precisely when Apple will roll out any new TV products, but its openness with media execs suggests that it's thinking big -- as usual.

Topics: Hardware, Apple, Mobility

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32 comments
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  • RE: DVR functionality could be built into an Apple TV

    Lets hope they do not step on anyone's DVR Patents. TiVo likes to sue everyone else that makes something with DVR functionality.

    Also aside from the voice control functionality I already accomplish this with a Windows Media Center HTPC with a digital HD tuner and using my XBox as a Media Extender I can even have whole home DVR funtionality including watching on any of my computers.
    bobiroc
    • RE: DVR functionality could be built into an Apple TV

      @bobiroc

      It's not just the ability to do something that makes a product (or a combination of products - as in your example) a success in the market place but rather it's a combination of "ease of use", price and capability that ultimately matters how successful a product will be.

      When the iPhone first was introduced, the Blackberry phones could do everything that the iPhone could do plus they were enterprise grade devices. But the iPhone's "ease of use" and a combination of features bundled together at a price point below stand-alone devices offering the same capabilities ultimately allowed the iPhone to enjoy the success it has achieved.
      kenosha77a
    • RE: DVR functionality could be built into an Apple TV

      @bobiroc
      The issue with the Microsoft solution is that the average consumer is never going to buy so many pieces, set them up and do all the trouble shooting to get it to work.
      anono
      • Yeah, the Apple solution is so much better

        @anono
        Desktop for hosting iTunes? Check.
        Apple TV for streaming iTunes? Check.
        iPad for AirPlay? Check.
        TV for viewing it all? Check.

        Microsoft's solution:
        Xbox for everything? Check.
        TV for viewing it all? Check.

        MS FTW
        toddybottom
      • RE: DVR functionality could be built into an Apple TV

        @anono
        A) I am guessing one of the basic points of the Apple made TV will be not to have an Apple TV and TV.

        B) The MS solution doesn't give you AirPlay. While Apple offers iPad as a way to get extra features, it's not necessary to be on par with MS.

        C) With iCloud, you don't need Desktop iTunes hosting. But again, I would probably recommend you get a computer anyways. Clearly researching on your Xbox isn't making you sound very informed.
        anono
      • AirPlay is a feature?

        @anono
        Bzzzt. Try again. AirPlay is a bandaid to make up for the fact that AppleTV has absolutely no onboard storage.
        toddybottom
      • RE: DVR functionality could be built into an Apple TV

        @toddybottom<br><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feature_" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feature_</a>(software_design)<br>Yup. Clearly researching on an Xbox isn't going that great.

        See point A. I'm pretty sure one of the main points of an Apple made TV is to get rid of Apple TV.
        anono
      • anono for the fail

        @anono
        Most of my surfing nowadays is on my iPhone or iPad.

        anon FAIL (tm)
        toddybottom
      • RE: DVR functionality could be built into an Apple TV

        @toddybottom
        If whatever argument you are trying to make includes anyone believing you own an Apple product.

        Your argument = FAIL.
        anono
      • RE: DVR functionality could be built into an Apple TV

        @anono

        I am not sure I agree with your average consumer point. Sure while it sounds all great and dandy to have a totally integrated system and it does have it's advantages like possibly set up it has it's disadvantages too. What if you want to get a new TV and you have pay more to get a new Apple TV with integrated DVR. With today's modern TVs hooking up with one HDMI cable for both digital video and sound the setup is not all that complicated. Most TV Providers do the setup when you install anyway too.

        I think having separate systems is way more flexible in this scenario and the consumer will have to decide what is best for them. Locking into Apple is NOT the answer.
        bobiroc
      • RE: DVR functionality could be built into an Apple TV

        @bobiroc<br>Personally, I have never considered getting DVR before, but if it came integrated with the TV (Apple or others) I might use it every once in a while. <br><br>What does a future TV made by Apple potentially having DVR have to do with lock ins? I can understand games and movies, which I imagine won't work with anything but Apple. Although for movies, I imagine there'll be ways to get your content out. But how is having an Xbox any better in that regard. It's not like you can buy an Xbox game and play it on anything else if you decide to get rid of your Xbox.

        If you are convinced all lock ins are NOT the answer (as opposed to just Apple lock ins), you might want to steer clear of Windows 8 based on what I hear about the App Store.
        anono
      • RE: DVR functionality could be built into an Apple TV

        @anono

        You cannot compare a video game to something more universal like a movie or music. Some may find an all inclusive device beneficial and other may not and that is the only point I am trying to make.

        As far as Windows 8 and the App store goes only time will tell to what that is all about. The difference with Windows 8 is that you can use applications you purchase outside of the app store on it unlike some other Tablets. I just find that Apple is a bit more tight in locking people in than others. If you want to use your iDevice on a stereo you have to use basic headphone connection or get their Airplay support. Other devices use standard networking access and even consoles like the XBOX and PS3 support that where you need iTunes to use the Apple media. I can record using windows MCE and play it on just about anything Microsoft or not. From what I have seen with Apple that is not the case.
        bobiroc
      • RE: DVR functionality could be built into an Apple TV

        @bobiroc I have to agree on the separate setup. I would like to see them add more functionality but keep the Apple TV close to how it is now physically. I like the portability and as it is now with on Apple TV I can easily use it in any run in the house with a TV. More than likely I would not jump on an actual Apple TV.
        non-biased
  • RE: DVR functionality could be built into an Apple TV

    I can't believe Apple will actually embed this hardware within the TV and, like the phone industry did, create "disposable" TV sets destined to become obsolete after few years. The is no way it can easily be made tolerant to the incredible pace at which hardware evolves these days.
    Let's hope this new magical technology is external.
    TheCyberKnight
    • RE: DVR functionality could be built into an Apple TV

      @TheCyberKnight

      If you talk to some they will tell you that having a separate DVR or Media Disc player is not what people want because it is too complicated. They rather have something that is totally integrated so while it works it is great but heaven forbid something happens and you have to scrap the whole unit and risk losing everything. Or if you want to get an upgrade on lets say a TV screen size you have to buy everything all over again.

      Then there are people like me that like the separate units because if I want to replace my old Projection TV with a flat panel I can and still have all my media in tact. Plugging in a single HDMI cable or even if I have to use Component is not all that hard.
      bobiroc
  • So...which OS?

    ...yeah, building something on Windows is one thing, or even running a Windows variant on an XBOX is another...but the clincher will ultimately be which OS does Apple use? Is this thing going to have a stripped down version of OS X like AppleTV did, or is it going to run iOS, making it essentially the Apple iMaxiPad?
    ReadWryt (error)
    • RE: DVR functionality could be built into an Apple TV

      @ReadWryt (error)

      The underlying operating system is the same in both MacOS X and iOS: UNIX
      danbi
  • RE: DVR functionality could be built into an Apple TV

    Considering Apple TV no longer has a hard disk, and relatively little memory, one wonders where they are going to store the DVR media files ?
    neil.postlethwaite
    • Thats the bandaid called AirPlay

      @neil.postlethwaite@...
      The idea is to make you pay for a $500 iPad or a $1500 iMac to store your media files. Apple's current solution is a mess of bandaids meant to make up for very poor design decisions. iPhone is the best smartphone, iPad is the best tablet, but Apple TV is a complete and utter disaster from a design point of view. Let's not even talk about the huge lock-in since Apple TV only works with Apple products.
      toddybottom
      • RE: DVR functionality could be built into an Apple TV

        @toddybottom <br>Perhaps if they stuck a 2nd hard disk for mirroring into a TimeCapsule, I might have a passing interest <br><br>In the meantime I'll stick to a Synology NAS and WDTVlive and assorted laptops, iThing'ys and multiple locked down and bespoke incompatible Set-top boxes in the house.<br><br>--<br><br>Hoever, if they took an iPod Touch/iPad and integrated it into a TV, and allowed USB attachment, you can half see where they are coming from - ta 40" TV removes the need for a Retina Display/10" LCD, Aluminium Unibody, Facetime (unless you want to play NCIS <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/happy.gif" alt="happy"> ), and much other miniturised and expensive componentry.<br><br>Wonder how much<br><br>- 40" LED panel<br>- Muklti-touch Touchscreen for above<br>- iPod Touch gubbins to make the above an IOS device<br><br>would cost.<br><br>An Apple TV is almost like an iPod Touch/iPad XL.
        neil.postlethwaite