Apple DVR Patent Application Targets TiVo

Steve Jobs could have even bigger ideas for the Apple TV than just letting you rent movies from his iTunes store. An Apple patent application published this week, summarized by AppleInsider, reveals a device that looks a lot like a TiVo (TIVO) — it lets you browse and record live TV shows.

The patent application, filed in Oct. 2006, also includes an iPod nano-like gadget as its remote control/portable programming guide. (For remote programming, we assume that could easily be changed to an Internet-capable device like the iPhone/iPod touch.)

Sounds neat, but not revolutionary. What could be cooler? If you could take the TV shows off your Apple (AAPL) DVR and put them on your iPod to watch somewhere else. Sure, Jobs is happy to sell you an iTunes TV episode for $2. But he’d probably be a lot happier to sell you a $400 box that lets you move TV episodes to your iPhone for free.

The challenge for that: Buy-in from media companies and distributors. A lot of people would want a piece of that pie, ranging from production companies to broadcast networks to the cable company that’s hooked up to your DVR.

See Also: Macworld: Apple TV Gets A Facelift

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