Patent Watch: Apple’s Future Vision For Cable TV (And DVR) Services

Patent Watch: Apple’s Future Vision For Cable TV (And DVR) Services


Over the last several months, we’ve seen a fair amount of talk (and patents) surrounding possible ‘Cable TV’ and ‘DVR’ recording functionality arriving on Apple’s ‘TV’ product — and tonight, our friends at PatentApple highlight yet another of these patent filings.

Published by the U.S Patent and Trademark Office earlier this week, the new set of 29 patents awarded to the Cupertino company may detail Apple’s determined vision for the future of cable TV and DVR recording services.

Apple’s proposed ‘enhanced’ TV content UI

Specifically the patent covers a video device which “displays video in one of a plurality of contexts in an onscreen display area.” Citing that the patent clearly outlines the Apple TV product we see today may, in fact, have always been just one piece of Apple’s larger vision for the future of television, PatentlyApple sums up the filing by noting:

Apple’s 2006 patent filing clearly illustrates that Apple TV was or is to work with regular cable TV. The patent figures clearly show ABC, Fox channels and so forth. Apple TV was and/or is to be able to record TV shows. Advanced Set-top-Box features for Apple TV would be a welcomed addition to the current iteration of Apple TV, one being it could act as a high-end PVR. Just recently Apple added access to Hulu (in the US only), which illustrates that Apple TV continues to be a mystery project in progress.

The awarded patents follow Apple silently pushing out full support for Hulu’s ‘Plus’ service to Apple TV owners across the U.S at the end of last month, as well as a recent report which suggested American cable channel CBS may also land on the set-top box in the coming months.