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But this week, the US Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple a patent (hat tip to Patently Apple) that appears to address the possibility of the Apple TV gaining DVR capabilities. It's that line that has spurred Apple watchers to speculate that Apple may, in fact, add DVR capabilities to the Apple TV sometime in the near future. In an ideal world, we would be able to purchase from iTunes (or stream from Netflix) any show we want within a reasonable time frame after broadcast. But few of us are willing to wait that long in order to have easy, Internet-based access to the shows we love, and aside from the obvious ethical impropriety involved in torrenting, pirating those shows from the Internet is just plain annoying to do.
Doing so could help the company round out the feature set of its hobby device and thrust it into full non-hobby status.
The set-top box came with a built-in hard drive and the ability to purchase video content from iTunes and… well, that's pretty much it.



This would mean, in a DVR user's fantasy world, that the Apple TV would gain the ability to look up TV listings and allow the user to choose which shows to record that are coming over broadcast or cable. But aside from the fact that many concepts patented by Apple never see the light of day, we wondered: does it even make sense at this point in time to consider adding this feature? Whether it's Glee, which is broadcast on network television, or Game of Thrones, offered through HBO, we would be able to just find those shows within say, a day of airing, and be able to throw money at the content makers to download them whenever we want. Despite the continued efforts of Apple, Netflix, Hulu, and numerous other TV-focused Internet services, the selection of easy-to-purchase-and-download TV shows is still not at the level it should be. That's where having a DVR is useful, because if there's no other way to get access to a show on-demand, at least you can record it when it's shown on live TV for viewing later. In the past, Apple has been resistant to allowing non-Apple forms of content on the Apple TV, but that has changed with the fairly recent introduction of various other forms of content delivery (namely Netflix) that don't necessarily make Apple much money.


Over the years, Apple has continued to iterate on its "hobby" device by adding and subtracting various features; the company eventually removed the hard drive, opting to make it possible to stream iTunes purchases directly from Apple's servers, and added numerous other on-demand streaming services like Netflix, MLB, NBA, Wall Street Journal TV, and more. TiVo built its entire empire on this concept and numerous knockoffs have flooded the market since—as we've known ever since the VCR hit the market, people just like to record what's coming in through the boob tube.
Sometimes it's the only way to be able to watch your favorite shows while still having some level of control over when you watch them.
Like the iPod paired with iTunes (and other MP3s from various origins), the focus could be all about selling the Apple TV hardware and less about selling the content for it.



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