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Apple's 2006 Ideas for DVR and Television Interface Reappear in Newly-Granted Patent

Back in March 2008, an Apple patent application was published showing concepts for digital video recorder (DVR) and other television-related interfaces. While the focus of the patent application was actually on menu overlays appearing on top of video content, it did generate a fair amount of interest as evidence that Apple was at least thinking about how it could make television software more intuitive. The document dated back to a provisional patent application filed by Apple on September 11, 2006, the day before Apple first introduced its "iTV" set-top box that launched a few months later as the original Apple TV.


With Apple's rumored plans for a television set continuing to gain momentum, Patently Apple notes that a reappearance of the patent as it has finally been granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will once again spark interest in Apple's television plans.



Beyond a number of figures showing Apple's concepts for television menus, the patent also contains reference to the use of an iPod-like device as a remote control for the television content.


The idea of an Apple television set has been circulating for a number of years, with Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster being one of the strongest proponents of such a device. The rumors gained considerable steam late last year with the publication of Steve Jobs' authorized biography, in which he was quoted as saying he had "finally cracked" how to create a truly easy-to-use television built around the "simplest user interface you could imagine". That revelation was quickly followed with a report from The New York Times claiming that Apple was looking to launch a Siri-powered television set by late 2012 or early 2013. Additional rumors have trickled out since that time, although they have slowed considerably in recent months as attention has focused on the iPhone.

Related roundup: Apple TV

Top Rated Comments

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30 months ago

Lost ????? Seriously ???

They've just lost a sale!:mad:


In 2006, LOST was in its 2nd/3rd season. And it was one of the first shows available for digital purchase through iTunes (along with Desperate Housewives). Absolutely makes sense that this would be on their sketches.

Plus, it is one of the best network dramas of all time and I'll have words with anyone who says differently! :D

(Long time reader of the forums, first time poster. Congrats! This caused me to sign up! lol)
Rating: 21 Votes
30 months ago
Sweet, Apple is Patenting Conan O'Brien!
Rating: 12 Votes
30 months ago
Where is the content coming from?

That's the biggest thing.....not the interface or the device...which is important of course....but it's all about content.

Can they offer equivalent selection and competitive pricing to Dish, DirecTV, cable....????

I don't care how slick your device is. If you don't have anything I want to watch....you're out.
Rating: 6 Votes
30 months ago
Still find it amusing that people actually think it'll be called iTV, despite that name being taken over 55 years ago, and being the name of a string of registered companies in the UK, Europe and the US.

It's called AppleTV for a reason. If they could have used 'iTV' as the name, dont you think they would have done it from the get-go... :rolleyes:
Rating: 6 Votes
30 months ago
That looks a lot like David Letterman interviewing Albert Brooks.
Rating: 5 Votes
30 months ago

Lost ????? Seriously ???

They've just lost a sale!:mad:


So you'd refuse to buy a produce because of how an image was drawn on a patent application? Wow, you're not a 12 year old troll at all, are you. :rolleyes:

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Img. 25 kind of looks like an old episode of King of Queens. Young Kevin James.


I thought it looked like the guy from GTA Vice City that you see in the beginning cutscene :p
Rating: 5 Votes
30 months ago
Thank God Apple's technical drawing guys don't do their graphic design.
Rating: 4 Votes
30 months ago
Img. 25 kind of looks like an old episode of King of Queens. Young Kevin James.
Rating: 4 Votes
30 months ago
The idea of a DVR belongs to the 1990-2009 period. After using Netflix for a month, I can't imagine being limited to what is currently being broadcasted, even if it's recorded to be watched at a later time.
Rating: 4 Votes
30 months ago
"A video device displays video in one of a plurality of contexts in an onscreen display area. In response to the menu command, the video device generates a menu overlay within the onscreen display area while maintaining the video within the menu overlay, and generates within the menu overlay a context icon based on the selected context."

Wow, look, another patent that should not have been granted because it's an idea already in existence and not novel in the least. The patent office has got to be manned by imbeciles or crooks.
Rating: 3 Votes

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