Following on from the WSJ report yesterday that Apple was in the process of engineering a brand new type of set top box that could be used by cable providers, another report has appeared, also by the WSJ (subscription required), which offers a few more details on the rumored device. The new report suggests that the new set top box would indeed have DVR functionality but that the killer feature would be that it would record TV shows to an online cloud storage center, rather than having extensive onboard storage, in the form of a hard drive.
In addition to the novel method by which the device would act as a DVR, the company is apparently looking to make the user interface navigation much like the icons on an iPad, to improve the user experience. What this more than likely refers to is that it may look like a tweaked version of the Apple TV interface. Apple is also reportedly looking to make it easy to share online content through social media by integrating it directly into the UI.
While the new system would offer a phenomenally interesting way of changing TV viewing habits, it’s unclear how long it would take to implement, or when the first glimpses of this new system would even be announced by Apple. It certainly sounds like a pretty complicated undertaking, and if Apple hasn’t yet put terms in place with cable content providers, it may be some time before it emerges.
The advantage, however, is that users would undoubtedly become more selective in their viewing habits and would, hopefully, be able to skip through advertisements which is perhaps the best feature of streaming services like Netflix.