This Is How Apple TV Turns Into A Pay TV Box

Six years ago, Apple tried to patent a harmless looking menu for navigating videos. Today, it got that patent. What's happened in those six years? Apple's poised to become the biggest TV company in the world — now we're seeing how.

The patent, granted for "generating a menu in a video environment for video that can be display [sic] in one or more contexts." English translation: one TV menu to rule them all, just like Apple's TV remote is a masterwork of minimalism. It also reveals an ambition we've all surmised: Apple wants you to watch TV channels on its little black box, not the big one you get from FOXTEL or any other IPTV service.

The patent illustrations clearly show a means of navigating between (and recording) US networks like CBS and NBC, as well as universal icons for tasks like deleting and searching. This is from six years ago, and looks about as rough as most patent mockups do, but it's a delicious hint at what's to come from our favourite TV set that doesn't exist yet.

Read the full patent application below. [CNET]

US8243017B2


Comments

    "Appleā€™s poised to become the biggest TV company in the world"
    What is this.. i dont even.....

    Unless they can come up with deals for unmetered access with local ISPs it's just not going to take over. The NBN may of course drastically change that but the intervening period will give everyone else a chance to dip a toe in the marketplace reducing Apple's potential dominance.

    Bigger than Samsung? You're on some good stuff there Sam - I think you need to share.

    Apple are so uncool these days. Patents for every little thing. Fighting in the high courts over things they say they invented but actually didn't, their products are overpriced, their arrogance is escalating. "Slide to unlock" is not an invention, and nor is some video menu. What a joke.

      Exodust, do you understand how many patents every major tech company is in the process of filing every single day of the year? User interface paradigms are important, if you don't understand their importance I'm even more doubtful how informed your comments can be.

        Thank you Mark. I'm sure Apple really appreciates you defending them. *straight face*

    Another non-patent :context sensitive menus have been in existence since the last century. This is not new and shouldn't be "owned" by anybody - especially not an entity as litigious as Apple.

    2001-2012 the apple years... so long apple, you won't be missed

      you wont be missed?

      gtfo man, if it weren't for apple, we'd still be using those hopeless touchscreen phones of the pre-iphone era, we wouldn't have ultrabooks, shitty tablets which were just laptops with rotatable screens, etc...

    Hey I thought the Fox Box already had a menu... so how can apple patent that???

    As stated, computers have been menu driven since, probably since Fuji Xerox invented them..... back in the 80's.... Those little dropdown thingies in windows and iOS, have been there for a while (more than long enough for the original patent to expire.... Oh but there is more... They are going to patent that coffee cup you use when surfing the internet too.... (and Samsung will file a counter Patent, and Google will claim that they invented it because they bought the inventer of the coffee cup.... goes round and round...(I give everyone something to bitch about here.))

    Gizmodo, if you are going to post so many articles on patents, I think you need to post some articles explaining WHY and HOW patents are applied for, the vast majority of people commenting clearly have very little idea.

    Gizmodo is posting way to much useless apple related news. NOBODY CARES!

      + 10000000000000

    What like the XBOX 360 already does?

      That is a very good point

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