Microsoft Secures Patent for Game Console DVRs

Xbox Rabbit Ears

The inclusion of the Media Center Extender technology in the Xbox 360 has certainly been a boon for WMC fans and was an early indication that Microsoft had bigger plans for the Xbox 360 than just gaming. Unfortunately, the whole “your computer must be on, be running Windows Media Center, be properly configured to talk to your Xbox, and contain a TV tuner card (right in the middle of the transition from NTCS to ATSC)” bit was probably asking too much of most consumers. The rest of us just built a new HTPC. With the Xbox 360 becoming ever more media-focused, it seems almost impossible that Microsoft won’t eventually offer DVR functionality, if not for the 360 than its successor. When that time comes, Microsoft will have a patent to cover the functionality, and hopefully some bigger hard drives. Would you be okay with the Xbox kicking your TiVo to the curb?

The patent identifies it as an application, similar to the apps that have added pre-selected TV content already. However, it seems more likely that this feature would be included in the next iteration of the hardware. 


  • I for one can’t wait until

    I for one can’t wait until they finally integrate this functionality. I hate the hoops I have to jump through to use my 360 as an extender. But I’m worried I’ll lose some features in the process…

  • It’s funny they got a patent

    It’s funny they got a patent for this……..I recorded 2 OTA HD channels, and one SD cable channel at once in the background with 7MC, while playing the original system-killing Crysis. Both recordings came out flawless.

    • There were two things about

      There were two things about the patent that stood out as “unique”. The first was the description of the application to a purpose specific device. Kind of like how clicking an email link on a PC browser is “different” than clicking on one on a phone. Common sense says these are the same thing, but patents are often awarded based on device purpose, for better or worse. The other “unique” was the description of how the DVR functionality would extend to recording gameplay as well as television. That part was actually pretty cool in my book.

      • I can only assume that

        I can only assume that recording gameplay is done the same way it always was, by recording the  inputs, not the video itself. Similarly, the DVR is just recording a pre-compressed stream, so it may not be as complicated as it sounds. Either way, this is more than welcome. It’s little things like these that you’d expect from an all-in-one STB, but may not have actually thought about.

  • ive thought for a few years

    ive thought for a few years now that this would be a logical thing to do.

    An Xbox 360 and a $125 Hauppauge USB tuner is all a family would need to replace their HD box.  Throw in a larger hard drive (either onboard or external) and they can get rid of the DVR fees as well.

    Not as customizeable as an htpc but definitely more of a consumer appliance.  Would be a great thing for single guys, college apartments, and one hdtv households.