I am a huge fan of the apple tv. Though most people tend to dislike it for it being locked down. Sadly though, apple treats this product like a red headed step child. There is a huge lack of software updates to the device, and it has been over two years since a hardware update. But according to a newly approved apple patent, the apple tv is not dead yet.

While the patent itself doesn’t provide a ton of info like some other patents we have seen, it does look like it is possible that the new version may be an actual HDTV. A majority of the focus looks to be on the IR Remote system and new abilities for it to work.

I personally would like to see apple allow an external Hard drive to be used to store media alongside the apple TV. For some one like myself, 160 GB is not enough room for my iTunes movies. Especially since when I do purchase a DVD or Blu-ray disc it has a digital copy. If apple does go the route of an actual HDTV, they will have to be more open with it. If they run it as a closed system and don’t allow people to connect their cable or an antenna to the tv, they will be killing their own product.

I will definitely be keeping an eye on this story. Maybe we will see a new apple tv by September when they announce the new line of iPods.

More Information: Apple Granted Patent for Next Generation Apple TV Technology