Apple could walk away with 'billions' if the company releases an Apple TV DRV, says American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu. His comments were made in response to the recently uncovered patent filing of an Apple TV DVR boasting recording and playback controls of live programming.

Wu believes the DVR features outlined in the patent filing could be found in the third or fourth iteration of the Apple TV. They would finally turn the device into a profitable business venture instead of the 'hobby' Steve Jobs was quick to call it when it was first introduced last year, he said.

Apple TV is a 'minor contributor'

"We estimate Apple TV to be a very minor contributor today at 0.3-0.4 per cent of revenue or $100-125 million (£50-60 million) annually," Wu wrote in a note to clients. "We believe adding the ability to watch and record live TV could turn this into a billion dollar, if not multi-billion dollar business."

Wu contends that adding DVR features to the Apple TV would increase the cost of the product by a "negligible amount". He believes it fits into Apple's plan of upgrading the device on a more consistent basis with features that consumers have been asking for all along.

Apple declined to comment on the possibility of an Apple TV DVR, but judging by the sudden increase in rumours surrounding the upgrade, look for more on this in the coming weeks.