A new Apple patent filing has surfaced pointing to the possibility of the company offering an upgraded Apple TV that can record and play back live shows.

According to the filing, the prospective device would allow users to scan through upcoming programming and use a modified touchscreen remote to skip through menus and record, play and rewind live programming. The remote looks quite similar to a second-generation iPod and uses the same trackpad and buttons to control the menus.

Remote is central to usability

"For example, program data for upcoming programs, e.g., for the next month, can be downloaded and stored on the remote control device," Apple said. "Thereafter, a user of the remote control device can search programs that are to be broadcast and determine which programs to record.

"The recording settings can be programmed onto the remote control device, and then be provided to the video device when data communication is established between the remote control device and the video device."

Although such an updated Apple TV would offer similar functionality to what is currently being offered in similar DVR products and the patent filing suggests Apple is ready to move forward, the company has yet to comment on the device.