MacNN has all the details on Apple’s patent for a universal remote that is almost sure to ship with iTV when it launches in the first quarter of 07. Here is a brief excerpt:
The patent reveals that the new remote will work with a plurality of appliances which includes one or more of a television, a video tape player, a video disk player, a stereo, a home control system, and a computer system with remotely controllable software (for example: a DVD player, a CD player, an MP3 player, or slideshow presentation software). The patent notes that this application is not restricted to only electronic appliances, but could also be used to control programs and functions that run on a computer system.
I can’t help but get excited about the iTV. A device like this is going to be good for movie and television show downloads, but what’s really exciting to me is the way this will benefit podcasts. With iTV, podcasts that were previously only viewable on your computer or iPod (unless, of course, you’ve hooked your computer up to your television) will now be able to stream directly to your television.
It may very well change television forever.