TiVo-powered Apple TV? Don't hold your breath

TiVo-powered Apple TV? Don't hold your breathTiVo stocks took an upward swing Monday on rumors that the company's once must-have TiVo DVR software would power the next Apple TV device. While it would be a big boost for TiVo, which has been on a "deathwatch" at our popular sister-site Engadget for going on five years now, the rumor is as likely to happen as consumers actually having a choice in who provides their cable service.

For starters, while TiVo is still one of the prettiest and most intuitive ways to access DVR content, Apple's more likely to copy the best features rather than partner with a company that just switched over to a Flash-based user interface and already has partnerships with many rivals.

Next, TiVo is well-known for organizing content you record from your local cable or satellite provider, a task that it has had trouble competing in lately, rather than organizing loads of digital content purchased online from a store like iTunes or from a local collection.

If the more detailed rumors of what Apple's next generation Apple TV will look like are to be believed, it won't be a device you hook up to cable, but instead will be a cloud-based media hub that connects and entertains on a more a la carte model of distributing TV than your local cable company will be able to provide.

With any luck the next Apple TV will be something to shake up a market that is built around a few powerful companies and a distribution model that thrives on a lack of choices.
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