Will Apple Go the TiVo Route With the Mac mini?

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Ever since its introduction at Macworld Conference & Expo San Francisco in January 2005, the Mac mini has been viewed by many as the perfect media server. With that in mind, several analysts expect Apple to introduce TiVo-like DVR functionality to the diminutive computer at next monthis Macworld, according to a TV Week article (registration required) by Daisy Whitney.

"The iPod is viewed as one of the critical new distribution platforms for TV content," Ms. Whitney wrote, quoting Solutions Research Group analyst Kaan Yigit as saying: "If Apple can translate the user experience of the iPod to a home device, it can hit another home run." She also noted that ThinkSecret reported that possibility two weeks ago.

However, success in the living room isnit a given, according to Leichtman Research Group president Bruce Leichtman, who told the reporter: "With the [DVR] rollouts from DBS and cable operators continuing, and Tivois strong brand in the business, there is limited market opportunity for Apple in the DVR business. One should not believe that the companyis recent success with the iPod has any connection to its potential in the DVR business."

In addition, Lyra Research director Steve Hoffenberg noted that a Mac mini with a built-in DVR would be of use only to Mac users, whereas the iPod has been so successful because itis compatible with the Mac and Windows operating systems.

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