A next generation Xbox may be able to record TV direct to your console.
This DVR - digital video recorder - technology was detailed in a freshly granted (27th December) Microsoft patent. The patent was filed in January 2007, hence the rather antiquated (and terribly scanned) accompanying drawings (you'll need a TIFF viewer for your browser to view them).
"An integrated gaming and media experience is disclosed, including recording of content on a gaming console," the patent, via Kotaku, read.
"A digital video recorder (DVR) application running alongside a television client component allows users to record media content on the gaming console.
"The DVR application also integrates itself with the console menu. Once integrated, users can record media content while playing games.
"Alternatively, users can record content when the gaming console is turned off.
"The recorded content can include television programming, gaming experience (whether local or online), music, DVDs, and so on.
"When in the recording state, users can also switch between various other media modes, whether gaming, television, and so on."
Microsoft is expected to announce its new Xbox this year. Two new machines are apparently planned: one a paired-down console that serves as a set-top portal for Kinect; the other a fully-featured next generation machine.
The announcement may happen as soon as this month, at the CES electronics show in Las Vegas. This takes place from 10th to 13th January.