A series of patent filings from October 2006 were recently uncovering, revealing a logical next step for Apple’s increasingly popular Apple TV service. The patents essentially cover the integration of TiVo-like DVR features into the set top box that would provide guide, recording and playback-control functionality to the user. DVR integration would certainly go a long way towards taking Apple’s product from a geek toy to big player in the home entertainment game. In a note to clients, American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu speculated that the addition of DVR functionality could boost Apple TV revenue from a paltry $100-125 million per year well into the billions. Wu believes that additional manufacturing costs brought on by added DVR functionality would be insignificant at $12-$15 per unit, and added appeal and value would be immense. “We (as well as many others) have been clamoring for DVR and/or TV tuner capabilities since the introduction of Apple TV 1.0 in January 2007 and even Apple TV 2.0 with movie rentals in January 2008. We are pleased to see Apple listening to customers similar to what it has done with iPhone, with adding native access to Exchange server.” Going off on a brief tangent, Wu also mentioned that according to his sources, a Blu-ray deal between Apple and Sony is near completion. Wu’s note closes with a reaffirmation of AAPL’s buy rating and a target of $175. We might hold on a bit longer but you get the idea; Apple is certainly showing no signs of slowing down as it continues to find new ways into pockets well outside of its cult-like following of old.