Though the Apple TV has only just started shipping, there are many who feel that it doesn't represent a huge leap over competing products from numerous other players in the streaming video arena. So what can Apple do with a follow-up product to make it a must-have? Why not allow one device, with one remote to control everything?
"A new Apple patent may give some foresight to the company's plans for offering a "true" multimedia center experience for the living room, as either enhancements to the Apple TV or an entirely new device. The patent is for a "Multi-media center for computing systems" and describes a system involving a central multimedia hardware hub that can make use of a number of external "modules," all controlled through a centralized menu system on the device."
Of course this is just an interpretation of a patent filing, but life would be so much easier if you could simply connect a single device to the HDMI input on your TV and then have everything from your game consoles to PVR running through that one device. It would be technically possible, especially if the device in question had its own RF transmitter that could control other devices that normally need to interface with a remote for things like changing a channel on a cable box.