What could Apple be planning with Rovi?

On Monday Fortune brought word that Apple had entered into a multiyear licensing deal with Rovi, which could cover everything from TV guides to DRM. But what could Apple want with this tech?

Gene Munster, of course, still thinks Apple will build their own TV. I still think that's a leftover rumor from when they were readying the 27" iMac. With a $99 Apple TV on the way, Apple doesn't have to worry about competing with Sony or Samsung in the lower-margin, high cost, premium TV market but can simply piggy back onto any existing panel in the living room.

Likewise, I don't think Apple is going into the PVR business. I used to, and they have patents for it, but it smells like one of those things Apple considers the past, not the future, and Apple is ruthless about jettisoning the past.

As to DRM, Apple already has FairPlay, the iTunes DRM, could what Rovi has be a better solution? A more appealing one for iTunes TV show rental holdouts NBC and CBS?

It seems far more likely that Apple just wanted to secure what it already uses Rovi to provide -- information about the content already on iTunes.

[Fortune via 9to5Mac]

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.