Apple Breathes New Life Into Apple TV

  • Apple
  • Online Video
SAN FRANCISCO — The first, much-anticipated version of Apple TV fizzled out quickly and was later described by the company as a "hobby." The new version launched yesterday looks more like the real thing. A mere 4 inches square and priced at just $99, the new device has HDMI, Wi-Fi and Ethernet built in, and its low power consumption makes it cool and silent.

The new Apple TV, which works only with a high-definition television, offers a much larger selection of rental video - including first-run HD movies for $4.99 and HD television show episodes for 99 cents. Rental terms are flexible; viewers have 30 days to start watching a rental and 48 hours after that to finish watching. And most new releases will be available on the same date they go to DVD.

More significantly, Apple has added streaming video and broadened users' options beyond the iTunes store. Apple TV streams Internet content from Netflix, YouTube, Flickr and MobileMe, as well as music, photos and videos from home computers. (Rental and streaming content is available only in limited geographic areas, and in some cases only in the U.S.) The company says this capability turns the television "into the hub of your home entertainment system."

Set-up is quick and easy, with a single HDMI cable connection (not included in the $99 price) between the Apple TV and the television and Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection to the Internet or PC. Users can control Apple TV with the remote that comes packaged with it or with an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

Apple TV will be available late this month for a suggested retail price of $99 and can be preordered now on Apple’s online store.


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