When the new Apple TV was unveiled yesterday, the market expected a beautiful device. Instead, they got content. But all in HD…
Apple yesterday announced the new Apple TV, featuring 1080p programming, including iTunes movies and TV shows, Netflix, Vimeo, photos and more in HD.
The market had anticipated a flat screen, razor-thin TV set. Instead, Apple delivered an upgrade of the existing $99 App TV streaming device that connects to other HD TVs. However, it takes streaming to a new level of quality, and extends the content offering and integration.
With iTunes in the Cloud, customers can purchase and play movies and TV shows from the iTunes Store and watch them instantly on their HD TV.
This is, however, one of the few advantages Apple TV has over the rival device from Roku, and the rival service from Amazon.com. Roku has a far more extensive content ecosystem, while Amazon.com offers better rental options.
The new Apple TV features a simpler, refined user interface making it easier to access purchased movies, TV shows and music with iTunes Match, from iCloud. With AirPlay, users can stream or mirror content from their iPad or iPhone 4S to Apple TV.
“People are going to love streaming movies and TV shows in 1080p with the new Apple TV, and photos look beautiful displayed at the maximum resolution of your TV,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Apple TV is easier than ever to use with its new icon-based interface and the ability to access your purchased movies, TV shows and music right from iCloud.”
Apple TV users can choose from over 15,000 movies and over 90,000 TV episodes on the iTunes Store. Apple TV also offers content from Netflix’s streaming catalogue, live sports from MLB, NBA and NHL as well as Internet content from Vimeo, YouTube and Flickr.
With iCloud, movies and TV shows on Apple TV can be watched on an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC. iCloud also stores photos and pushes them wirelessly to devices like HD TV via Apple TV.
iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users can use AirPlay to stream music, photos and videos from their devices directly to their HD TV with Apple TV. iPhone 4S or iPad users can use AirPlay Mirroring to show the screen of their device right on their HD TV, allowing them to stream web pages, spreadsheets or even games.
Users can also control Apple TV with their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch using the Remote app, available as a free download on the App Store (www.itunes.com/appstore).
Pricing & Availability
Apple TV will be available on Friday, March 16 through Apple Authorised Resellers, but will not be available in South Africa at this stage. Apple TV requires iTunes 10.5 or later. Apple TV requires an 802.11g/n Wi-Fi network or Ethernet network, a broadband Internet connection and a HD TV capable of 1080p or 720p and an HDMI cable that is sold separately. iTunes movie and TV show availability varies by country. Second generation Apple TV users can install the new Apple TV user interface via a free software update, available today. Third generation Apple TV hardware is required to play 1080p video.
* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @gadgetza