Apple announced a new version of the Apple TV during their press conference today.
The new Apple TV is a black box that is 1/4 the size of the old model. The new model comes with a built in power supply, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, and 802.11n Wi-Fi as well. Also packaged with the product is an aluminum remote.
All content available is now in High Definition. There is no longer any purchases available - everything is a rental. This means no storage, everything is streaming based. Also no syncing will be necessary with the device - just plug it in and go.
As for content, iTunes will rent HD movies for $4.99 the same day they come out on DVD. Commercial free television episodes can also be rented for 99 cents. Right now, the only networks available are Fox, BBC America, and the ABC family of channels - ABC, ABC Family, and the Disney Channel. Also, Netflix subscribers will be able to stream Netflix on the new Apple device. In addition, the new Apple TV also has access to YouTube, Flickr, MobileMe, and computers on the local network to stream photos and videos.
The rental store includes Rotten Tomatoes integration as well as a section of customer reviews to allow users to read up on the content before deciding to rent it.
Once the rental process has started, the Apple TV queues up content and will send a notification when the content is ready to view. This means there is still an amount of local storage to the system for streaming. However, this allows for navigation throughout the content without having to re-stream. There is also the option to flag television shows as favorites. The Apple TV will then display those shows in your list with a notification for new episodes that haven't been watched.
Using the AirPlay system, it is possible to stream content from any iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) to the Apple TV over Wi-Fi. This means photos, movies, and music.
The new Apple TV retails for $99 dollars and is slated for release at the end of September.
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For more information about Apple and its products please read our other articles including, Apple Close To Securing TV Show Rentals For iTunes, the Apple iPad 3G review by Andrew Robinson, and ProntoTunes Application Creates Two-Way Apple Integration For Pronto Control Panels.