Steve Jobs just pulled out the world famous "one more thing" for nothing other than... a new Apple TV. It's now a streaming-focused device (as we predicted months ago) in a small matte black enclosure we're calling "the hockey puck." It has HDMI, Ethernet, optical audio, and USB plugs around back, and of course 802.11n for the cable-averse. Inside there ain't much -- there's no local storage, which makes this thing an entirely different beast than old Apple TVs, relying entirely on the "cloud" for content. Those new streaming HD TV rentals from ABC and Fox will be a mere 99 cents, while first run HD movies will be a less thrilling $4.99. Other services include Netflix, YouTube, Flickr, and Mobile Me, along with Rotten Tomatoes integration in the movie catalog. You can also stream from your computer, if you miss those old hard drive-sourced days of yore, but iOS 4.2's AirPlay also enables streaming from an iPad straight to an Apple TV for something much more surreal. The best news? Apple will start shipping this sucker four weeks from now for $99.
Update: We just got confirmation from Apple that the new Apple TV will be streaming 720p video only (no big surprise there), and that existing Apple TVs won't be getting an upgrade to the new cloud-based software (again, not a shocker).
Update 2: Can't imagine life without a 160GB hard drive? The original Apple TV is still on sale at the Apple Store for $149. [Thanks, Josh]
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Apple Premieres New Apple TV for Breakthrough Price of $99
Rent Commercial Free HD TV Episodes for Just 99 Cents
SAN FRANCISCO-September 1, 2010-Apple® today announced the new Apple TV® which offers the simplest way to watch your favorite HD movies and TV shows on your HD TV for the breakthrough price of just $99. Apple TV users can choose from the largest online selection of HD movies to rent, including first run movies for just $4.99, and the largest online selection of HD TV show episodes to rent* from ABC, ABC Family, Fox, Disney Channel and BBC America for just 99 cents.
Apple TV also streams content from Netflix, YouTube, Flickr and MobileMe™, as well as music, photos and videos from PCs and Macs to your HD TV. Enjoy gorgeous slideshows of your photos on your HD TV using Apple TV's selection of built-in slideshows. Apple TV has built-in HDMI, Wi-Fi, Ethernet and an internal power supply for easy set-up, and features silent, cool, very low power operation in an enclosure that's less than four inches square-80 percent smaller than the previous generation.
"The new Apple TV, paired with the largest selection of online HD movie and TV show rentals, lets users watch Hollywood content on their HD TV whenever they want," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "This tiny, silent box costing just $99 lets users watch thousands of HD movies and TV shows, and makes all of their music, photos and videos effortlessly available on their home entertainment system."
Apple TV users can now rent thousands of commercial free, HD TV episodes on iTunes® for just 99 cents, with up to 30 days to start watching and then 48 hours to finish-or watch multiple times. Users can also rent over 7,000 movies with over 3,400 available in HD, with most new releases available the same day they are released on DVD.
Apple TV also gives access to the Netflix streaming catalog for Netflix subscribers, and the ability to browse and search, rate content, add to or remove from your queue, or instantly stream straight to your HD TV. Apple TV users can also enjoy millions of YouTube videos, more than 200,000 podcasts, 4,000 Internet radio stations and personal photos from MobileMe and Flickr with several gorgeous new slideshow themes. Music, videos and photos can also be streamed from PCs and Macs, turning your HD TV into the hub of your home entertainment system.
Apple TV set-up is quick and easy with a single HDMI cable connection (HDMI cable sold separately). Just connect Apple TV to your HD TV, join a Wi-Fi network and with a few clicks on the seven-button aluminum Apple Remote, you have access to amazing content. 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℠.
Pricing & Availability
Apple TV will be available late this month for a suggested retail price of $99 (US) and can be pre-ordered beginning today on Apple's online store (www.apple.com). Apple TV, which comes standard with an aluminum Apple Remote, will be available through the Apple's online store, Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. Apple TV requires an 802.11b/g/n wireless network or Ethernet network, a broadband Internet connection and a high definition TV capable of 720p. iTunes TV show rentals and Netflix are only available in the US. Netflix features require account subscription. iTunes movies rentals are only available in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
*99 cent HD TV rentals only available in the US.
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork, and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple is reinventing the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced its magical iPad which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.