Apple has unveiled the new Apple TV which offers users the ability to choose from the a large online selection of HD movies to rent, including first run movies for $4.99, and a wide selection of HD TV show episodes from ABC, ABC Family, Fox, Disney Channel and BBC America from 99 cents. All content will be commercial free.
Apple TV also streams content from Netflix, YouTube, Flickr and MobileMe, as well as music, photos and videos from PCs and Macs to HDTVs. Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO said “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 will be available in the US later this month. It will also be available in the UK but at £99 and with, as yet, no UK content.
This is the latest announcement as the players line up to establish OTT brands. Amazon has began offering sales of some TV shows for 99 cents and Sony has now named its multi-device streaming service (see ATV News 01/09/10) as Qriocity.
Meanwhile, in an attempt to keep access to its 160m iTunes customers as they spend more time on Facebook and other social networking sites, Apple launched its own “social network for music” within iTunes, called Ping. Ping lets users post profiles about themselves and their musical tastes. iTunes users can see what their friends are listening to and be prompted to buy the songs themselves.