As part of Apple’s San Francisco event for the new iPad, the company announced that Apple TV would get an upgrade. The system will support 1080p movies and TV shows. Navigation has been improved and movies and TV shows will be supported in iCloud so they can be accessed from iPads and iPhones as well.
The new Apple TV set-top box will sell for €89. But, as yet no subscription service, many will see this a preparation for that but, despite the rumours, Apple is unlikely to build its own TV sets unless it can pull off a disruptive service and that relies on its negotiations with content owners.
In terms of customer availability and functionality, Apple says that with iTunes in the Cloud, customers can purchase and play their favourite movies and TV shows from the iTunes Store and watch them instantly on their HD TV. The new Apple TV features a simpler, refined user interface, which Apple suggests makes it easier than ever to access purchased movies, TV shows and music with iTunes Match right from iCloud. With AirPlay, users can stream or mirror their favourite content from their iPad or iPhone4S to Apple TV, Apple advises.
“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,” predicted 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 an inacredible selection of programming including 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.
Apple TV will be available on Friday, March 16 for a suggested retail price of US$99 through the Apple online store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorised Resellers.
Apple confirms that content availability varies by country and may require account subscriptions.