We knew it was coming, and we knew most of the details. But it’s still intriguing to see what Steve Jobs and co. have come up with for the newly-redesigned Apple TV. It’s small, cheap, and built purely for streaming from the cloud.
It’s fair to say the Apple TV didn’t exactly fly off the shelves when it was first launched. After some good early buzz, as there is with any new Apple product, the Apple TV was designated nothing more than a hobby. Which implied Jobs had accepted defeat.
It’s hard to put a finger on why the original Apple TV failed. It was definitely too expensive, and maybe the mainstream market just wasn’t ready for a set-top box able to stream and download video content.
Apple is hoping things have changed now, however, and that the new Apple TV will take off in a big way.
The New Apple TV
We’ve known Apple TV was getting rebooted for months now. Be it by design or not, Apple seems to have sprung a leak when it comes to forthcoming products. Steve Jobs finally revealed the new Apple TV on Wednesday, and there were no real surprises.
The new Apple TV is a small black box which has been likened to a hockey puck. It will cost just $99 to buy and will start to ship(initially in just six countries) in four weeks time.
The new Apple TV has no hard drive and is instead designed for direct streaming from the cloud. To make this possible, Apple is committed to offering HD rentals of TV episodes for just $0.99, but only ABC and Fox have agreed to the new pricing so far. Jobs insisted others will follow “once they see the light.”
New HD movies will cost $4.99, but for that you’ll get to watch a feature the same day it’s released on DVD and Blu-ray.
YouTube, Netflix, and others are also included on the device, and a new feature called AirPlay will allow the Apple TV to stream content to other Apple devices – such as the iPad tablet – around the house.
The only real surprise was the lack of renaming, suggesting the idea to call it iTV was either not real or halted by the threat of legal action.
Apple has gone back to the drawing board and produced something much more relevant to the way we now consume digital content. Will this be enough to take the Apple TV from being a hobby back to a core product in Apple’s line-up? Time will tell.
[Via Business Insider]
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