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Arriving in Q1'07 in a home theater near you

Along with new iPods, new iTunes and online movies, Apple today revealed that it is indeed working on a set-top box for home theater use. Currently codenamed iTV, the box will be roughly half the size of a Mac Mini and will include wireless video and audio streaming capabilities. Because of the new Mac Minis, making an official set-top box won't be too much of a challenge for Apple.

Apple is planning to officially release the new set-top box sometime in Q1'07. For now, Apple is working on a number of things. Users will also be pleased that the new box will feature everything neatly integrated, including the big honking power supply that accompanied the Mac Mini.

Standard high-definition video interfaces will be integrated into the iTV. HDMI, RCA outputs and optical connections will be available. Apple said the iTV will include something along the lines of wireless component video.

The iTV will feature a next-generation interface along the lines of Front Row, since the unit will now able to tune into cable TV. Although Apple demonstrated DVD-quality video today, no details were revealed on what services the iTV would be able to accept. CableCARD and other details were absent. Apple however demonstrated a copy of The Incredibles that was being played back at HDTV resolution -- whether or not Apple will be making HDTV downloads available in the future is unknown.

iTV will be priced at $299 when it is released next year.

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No thanks
By 05SilverGT on 9/12/2006 2:21:06 PM , Rating: 3
I'd rather have a Windows Media Center Style Mac Mini with all that built in. This just looks like a extension to existing Apple PC.

RE: No thanks
By chaosrain on 9/12/2006 2:33:39 PM , Rating: 2
I completely agree...this is just adding to the media clutter in the home. This box provides outputs DVR connectivity or anything. Make a mini with a dual tuner and room for some big hard drives for media storage (music, movies, tv) and add these outputs to the back and you're done.

RE: No thanks
By Burning Bridges on 9/12/2006 2:37:25 PM , Rating: 3
I totally disagree - I can only be one place at one time, so this would make sense if I could couple it to my desktop PC in another part of the house to stream all those DVDs I ripped to my hard drive =)

RE: No thanks
By CU on 9/12/2006 4:49:23 PM , Rating: 3
You can only be at one place at a time, but your computer can do stuff while you are not there.

RE: No thanks
By DallasTexas on 9/12/2006 3:13:35 PM , Rating: 3
At $299, this looks like a winner to me although I would agree that DVR capability is something most people want.

However, I see this box as mounted flush against a wall alongside a plasma display fed by a remote Mac or PC for content that lives in it's HDD. At $299, this is highly competitive with other DMA's (Digital Media Adaptors) that are out there from Linksys,etc.

I look forward to learning more about this product. At this point it looks like a winner.

RE: No thanks
By sdsdv10 on 9/12/2006 4:02:13 PM , Rating: 4
Not sure how much of winner at $299. The Mediagate MG-350HD can had be $250 right now, and it will accept a 3.5" hard drive inside, does HD, DVD rips with menus, works with NAS, etc.

Check out for more info.

RE: No thanks
By FITCamaro on 9/12/2006 9:19:59 PM , Rating: 2
Honestly I think I'd rather just buy an Xbox 360 Premium and since I have Media Center Edition 2005, I can stream video over to it. At least the Xbox can play games and stream, not just stream. Plus eventually I'll be able to slap a bigger hard drive in it and mod it.

The only good thing I see coming of this is an easy way to be able to stream iTunes video to your TV. But even then Apple should stop being DRM nazis and let people be able to store the video in any format they want so we can stream it to our TV through our hacked Xboxs.

RE: No thanks
By Ralph The Magician on 9/12/2006 10:50:51 PM , Rating: 2
Apple doesn't choose to use DRM. It's forced to use DRM by the record labels.

As far as a LEGAL solution to being able to play purchased content on the TV, it isn't bad.

Can XBOX 360 view Amazon Unbox videos?

RE: No thanks
By Ralph The Magician on 9/12/2006 11:01:47 PM , Rating: 2
And, IMO, the question for me wouldn't be, "Should I buy an iTV or an XBOX 360," but rather, "Should I just buy a Mac Mini?" I mean this iTV thing is half the cost of a Mac Mini. I wouldn't be surprised if by the time it comes out, they have Mac Mini's going for $399.

Might as well just get a Mini. Then you can watch DVDs, listen to CDs, use iTunes and do everything else. Internet, mail, whatever.

Seems like for this to really work the price would have to be around $99, and it would have to use 802.11n. Then you could just buy a box for every TV in your house (assuming they have component/DVI connections) and stream the content from any of the Mac's or PC's in your house. That would be awesome.

Who want's to bet the end up calling it the iBox?

By jskirwin on 9/12/2006 3:28:49 PM , Rating: 3
What's it do?

RE: Uhm...
By PAPutzback on 9/12/2006 3:32:31 PM , Rating: 3
All this is is an extender. It plays whatever has been recorded on a networked PC. Most likely ties in Apple's Front Row. So it is only good if you are running Apple's. I'd get a 360 instead. Atleast you get a DVD player built in and can play games.

RE: Uhm...
By Hare on 9/12/2006 4:17:29 PM , Rating: 2
I seriously doubt your claim. Buffalo also has a similar product and it can pretty much access any networked file or folder. I don't think this will require frontrow since that would eliminate the entire PC world and that's definately something Apple does NOT want to do (check the news regarding the new iTunes with movies).

RE: Uhm...
By Phynaz on 9/12/2006 4:29:09 PM , Rating: 2
You really should read before you post.

You missed the part about being cable ready. How about built in Wireless?

How or why exacly would the tie a set top box to an Apple PC?

RE: Uhm...
By akugami on 9/12/2006 9:33:45 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. Its' very likely it will tie in seemlessly (barring bugs) with iTunes but likely be easily "hacked" to work with other software in the PC world much like how Apple's DRM is easily "hacked" by burning it to a cd then ripping it back as aac or mp3.

Could be huge
By isaacmacdonald on 9/12/2006 2:26:54 PM , Rating: 3
I wouldn't expect this to penetrate the market as quickly as iPod/iTunes, but this could still be a very big thing for Apple.

I would expect this announcement to hasten the release of MS's xbox 360 / Direct-TV content delivery deal.

Still, the bandwidth question looms. How can apple/MS hope to stream 720p content over standard broadband?

RE: Could be huge
By ahock on 9/12/2006 2:41:08 PM , Rating: 2
Is this something like a PC that uses Intel processor?

RE: Could be huge
By SakuraChan on 9/12/06, Rating: 0
RE: Could be huge
By NainoKami on 9/12/2006 4:11:29 PM , Rating: 3
Quite easily really... If encoded with H.264 a 1080p movie with 5.1 sound encoded with aac takes less than 10Mbits of bandwidth... You've easily got over 20 Mbits on a 802.11g connection.
If you try and run that on a 802.11b however it's a completely different story, as you've only got about 4-5 Mbits of effective bandwidth to work with...

By mimiman76 on 9/12/2006 4:26:34 PM , Rating: 2
It seems like the only use is to display video to your television or other display device, from your computer, wirelessly. offense to the extreme techies out there, but who actually downloads HD TV to the computer, and then wants to display it on another device. The quality can't be as good as putting an hddvd into an hddvd player and pressing play...besides, it seems like this is just some alternative, which wont come to fruition for years to come.

By Phynaz on 9/12/2006 4:31:01 PM , Rating: 2
Read before posting, it will make you look smarter.

unit will now able to tune into cable TV

By mimiman76 on 9/13/2006 11:15:35 AM , Rating: 1
Wow, you got up on the wrong side of the bed! And I did read before posting you moron...My point was valid. Children like you only ruin things like this for the rest of us!

By TheDoc9 on 9/12/2006 6:17:48 PM , Rating: 2
Of course, you could always connect your Media PC to your network and download HQ movies from your personal computer onto the media PC, bypassing the dvd drive altogether.

As a result you get; HQ video + DVR functionality + no spotty wireless connection issues + cable + extreem speed and flexibilty of a pc.

By rklaver on 9/12/2006 2:48:42 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if it will have DVR funtionality. It's cheaper than the new TiVo.

By rklaver on 9/12/2006 2:58:39 PM , Rating: 2 looks like it doesn't.

By TheDoc9 on 9/12/2006 3:55:08 PM , Rating: 2
An extension box, somthing that has been avialable from Linksys and D-Link for years.

UK Version?
By Wilco on 9/12/2006 4:21:57 PM , Rating: 2
If they release it in the UK I wonder what they'll call it, as we have a TV channel called ITV :)

RE: UK Version?
By c4xiayu on 9/12/2006 4:31:37 PM , Rating: 2
iTV is a code name. But who knows, maybe a lawsuit again :)

RE: UK Version?
By DaveUrb on 9/13/2006 5:13:42 PM , Rating: 2
* iTV is the project’s internal code name and will not be the final product name.

By imaheadcase on 9/12/2006 5:56:37 PM , Rating: 1
New ipod? You mean upgraded to same lame version. Its like they completely ignored the rest of the awsome features in other Mp3 players. Price vs features and performance they still lose out in the mp3 market.

Movies from itunes? That did not even need a press release really, they don't even have support from major motion pictures to put movies on there, yet alone stupid DRM, who but the uninformed care? I would rather watch previews of movies on than purchase a full move from them with all the restrictions.

This device? Diehard apple fans rechoice, everyone else takes a nap. news at 11

By JNo on 9/12/2006 7:44:42 PM , Rating: 2
rechoice? oh dear

By marvdmartian on 9/13/2006 9:03:26 AM , Rating: 2
Everyone else, pull out your iDon'tCare card!!

By PAPutzback on 9/12/2006 3:28:24 PM , Rating: 4
If it had a cable card then it would have a coax input and the cable card would handle the decryption. All this is is a Media extender for Apple media.

By INeedCache on 9/12/2006 3:59:02 PM , Rating: 2
this doesn't really offer much, and certainly nothing new. But, if they make it "stylish enough", which is what Apple does best, people will buy it anyway.

RE: Sadly...
By Teletran1 on 9/12/06, Rating: 0
RE: Sadly...
By blazeoptimus on 9/13/2006 8:17:03 AM , Rating: 2
For me it would be the lynch pin in my digital home solution. I have 2-3 PCs/Macs that I download content on. I take those with me, and I have them fixed in various parts of my house. Now Id like to play that content on my TV, but most Media PCs (Including the one I own) require you to sync up your content from other computers. Now imagine I dont have to move those computers, or worry about coppying files around, all I have to do is plug this device in and go. Stylish or not, the solution fits what I want to do exactly, and I doubt im the only one.

By Ralph The Magician on 9/12/2006 7:47:17 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure I see the point of this thing. Unless this thing is insanely cheap, why not just get a Mac Mini and use FrontRow? A Mac Mini has DVI and optical output, and this box has HDMI/Component analog and optical output. The only advantage I can see is that it will work on older HDTVs without DVI/HDMI input.

I guess it could be worth it if the price is right. I figure $80 is the cap on a box like this.

I'd have much rather seen this be a DVR component FOR the Mac Mini. That is, maybe someone that just connects via USB and allows you to use it as a DVR and support things like CableCard.

RE: Hmmm...
By Ralph The Magician on 9/12/2006 7:52:36 PM , Rating: 2
Futhermore, with 802.11n networking I could see this being worth it, because you could have 3 or 4 of these boxes and enough bandwidth to stream to all of them.

But $299 to stream your contnet to a single TV...that's half the price of a Mac Mini.

cross the dots
By cgrecu77 on 9/12/2006 5:20:51 PM , Rating: 2
iTunes movies CANNOT be burned, but they CAN be viewed via this device AS IF they were burned. Also, you cannot share it with nobody because they only work in your iTunes ... the perfect DRM and nobody can complain really ... You want to take the movie on the road? use iPod video and this wireless thingie and you can view it everywhere ... I actually like this idea, but only if they would rent instead of selling ... I don't think there's too many movies that are worth seeing 5 times (the cost of renting a movie is less than $2)

By Arkham1 on 9/12/2006 7:18:21 PM , Rating: 2
Well, here comes another domain-buying craze. :) Got mine! Got yours?

Required for iTS Movies
By kelmon on 9/13/2006 5:26:19 AM , Rating: 2
As best as I can see it, such a device will be a necessity for me before I would consider buying movies online since I have zero intention of attempting to watch movies or anything else on my computer. Once I can use this device to watch films on my television as soon as they start downloading then I will be interested in buying films online but not until this moment.

Mind you, this is a moot subject at the moment since I live outside of the US and we're not likely to see any video content (aside from music videos or Pixar shorts) any time soon. The "International in 2007" is a statement that I don't really believe at this point in time since we've not even seen television shows yet.

tv in
By CU on 9/13/2006 9:49:56 AM , Rating: 2
This is the only site I have seen that says it can tune into cable TV. Where did this information come from?

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA
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