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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?

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer
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