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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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