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The "iTV" gets an official name

This year, as CES begins, Apple is concurrently holding its annual MacWorld expo. DailyTech previously reported that Apple would be making further announcements about its iTV set-top box at MacWorld 2007, but that the device would not be making an official showing because of quality concerns with its operating system. Fortunately for enthusiasts, the iTV did make an appearance and Apple has given it an official name, calling it the Apple TV.

At its core, the Apple TV is a self-contained hardware solution for Apple's Front Row software that comes with all of the company's 2006-released Macs. The system is very intuitive and easy to use and the actual interface is gorgeous to look at as well, especially on a high-definition display. All previous specifications for the Apple TV remain the same:
  • Intel processor
  • 40GB hard drive for storing content locally
  • HDMI (video and audio)
  • Component video
  • Optical audio
  • Analog RCA stereo audio
  • 10/100BASE-T Ethernet
  • USB 2.0 (for service and diagnostics)
  • 802.11n wireless networking6
  • Built-in IR receiver (works with included Apple Remote)
  • Video formats supported: H.264 and protected H.264 (from iTunes Store): 640 by 480, 30 fps, LC version of Baseline Profile; 320 by 240, 30 fps, Baseline profile up to Level 1.3; 1280 by 720, 24 fps, Progressive Main Profile. MPEG-4: 640 by 480, 30 fps, Simple Profile
  • Audio formats supported: AAC (16 to 320 Kbps); protected AAC (from iTunes Store); MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps); MP3 VBR; Apple Lossless; AIFF; WAV
  • Enhanced-definition or high-definition widescreen TVs capable of 1080i 60/50Hz, 720p 60/50Hz, 576p 50Hz (PAL format), or 480p 60Hz
For those looking to use the Apple TV with the latest HDTV screens, be aware that the unit does not currently support 1080p. Judging from Apple's recent history of quick product updates, many expect the company to release a 1080p capable version of the Apple TV sometime in late 2007. The storage capacity of the Apple TV has also now been confirmed to be 40GB. Previously, it was unknown just exactly how much space the unit would have.

The Apple TV will automatically sync with a computer running iTunes -- whether or not it is a Mac or a Windows PC. The unit will sell for $299 and start shipping this February.


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HD size?
By CascadingDarkness on 1/9/2007 7:02:58 PM , Rating: 3
40 GB doesn't seem like much to me. I wonder what size drive they use inside, like a 3.5" that could be user replaced. It may be just because I'm spoiled with my 1.5TB array, but does anyone else think that isn't going to hold much content, especially with HD formats.




RE: HD size?
By Enoch2001 on 1/9/2007 7:09:09 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
40 GB doesn't seem like much to me...but does anyone else think that isn't going to hold much content, especially with HD formats.


Does it really matter if it can just stream the content from your PC/Mac?


RE: HD size?
By CascadingDarkness on 1/9/2007 7:20:56 PM , Rating: 5
I guess not, but why even own this box? I stream content direct from my PC to my HDTV via HDMI for video and optical audio direct to my sounds system. No $300 middleman. Is there some other obvious use I'm missing?


RE: HD size?
By cochy on 1/9/2007 7:37:47 PM , Rating: 5
You're obviously missing the millions of people who don't have their computers sitting right next to their HDTVs. Or are you using a 30 foot HDMI cable?


RE: HD size?
By CascadingDarkness on 1/9/2007 7:49:05 PM , Rating: 2
I guess your right. They must be targeting the "normals" not hardcore. It's only a 10ft cable going to my media PC. I didn't opt for the 30ft so I actually move my Lian Li on casters over when I want to play games on the HDTV (media pc isn't amazing enough to game at 1920X1080 res.)

I would think by now everyone has heard of the existence of media PCs and their versatility with all types of media. My relatives have asked me and they didn't hear it from me (don't go out of my way to make to much work, because they obviously need help setting it up.) I guess not considering products like this and other DVR type things.


RE: HD size?
By MrDiSante on 1/9/2007 10:17:51 PM , Rating: 3
Normals can just use their computer + Media Center Extender. I honestly see no reason whatsoever to get this - costs as much as an x360 core. And looky here! It can do MPEG-4! At 640 x 480! Impressive isn't it? And you have to install iTunes (because likelihood has it that you don't have a Mac). Wow isn't that just great? No. Seriously, I'd take Media Center + extender over this any day.


RE: HD size?
By daftrok on 1/10/2007 1:15:01 AM , Rating: 2
Wait, I got it! Instead of storing it into a Hard Drive, you can store whatever songs/photos you want to see for the time being into a USB drive, then take these low resolution movies and burn it into a DVD and then hook it up to a DVD player that upscales movies to 720p/1080i(/1080p) that also has a USB slot so you can hook up music/photos and view it on your television. This costs roughly 100-150 dollars....


RE: HD size?
By Enoch2001 on 1/9/2007 7:17:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
40 GB doesn't seem like much to me...but does anyone else think that isn't going to hold much content, especially with HD formats.


Does it really matter if it can just stream the content from your PC/Mac?


"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

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