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iPO at MWSF - Apple Goes Back to the Drawing Board For Apple TV "Take 2"
Tuesday, January 15th, 2008 at 2:45 PM - by
SAN FRANCISCO - Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Tuesday tied the new movie rentals in iTunes with the release of a second software version of his company's Apple TV set-top box. Acknowledging that the first one didn't sell as well as hoped, Mr. Jobs noted that users don't want to tie Apple TV to their computers, so now they'll be able to access the iTunes store directly from their TV sets.
Rentals are available now, with over 1,000 titles from 20th Century Fox, The Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., Paramount, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Lionsgate and New Line Cinema expected by the end of February. Over 100 of those titles will also be available in high-definition, with 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound. Rental pricing is US$2.99 for catalog titles and $3.99 for new ones, with high-definition films costing $1.00 more.
Rentals can be viewed within about 30 seconds of sale, according to Apple, and must be watched within 30 days; they're available for 24 hours after the buyer starts watching them. Purchased movies can be synced from Apple TV back to a computer for viewing there or on an iPod or iPhone.
The new Apple TV also features direct access to the iTunes Store video and audio podcast directory, YouTube's library of more than 50 million original videos, and photos from users computers or their Flickr or .Mac Web galleries. Users can view photos as slideshows or screensavers, and when online galleries are updated, Apple TV will automatically reflect the changes.
The new version of Apple TV sells for $229 for the 40GB version and $329 for the 160GB model. It comes with HDMI, component video, analog, and optical audio ports. Owners of the previous version aren't left out in the cold, however: Apple will issue a software update in about two weeks, allowing existing Apple TV owners to take advantage of the new features too.
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