Apple CEO Tim Cook just announced that the Apple TV will be getting a hardware refresh. The new Apple TV was introduced at the press event in San Francisco today before the new iPad was revealed. The hints were in the invitation all along: “We have something you really have to see,” indicating the streaming set top box. Apple will sell the Apple TV for $99 beginning March 16.
The device remains the same size and can be picked up in one hand. It supports a 1080p high-definition video output. Apple gave the device a UI refresh that leaves more room for additional partner apps. Apple TV will have full access to iTunes in the iCloud, and the device will be able to stream music and look at photos uploaded to Apple’s cloud storage offering. Video content purchased via iTunes will also work with iTunes in the cloud. However, the new Apple TV lacks full access to third party apps via iTunes, which means that users can only use apps that are pre-installed by Apple onto the device.
Apple will allow users to re-download movies that they have previously purchased on iTunes through Apple’s iCloud service. But this does not include all movies from all studios because not all the studios are participating. Fox News Corporation and Comcast Universal have pre-existing deals with Time Warner’s HBO. HBO spokesman Jeff Cusson stated that the studios should get it sorted out and find a common ground eventually.
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