Apple TV Tuned to Improve Reception

Published on September 1, 2010
by John Paczkowski

Apple TVSteve Jobs may call Apple TV a hobby, and it certainly hasn’t met with the runaway success of some of the company’s products. But Jobs is an avid collector of both users and cooperative media companies, and with that in mind, Apple, as widely rumored, announced a new version of the gadget today–smaller, simpler and equipped to deliver streamed movies and TV shows rented through iTunes.

The new version of the device, 80 percent smaller than its predecessor, allows users to stream all sorts of media through Airplay–HD video, music and photos. First-run Hollywood titles in HD will rent for $4.99, and some will be available on the same day as the DVD release. Individual TV show episodes will go for 99 cents. Netflix (NFLX) members will gain access to the streaming videos in their queue, and Web entertainment fans can pull in videos from YouTube and photos from Flickr.

The TV show rentals may sound pretty disruptive, but as Peter Kafka noted when the rumors started flying, the venerable tube has withstood challenges before, and so far, at least, Apple (AAPL) has only Disney (DIS) and Fox (FOX) lined up to participate. Still, he noted, with a $99 price and the Apple name, things could get interesting.

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