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Apple announces new Apple TV

Quarter the footprint, third the price, of the old one

Speaking at Apple's annual music event in San Francisco today, Steve Jobs today announced the second-generation Apple TV, a small black box roughly 1/4 the footprint of the old Apple TV.

Latest version: Apple TV review (2012)

With a power brick built in, the Apple TV has HDMI, optical, USB, and Ethernet connectivity, and a power plug. It has 802.11n Wi-Fi built in and comes with an Apple aluminum remote. Purchasers will be able to rent Hollywood movies, tv shows and music, all in HD. Note that all content will be rentals, no purchases are allowed, although you can stream content from your computer.

In terms of the content available, Jobs said that iTunes has the largest online library of movies to rent in the world. US TV networks ABC and Fox are on board at launch, and Jobs said: "We think the rest of the studios will see the light and get on board with us pretty fast."

Movie rentals will be for 24 hours, but TV shows will be available to view for 48 hours after rental. Apple TV users can also view YouTube and Flickr content, as before.

Speaking about the process of updating the Apple TV, jobs said: "We introduced AppleTV four years ago, and we've sold a lot of them, but it's never been a huge hit. Nor has any other competitive product. Nothing's hit in the living room yet. But we've talked to people who use AppleTVs, and they love them. So what have we learned in the last four years?"

"The first thing is, the number one, two, and three thing they want is hollywood movies and TV shows whenever they want them. It's that simple. And they want everything in HD. The HD revolution is over, it happened, HD won." "They'd like to pay lower prices for content."

Durinairg a demo the new Apple TV interface did not look dissimilar to the original Apple TV. One major development is the use of iOS 4.2's AirPlay feature to stream content from iOS device to an AppleTV. Jobs used an iPad to demonstrate the process: "So I've got my iPad here, and let me go to my video player, and I've got one of my favourite movies here, Up, and I'm going to go ahead and play it," he said.

Jobs said content will be available on iTunes in six countries: the UK, Canada, US, France, Germany and Australia, with more coming later this year. In the US the Apple TV will cost only £99 - just a third of the price of the original device. It will be available in four weeks.

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