At their event going on right now in California, Apple just announced the next generation of their Apple TV multimedia device. The new Apple TV has support for 1080p movies and television shows as well as an entirely new user interface. The best part? You can get it next week.
The improved Apple TV is more tightly integrated into the rest of Apple’s ecosystem than ever before. New content deals with copyright owners mean that iTunes will have high-def copies of television episodes the day after they air. With Photo Stream support, as soon as you take a picture with your new iPhone, it’s going to be available on your Apple TV.
Out of the box, the new UI appears as a series of rectangular icons, more like an iPhone than Front Row. There are selections for Movies, TV Shows, Music, Computers, Settings, Netflix, MLB.TV, NBA, NHL, Trailers, WSJ Live, YouTube, Vimeo, Podcasts, Radio, Photo Stream, MobileMe and Flickr. And hopefully more than that, but regrettably, no real iOS-like app ecosystem. At least, not yet.
Happily, the new box will cost just $99, the same as the current generation. There’s no word yet as to what’s inside, but we’ll update the post as soon as the technical specifications come online. Our guess? An A5, not an A5X or A6. Apple CEO Tim Cook said that orders for the new unit will start today, with, again, retail availability starting next week.