Apple Debuts Apple TV

AT MACWORLD Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the lid off of its "iTV" project, renaming it Apple TV. Being billed as a "way to enjoy your media on a bigscreen TV," the unit would feature 720p HD video, a 40 GB hard drive, and component and RCA hookups.

Inside, the feature set is impressive: 802.11 b/g/n wireless connectivity, USB 2.0 inputs, and HDMI connections. The unit would run on a Intel CPU and allow auto-synchronization from one PC, although content could be streamed from up to five machines. The synchronization process would act much like the iPod does, Jobs said.

"We think this is pretty cool," he said of the device during the keynote.

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Like iTunes, users would be able to stream movie trailers to the device and watch Internet video. The organization features would work much like the Coverflow option recently added to the iTunes software.

Video streamed from the device would be compatible with 720p HDTVs, allowing for a high-definition experience. The video looked much better than just streaming it from a MacBook alone, attendees commented. For television shows, episode summaries would appear on screen when the content is played.

In any case, the unit would pretty much act as an iPod for the television, with the capabilities to view, photos, videos, and listen to movies directly from the living room.

The unit would retail for $299, and begin shipping in February. Orders can be placed immediately.

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