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Apple TV export options slip into latest QuickTime update

Going virtually unannounced by Apple, an option has slipped into the most recent edition of QuickTime Pro that adds handy conversion for the company's forthcoming wireless media hub.

Owners of the premium version of the video playback and editing software discovered this weekend that a new "Export to Apple TV" option — potentially added as part of the QuickTime 7.1.5 patch — now gives them an easy way to convert videos into resolutions ready-made for the imminent set-top box.

Choosing the new feature gives the choice of reformatting videos to a DVD-like 720x404 widescreen image as well as high-definition 1280x720, 24 frames per second. This matches the maximum size of H.264 movies supported by Apple TV.

At this maximum quality option, videos consume roughly 2GB of space per hour of video — making the option an unlikely choice in the immediate future for all but those with poor scaling in their HDTV sets.

Apple has not signaled any intention to offer videos through iTunes at resolutions above the 640x480 size supported by the fifth-generation iPod.