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Friday, October 03, 2008, 06:40 am PT (09:40 am ET)

Apple TV 2.2 update delivers HDTV shows, Genius support

Alongside iTunes 8.0.1 late Thursday evening, Apple also released Apple TV 2.2, a new version of its set-top-box software that delivers support for purchasing and downloading HD television shows as well as support for the new iTunes Genius feature.

In a support document that was briefly posted to its website (but since removed), Apple said the update also addressed a couple of security issues, such as unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution when viewing a maliciously crafted movie file. A similar issue having to do with malicious PICT image files was also said to have been fixed.

In terms of new features, Apple TV 2.2 now lets users purchase and download HD television shows directly from the media hub, most of which are priced at $2.99. Previously, Apple TV only included support for browsing the iTunes Store's collection of standard definition shows.

Support for the Genius recommendation engine introduced last month alongside new iPods and iTunes 8 is also baked in. Holding down the menu button on the Apple TV remote while a song is playing — or while on the Now Playing screen — will present options for “Start Genius” or “Add To On-The-Go.” Genius playlists are visible under a sub-menu of Apple TV's "My Music" menu.

Separately, AppleInsider forum members have located a "Standby" option introduced with the new software, as well as several other interface tweaks to components such as YouTube and the photo browser.