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First 1080p Apple TV shipments begin to arrive a day early (pictures)

Customers in the U.S. who were among the first to order the new Apple TV with 1080p video output began receiving the set-top box on Thursday, a day before it is set to officially launch.

AppleInsider received its own Apple TV, and numerous readers also wrote in to share that they, too, had received their order in the mail on Thursday. The new Apple TV shipments are arriving early, while carriers are still holding shipments of the new iPad for delivery on the official launch Friday.

Orders of the new Apple TV began shipping to customers on Wednesday, and initial tracking information suggested that the $99 devices would in fact be delivered a day early. That was confirmed on Thursday morning as deliveries began around the country.

Customers who attempt to order the new Apple TV from Apple's online store are now faces with a one to two week wait. That's still a shorter wait than those looking to buy a new iPad have, as online orders of the third-generation tablet are estimated to ship in two to three weeks.

The new model looks identical to the previous model, with similar packaging and identical ports on the rear of the device. It also ships with the same remote and power cable as its predecessor.

The latest Apple TV outputs high-definition 1080p video, thanks to a new custom single-core A5 processor found in the device. To support this functionality, 1080p content is available on iTunes, and the Netflix Instant Watch application has also been updated.

Below are pictures of Apple TV deliveries made on Thursday. Thanks to AppleInsider readers Christoph and Jim.

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