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Macworld: 'Apple TV' coming to a living room near you

Apple on Tuesday premiered Apple TV —its official name for iTV —an easy to use device for the wireless playback of iTunes content on big-screen living room television sets.

Using Apple TV's Mac OS X-based software interface, users can quickly browse and view their entire collection of digital media from across the room using the Apple Remote.

Apple said the new set-top media hub will easily connect to almost all modern widescreen televisions, and will be shipping in February for $299.

"Apple TV is like a DVD player for the 21st century —you connect it to your entertainment system just like a DVD player, but it plays digital content you get from the Internet rather than DVDs you get from a physical store," said Apple chief executive Steve Jobs. "Apple TV plays the same iTunes content that users enjoy on their computers and iPods, so now they can even watch part of a movie in their living room, and watch the rest later on their iPod."

Apple TV will ship with a 40GB hard drive to store up to 50 hours of video, 9,000 songs, 25,000 photos or a combination of each and is capable of delivering high-definition 720p output.

Apple said the device is easy to connect to a broad range of widescreen TVs and home theater systems and comes standard with HDMI, component video, analog and optical audio ports.

Apple TV

Using high-speed AirPort 802.11 wireless networking, Apple TV will auto-sync content from one computer or stream content from up to five additional computers right to a users' TV without any wires.

The seamless integration of Apple TV and iTunes lets users choose from over 250 feature-length movies and 350 TV shows in near DVD quality; four million songs, 5,000 music videos, 100,000 podcasts and 20,000 audiobooks.

Users can enjoy their favorite music on a home entertainment system and view slideshows of their photo albums on a widescreen TV simultaneously.

Apple TV

Apple TV also makes it easy for users to explore their entire media collection from up to 30 feet away with an easy to use and intuitive new interface that include the Apple Remote.

Pricing & Availability

Apple TV, which includes the Apple Remote, will be shipping in February through the Apple Store, Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $299.

Apple TV requires iTunes 7 or later running on a Mac with Mac OS X version 10.3.9 or later, or a Windows PC with Windows XP Home/Professional (SP2). An 802.11b/g/n wireless network using AirPort, AirPort Extreme or 10/100 Base-T Ethernet networking required. Internet access is required and a broadband connection is recommended. Apple TV requires an enhanced-definition or high-definition widescreen TV. iPod games will not play on Apple TV.