Goodbye broadcasting? Apple to launch "iTV" wireless set-top box in early 2007
iTunes Movie Store also unveiled
At a special media event today, Apple CEO Steve Jobs
previewed a wireless set top box to be available from the first quarter
of 2007. The much rumoured device, provisionally called iTV ('we need
to get a better name' said Steve) will allow people to manage their
music and media collections from the living room and access select
quantites of content. In the US it will cost $299.
By previewing the hardware months ahead of release - something
that's very rarely happened since Jobs returned to Apple - the company
no doubt hopes to lure more of the film majors across to its iTunes
service for launch.
A somewhat disapointing iTunes movies service was also unveiled with content from Walt Disney, Pixar, Miramax and Touchstone - all owned by Disney, of whom Jobs is the largest shareholder. By contrast Amazon late last week unveilved a download to own service featuring content from all the major studios, except Disney.
The iTV is 1/2 the size of a MacMini with a built-in power supply, USB port, Ethernet, 802.11 "wireless component video", optical audio and high definition video ports, plus old RCA stereo audio ports.
In other announcements, Jobs unveiled a revamped line up of more video-friendly iPods, including the 'world's smallest MP3 player' - pictured.