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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.

itunes movie storeA 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.

ipod shuffle 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.