Apple has revealed its new, streaming-only Apple TV. And it's just one-quarter of the size of the old one. The new version will pack built-in power supply, HDMI, Ethernet and 802.11n wireless, priced down to $129.
The new Apple TV will stream rental movies directly from iTunes or beam videos from your own computer, bypassing local storage - and the possibility of buying anything. Some local storage will be available, however, to buffer and navigate streamed movies while viewing.
Content-wise, Apple is now offering US customers $US0.99 rentals from ABC and Fox, as well as (and more excitingly) full Netflix streaming support. First-run movies will be available in HD (720p only, alas) for $US4.99 the same day they're released on DVD.
Visually, there doesn't appear to be much of a change here - the UI is mostly the same, though the integration of Rotten Tomatoes scores is a neat inclusion and might help avoid ruining your evening with a sour rental.
We like what we see. The streaming was speedy and extremely clear during our demo, and the overall speed of the interface seemed really solid. We also learned that the box is indeed 720p (just as we'd reported earlier). Apple told us that they felt that using 720p allowed them to strike a balance between quality and bandwidth.