While lots of rumors had said the new Apple TV would look like an iPhone, it is instead the same basic design, but at a fourth of the size.
Besides the physical changes to the Apple TV, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has also done away with purchasing content to store on the Apple TV, and everything will now be a streaming purchase that will get to your device via 802.11N Wi-Fi or cabled Ethernet.
Movies will have a major presence on the new Apple TV. HD movie rentals will be available the same day they come out on DVD, and will run you $4.99 at that time, but prices will fall with time to $3.99. When looking up a movie you’ll be able to see more information on the film as well as reviews from Rotten Tomatoes.
HD TV shows have fallen to $.99 for rentals for ABC and Fox, but no other networks as of yet.
Netflix, YouTube, Flickr and Mobile Me will stream content to the device, as well as videos, music and photos stored on your Windows or Mac computers. Streaming photos from your computer will create slideshows that will show your images with transitions and go through all of them in a folder or event.
With the release of iOS 4.2, you will be able to tap a button on your iOS-based device and stream the content to the Apple TV, including movies. You can start a video on your iPad, press a button and it picks up where you left off with it on the television. You will also still be able to use Apple’s Remote app to control the device.
The most discouraging aspect of the new Apple TV is it is only capable of 720P, so no 1080I or 1080P support. You would think with a new A4 chip powering the device it could do this, but for whatever reason it just isn’t there. This could be what keeps the Apple TV as nothing more than a hobby because this may keep some people away from diving into a purchase of it.
So, what will the new Apple TV set you back? Well, the price we heard was right, and that’s $99, which is a good thing considering the lack of 1080P.