By Matthew Henry
SYDNEY: Apple today announced the Australian availability of its Apple TV set-top unit enabling PC and Mac users to access all their digital entertainment content such as music, photos and video through their high definition television.
The Apple TV (RRP $449) box was announced in late 2006 and launched in January this year at Apple’s annual MacWorld exhibition.
Apple Australia today announced that the product is now shipping to Australia and will soon be available on local shelves.
“Apple TV is like a DVD player for internet age, providing an easy and fun way to play all your favourite iTunes content from your PC or Mac on your widescreen TV,” said Apple senior vice president – worldwide product marketing, Philip Schiller.
“Apple TV allows you to wirelessly play your content from your PCs or Macs using your existing WiFi network as well as the newest and fastest version of WiFi – 802.11n.”
While industry commentators have for years been predicting that media centre-style computers will migrate into the living room environment, mainstream consumers have been reticent in making room for unsightly PC boxes in their entertainment cabinet.
The compact and sleek Apple TV set-top unit takes a different approach in allowing users to tap into their digital content stored on the home computer through their HDTV with a media centre interface, without having to move computer out of the home office.
The unit is designed to connect to an HDTV through component video or HDMI input and allows the user to view downloaded movies and photo slideshows or listen to music and podcasts in the comfort of their living room.
Apple TV has a built-in 40GB hard disk drive to sync content from a user’s iTunes library, with the ability to store 50 hours of VGA resolution video, 9,000 mp3 songs or 25,000 digital photos.
With a video output resolution of up to 720p, users can view their digital photos in high definition for a much sharper image than connecting a camera with an AV cable, which is limited to standard definition.
The Apple TV box can also be connected to a home stereo system for music playback and comes with a remote control.