While set-top boxes have been around for quite some time, it’s likely that Mac fans will go for this multimedia gadget above all others, even though it also works with PCs. Apple is now shipping Apple TV, a way to wirelessly play iTunes content from your PC or Mac on your widescreen TV, including movies, TV shows, music, photos and podcasts. Apple says that Apple TV easily connects to almost all modern widescreen televisions. The integration of Apple TV and iTunes lets users choose from over 400 movies and 350 TV shows in near DVD quality ; over four million songs ; 5,000 music videos ; 100,000 podcasts ; and 20,000 audiobooks from the iTunes Store. Users can also listen to their favorite music on their home entertainment system, and view slideshows of their photo albums in high definition resolution. With the Apple Remote, consumers can browse through movies, TV shows, music and photos from up to 30 feet away. Apple TV has a 40GB hard drive to store up to 50 hours of video, 9,000 songs, 25,000 photos or a combination of each and is capable of delivering high-definition 720p output. Apple TV comes with HDMI, component video, analog and optical audio ports. Using Apple’s AirPort wireless networking, Apple TV can auto-sync content from one computer or stream content from up to five additional computers. Apple TV, which includes the Apple Remote, will be available beginning this week from the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $299. Apple retail stores will also offer hands-on workshops and demonstrations of Apple TV’s features. Apple TV requires iTunes 7.1 or later running on a Mac with Mac OS X version 10.3.9 or later, or a Windows PC with Windows XP Home/Professional (SP2). An 802.11b/g/n wireless network using AirPort, AirPort Extreme or 10/100 Base-T Ethernet networking is required. Internet access is required and a broadband connection is recommended. Apple TV requires an enhanced definition or high-definition widescreen TV. iPod games will not play on Apple TV.
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