This morning Apple announced their new update to the Apple TV platform at their fall music event. Since the launch of the Apple TV in 2006, Apple has always maintained that the device and platform were just a “hobby.” With today’s update at the fall music event the focus was on bringing Hollywood movies and TV shows to the device, offering everything in HD, and lowering prices on the content. The new device is 75% smaller, and there’s really not much more to say about the actual hardware. However, the changes that most would care about are on the software and service side of things. HD television show rentals are now just $0.99, which is $2 cheaper than they used to be. You can also rent high definition movies, on the day and date that they are available on DVD, for $4.99. If you’re a Netflix subscriber, you can use the Apple TV to access your Instant Queue as well.The device focuses on streaming rather than syncing, and will be available at the end of September, in about four weeks. You can pre-order one today for $99.
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In just a few minutes, Apple will be live-streaming one of their own events for the first time, and we wanted to make sure you had the details on how to tune in. All you need to do is head to the Apple website at 10:00AM PDT today, and it should come right up—provided you’ve got the right hardware. According to Apple:
Viewing requires either a Mac running Safari on Mac OS X version 10.6 Snow Leopard, an iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 3.0 or higher, or an iPad. The live broadcast will begin at 10:00 a.m. PDT on September 1, 2010 at www.apple.com.
The fall music event is expected to bring news of an updated iPod touch with Retina Display and dual cameras with FaceTime functionality, a super-small touchscreen iPod nano, and a new take on the Apple TV. We’re guessing that this whole live streaming this is because Apple wants to show off their streaming technology, since it will likely be a big part of their Apple TV and iTunes initiative this morning. We’re also hoping to hear about that white iPhone 4 and iOS 4 on the iPad.
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Well hey, looks like the annual Apple music-related event is happening right on time, if not a bit early this year. A week from now, Apple will be taking over the Internet to tell us all about their new products. We are sure we will see the iPod line get a total refresh, highlighted by a Retina Display-packing iPod touch. There’s also the rumored Apple TV-to-iTV refresh, and you’ve just gotta believe that we will get word on the release of iOS 4 for the iPad…we are in need of folders on ours in a major way. We will have all the action for you as it unfolds next week.
When the iPhone 4 launched, there was a rush and quick shortage of the iPhone 4 Bumper Case. When Apple announced the cases, there were five colors announced (black, white, orange, blue, green, and pink,) but when the device launched, only the black case was available. The other colors are still super-hard to find, and currently have a three-week wait time when ordering them from the Apple Store. We were able to get our hands on the orange Bumper Case, and give you a quick video showing it off. Oh, and yes, we put it on backwards.
You can pick up an iPhone 4 Bumper Case from Apple for $29.
With the newly redesigned unibody Mac mini, it appears that Apple is trying to bring the best of the original Mac mini and the current Apple TV together to make a more formidable machine. After all, the Mac mini is now the only Apple Mac computer that sports a built-in HDMI port, perfect for connecting it to your home theater. In this episode we compare the look and build of the new Mac mini, the original Mac mini, and the Apple TV.
You can pick up the unibody Mac mini at Apple now.
Digiarty Software has announced the release of WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe, the first converter to support multi-track HD videos. WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe builds in 160 video and 50 audio codecs. This means that, no matter the codec (a piece of software that allows for digital compression/decompression) that you prefer based on your own personal needs/choices regarding video quality vs. file size. Without any third-party codecs, WinX can also easily support Multi-track HD video, such as BDAV, M2TS, MKV, AVCHD, HDTV and MPEG-TS video movies. It also supports converting all the HD and HD-Camcorder videos, to both portable and console players, such as iPad, iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, PS3, PSP, Xbox, Zune, PDA, Blackberry, Nokia, Android, Zen, and many others. On top of all of this, WinX is also able to convert your HD videos at 5x-15x speed, making converting your videos not only easy but much, much faster.
So while you yourself may not be HD ready, what with your unsightly blemishes, pores big enough to serve guacamole out of, and makeup that looks like it was applied using a snow-blower, your videos are; that’s on you for buying a product that so greatly highlights all of your many shortcomings. I’ll be over here with my beta-max shoulder-camcorder and boom-mike, making videos that blur to the point of resembling impressionistic art, thank you very much. But, if you’ve already taken the leap to HD, the WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe is available for a free download at the link below.
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Yesterday, Apple released Apple TV 3.0, the first “major” release for the device in about two years. The company has often referred to the Apple TV as a hobby, as opposed to a real business. That said, there are a few nice additions that can be found in the Apple TV 3.0 update, so we give you a full walkthrough of the device, giving you a sampling of some of the new hotness.
Some of the standout features are the obviously redesigned home screen. Instead of the centered grid, you get a full screen menu that makes it easier to navigate right to the content that you want. I mean, it’s nice, but it seems to be the biggest visual upgrade to the device, which we think is in need of a hardware refresh. You also score Genius DJ playlist abilities, nice for parties and such, but I rock a Sonos system, so it doesn’t really appeal to me personally. Same goes for Internet radio, but it is there as a feature, and it’s nice. The one we like is the addition of iTunes Extras and iTunes LP content. We are fans of the iTunes LP, so being able to see it on an HDTV, which is where we think it shines, is also “nice.”
If you are picking up on a trend, you win. This whole 3.0 business is, in a word, “nice.” It isn’t anything more than that. It brings the Apple TV in line with other Apple products, allowing it to do things that other devices can do, and it gets a UI refresh, and the Helvetica font. All well and good, but let’s hope that next time around we get some decent new hardware. In any event, hit the play button for the full tour.
Apple has just released an updated Apple Remote, the first time the remote has been redesigned since its initial release. As you can see, the remote gains an iPod-like click wheel, and the play/pause button is now on its own. The remote supports iPod and iPhone when docked in the iPod Universal Dock, and also supports any Mac that has a built-in IR receiver. Apple says nothing about the Apple TV, but since it has an IR, this should naturally work there as well. You can order one now for $19, and it’ll ship in 2-4 weeks.
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Apple continues to support their Apple TV hobby, if by “support” you mean “do nothing for two years except drop the price on the high end model, and kill the low end model.” That’s right, the 40GB Apple TV is no longer available for purchase from Apple, and the 160GB model has received a $100 price cut, from $329 to $229. A nice change, sure…but really, we’d like to see a little more than this as it pertains to the Apple TV. C’mon Apple, what’s up?
In the meantime, you can grab the new lower price 160GB Apple TV at the Apple Store online.
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For those of you who use the Apple Remote app to control your iTunes and Apple TV experiences, hit up iTunes to grab the latest update to the app. Remote version 1.3 states that it can “control your Apple TV with simple finger gestures,” which is good enough for us. If you have an Apple TV and have yet to try the Remote app, we highly recommend it. It’s free, and it’s much faster to navigate to content with than using the actual Apple remote control.
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