Apple targets iTunes fans with Apple TV

Apple said it was shipping its Apple TV, a set-top box that wirelessly pulls media content off a computer and plays it on a television set

Apple has joined the fray of vendors linking the TV and PC with the launch of its Apple TV, a set-top box that can wirelessly pull media content off a computer and play it on a television set.

The Apple TV can either stream content from PCs linked to a home wireless or Ethernet network or store that content on its 40GB hard drive. Either way, users can browse their networked digital media collections with an Apple remote control, treating the Apple TV like a DVD player for the Internet age,according to a statement by Apple's senior vice-president of worldwide product marketing, Philip Schiller, said.

Computer vendors have been trying for years to converge the TV and the PC, telling viewers that a combined device would empower them to interact with their favorite shows, view their personal media on a larger screen and browse the Web while watching TV. Sony sells a convergence system based on its Vaio PC, while other PC vendors use platforms based on Intel's Viiv or AMD's AMD Live hardware bundles.

But consumers have been wary of polluting the reliable simplicity of their television sets with complex PCs that need frequent maintenance and take time to boot up. And some content providers don't trust digital rights management (DRM) systems enough to post their shows and movies on the Internet, as seen in Viacom's move on March 13 to file a $US1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit against Google for playing Viacom shows on the video-sharing site, YouTube.

Apple hopes to beat those odds with a price of $US299 and the simplicity of using its iTunes digital media library, made popular as the music store for the iPod portable music player.

However, that very simplicity might keep Apple TV from becoming a dominant product like the iPod, an analyst said.

"This is the first real end-to-end system that has the content, the software to handle that content, and the hardware to deliver the content to the end viewing platform, which is the TV," a principal analyst at Forrester Research, James McQuivey, said. "So in that sense, it's a landmark. But it's a landmark only to dedicated iTunes users."

Apple will probably reach its goal of selling 1 million Apple TV units by the end-of-year holiday season, but the company's true challenge will be reaching out to consumers who are not iTunes users, he said. On top of that hurdle, Apple faces a determined competitor in Microsoft, whose Xbox 360 gaming console costs about the same, has already sold 10 million units, and can also play movies as well as games.

"This is an evolutionary dead end. Apple will make some money on it, but version two could be the real game-changer. Will there be a tuner in it? Will it be a DVR?, " McQuivey asked in reference to digital video recorders.

Apple is now shipping the Apple TV, which will work with a high (or enhanced)-definition widescreen TV and either a Mac running Mac OS X version 10.3.9 or later or a PC running Windows XP Home or Professional. The system also requires iTunes version 7.1 or later and an 802.11b/g/n wireless network using AirPort, AirPort Extreme or 10/100 Base T Ethernet networking.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ben Ames

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?