Updated Apple TV takes center stage at event

The second-generation Apple TV device is small enough to fit into a hand

Apple announced its second-generation Apple TV during a press event Wednesday, showing off the updated device, which streams movies from the Internet or mobile devices directly to TV sets.

The updated Apple TV will stream HD movies and TV shows purchased from Apple's iTunes store and can stream movies from Netflix. The device is priced at US$99 and will replace the first-generation Apple TV, which is currently priced at $229.

Using the new Apple TV, users will also be able to stream multimedia from a computer or a device that runs the iOS operating system to TV sets.

The device, small enough to be held in a user's hand, will be available in four weeks. Apple is taking orders for the device now.

Apple TV has built-in Wi-Fi capabilities and HDMI output, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said at the press event in San Francisco. The company has signed up content providers ABC and Fox, and hopes to reach deals with other content providers.

Sales of wireless and Internet-capable TV sets are increasing and the latest Apple TV device could provide another boost to that highly competitive market. The initial Apple TV service was not considered a success, but the company hopes to succeed with the latest product as Internet and broadcast media continue to merge.

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