Apple has set a release date and a price point for a new TV platform designed to bridge digital content, including movies, TV shows, music, photos and even podcasts, wirelessly from the Mac or PC to the television screen.
The new Apple TV system will start shipping in February and carry a retail price of $299. Apple formally introduced the product Tuesday at the Macworld show in San Francisco.
The device, which connects to "almost all modern widescreen televisions," is coupled with an Apple-supplied remote and an internally-developed user interface.
Apple TV is outfitted with a 40 gigabyte hard drive - enough for about 50 hours of standard-def video, 9,000 songs, or 25,000 photos. The box also supports high-definition via a 720p output. Wireless is supported via an embedded AirPort 802.11 networking interface.
The system can stream content from up to five additional computers.
Apple hopes its TV system will do for digital video what it has done for digital music with iPod and the iTunes service - lessen consumer reliance on physical media and brick and mortar stores.