New Apple TV: smaller, cheaper... and actually useful?

Apple TV has always been the ugly duckling of the Cupertino company's line-up. It was convenient, sure, but it really didn't have enough content on its own to justify a purchase. All that's about to change, thanks to ABC, Fox and Netflix.

At one-fourth the size of the old clunker and with a mission statement that's "streaming only," the new Apple TV wants to make renting movies and shows from the iTunes store as easy as ever. No commercials, no downloading to physical media — just shoot it over the wireless to your television or PC. (There is a small amount of storage to buffer streams and the like, though the user won't have access to that.)

The big push here, though, is for content. TV shows from ABC and Fox can be rented for a buck a pop, and HD movies will land on Apple TV day-and-date with DVD releases for $5 a rental. If you're already a Netflix subscriber, then you can stream to your heart's content from that service as well.

So, what's the price? You're looking at $99 for the unit, and then Apple will nickel-and-dime you in the same way that any iTunes user is familiar with. If Apple TV never interested you before it should now — even if just for one as a Netflix box.

Via Apple

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