After a short delay, Apple is this week shipping its $299 device allowing consumers to wirelessly transfer downloaded video content stored on a personal computer to the TV. Apple founder Steve Jobs unveiled Apple TV in January alongside the iPhone. He described Apple TV as a "DVD player for the 21st Century". Apple had intended to make the device—which synchronises with video downloaded to Apple's iTunes on a Mac or PC—in February.
Walt Mossberg, influential technology correspondent at The Wall Street Journal, said the "silvery little gadget"—measuring eight inches square and an inch high, and containing a 40GB hard drive able to store up to 50 hours of video, 9,000 songs, 25,000 photos or a combination of each—"worked great, and we can easily recommend it for people who are yearning for a simple way to show on their big TVs all that stuff trapped on their computers".
"Like the iPod before it, Apple TV isn't the first gadget in its category. Several other companies have made set-top boxes or even TV sets and game consoles that could link the TV to the digital content that people have on their computers. But none has found a mass audience for this functionality, mainly because they tend to be hard to set up and confusing to use. Apple is hoping that, just as the iPod trumped earlier, but geekier, rivals, Apple TV can do the same by making a complex task really simple," wrote Mossberg.
Apple shares have risen on the back of positive analyst notes on the release of AppleTV. Several US hi-tech giants have announced products that like Apple TV will bridge the worlds of broadband video and the TV screen, including Microsoft, whose Xbox 360 games console is also capable of acting as a set-top box for downloaded TV programmes.
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