Apple ships the Apple TV

Just over six months after Steve Jobs first unveiled the Apple TV—then called iTV—at its "Showtime" event, Apple has shipped the finished unit. The device is still pretty much the same: a small set-top box designed to allow users to stream movies, TV shows, music, and photos wirelessly from their computer (Mac or PC) to their TV. The Apple TV is controlled by the same diminutive remote that Apple bundles with its iMacs and MacBooks, and it'll happily display protected 720p H.264 video content purchased from the iTunes Store.

Hardware-wise, the Apple TV features an Intel processor, a 40GB hard drive, HDMI and component video output, optical and RCA audio output, and a combination of 802.11n, 100Mbit Ethernet, and USB 2.0 connectivity. The whole thing has a footprint of just 7.7" x 7.7" x 1.1" (or 19.6cm x 19.6cm x 2.8cm, for the metrically-inclined among us.) Apple is selling the device for $299 on the Apple Store, and the company quotes a 3-5 business day lead time for shipping.

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