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Apple's attempt to reinvent the living room isn't a TV set – it's a new Apple TV box with app support and Siri

Apple's attempt to reinvent th...
The new Apple TV is a big upgrade over previous releases
The new Apple TV is a big upgrade over previous releases
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Central to the new Apple TV setup is the brand new remote, which features a selection of physical buttons for key controls like volume, pause and play, alongside a touch panel for precision navigation
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Central to the new Apple TV setup is the brand new remote, which features a selection of physical buttons for key controls like volume, pause and play, alongside a touch panel for precision navigation
The new Apple TV is a big upgrade over previous releases
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The new Apple TV is a big upgrade over previous releases
The user interface is controlled by swiping the touch panel, and users can interact with the box using Siri, holding the button on the remote and uttering phrases like "show me movies starring Tom Hardy" to search
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The user interface is controlled by swiping the touch panel, and users can interact with the box using Siri, holding the button on the remote and uttering phrases like "show me movies starring Tom Hardy" to search
The new product runs on a brand new platform based on iOS, known as tvOS
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The new product runs on a brand new platform based on iOS, known as tvOS
Multiplayer gaming will be available on certain titles
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Multiplayer gaming will be available on certain titles
The Gilt shopping app was demoed during the unveiling in San Francisco
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The Gilt shopping app was demoed during the unveiling in San Francisco
The MLB app was demoed at the event in San Francisco, featuring live stats, side-by-side live video and interactive notifications
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The MLB app was demoed at the event in San Francisco, featuring live stats, side-by-side live video and interactive notifications
For games, developers can create universal purchases, letting users buy a title on their iOS device, and play it on their Apple TV, with progress cloud saved between devices
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For games, developers can create universal purchases, letting users buy a title on their iOS device, and play it on their Apple TV, with progress cloud saved between devices
View gallery - 8 images

Apple just revamped its former "hobby," the Apple TV set top box. The new hardware's improved specs take a backseat to an all new platform with support for apps, along with Siri and a new controller with a touch panel.

Before today, Apple hadn't updated the Apple TV since early 2013. It did drop the price of the little black box earlier this year, but a full upgrade was well overdue. Now we see the reason for the delay; today's update is by far the biggest the platform has seen.

Central to the new Apple TV setup is the brand new remote, which has a selection of physical buttons for key controls like volume, pause and play, alongside a touch panel for precision navigation.

The user interface is controlled by swiping the touch panel, and users can interact with the box using Siri, holding the button on the remote and uttering phrases like "show me movies starring Tom Hardy" to search.

Speaking of search, TV show and movie pages list everywhere you'll be able to watch the content on Apple TV, from iTunes to Netflix and HBO Go. On the previous versions, search was non-universal, only available within each specific app.

Central to the new Apple TV setup is the brand new remote, which features a selection of physical buttons for key controls like volume, pause and play, alongside a touch panel for precision navigation
Central to the new Apple TV setup is the brand new remote, which features a selection of physical buttons for key controls like volume, pause and play, alongside a touch panel for precision navigation

The new Apple TV runs on a brand new platform based on iOS, known as tvOS. Aside from a visual revamp, the new software brings full app support – something that Apple believes will have a major impact on how we use our TVs.

Several apps were demoed during the event in San Francisco, including the Gilt shopping service, and an MLB app, the latter of which featured live stats, side-by-side live video and interactive notifications.

There's also a focus on gaming with the new product. While it isn't about to replace your Xbox One or PS4, you will be able to play plenty of popular games from iOS on the device, such as Crossy Road and Transistor. Local multiplayer gaming will also be available on select titles, with one player using the Apple TV remote as a controller, and additional players using an iPhone or iPod touch.

For games, developers can create universal purchases, letting users buy a title on their iOS device, and play it on their Apple TV, with progress cloud saved between devices
For games, developers can create universal purchases, letting users buy a title on their iOS device, and play it on their Apple TV, with progress cloud saved between devices

For games, developers can create universal purchases, letting users buy a title on their iOS device, and play it on their Apple TV, with progress cloud saved between devices. If Apple can make it as easy as possible for devs to port their iPhone and iPad games to the tvOS platform, the new Apple TV's gaming library could quickly become a force to be reckoned with.

With more content living locally in the box, storage capacity has been upped, with 32 and 64 GB variants of the system available. The device runs on a 64-bit A8 chip (Apple's late 2014 silicon, also found in the iPhones 6 and 6 Plus), with Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11ac WiFi with MIMO, and an IR receiver.

The new remote connects to the box via Bluetooth 4.0, features an accelerometer and a gyroscope, and is reportedly good for up to three months on a single charge. When it runs out of juice, there's a Lightning connector at the base for recharging.

The 32 and 64 GB variants are priced at US$149 and $199 respectively. They'll ship in late October.

Source: Apple

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8 comments
MarkRavingMad
cue collective yawn.
SandyMires
Reinvent the space is right. Not just desktops, laptops or gagdets... but build out the entire ecosystem. Apple should be able to come out with great desk as does Knoll, lamps like Lumiy, or alarms systems .....
Vince Pack
I'm sure Apple, Inc is devastated by your lack of enthusiasm, Mark.
Thomas Jaszewski
Will ATV work with Apple hearing aids? Will it run Starkey's Trulink? No one including Starkey seems to know.
Nicolas Zart
Yup, repackaging with updates. Yawn.

I still need a Roku and other systems, all offering slightly different services.
pwndecaf
Apple seems to be going for divergence and Microsoft going for convergence on their respective OS's.
DonGateley
I want to know what basic content you can get just with the $149 box, no apps. If it's just an app vending machine they should pay me to install it.
Sagraia
Some nice features - Siri particularly. I ended up being really annoyed with my first ATV as it would only show expensive Apple movies from the store. As a Youtube viewer it was fantastic even with the clunky remote but then that facility suddenly dropped off. I'll be having a good look at all the other kit this time round. The Xtreamer kit looks good but no reviews yet.. too good to be true?