September 12, 2006 11:41 AM PDT

Apple forges path to digital living room

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SAN FRANCISCO--Apple Computer overhauled its digital music and video offerings on Tuesday, introducing new iPods in three categories and announcing plans to make movies available for purchase through the iTunes store.

Movies from four studios owned by The Walt Disney Company will be available on iTunes 7, the new version of the download software, the same day they are released to DVD, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in outlining the new offerings at a product showcase here. Preorders and movies purchased in the first week will cost $12.99; the price then bumps up to $14.99 for new releases.

Apple Showtime

The studios are Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios, Touchstone Pictures and Miramax. Older titles will also be available for $9.99.

Movies can be downloaded in near-DVD quality, Jobs said during his presentation at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Consumers with broadband speeds of 5 megabits per second will be able to download movies from iTunes in 30 minutes, he added.

Apple also plans to introduce a product in the first quarter of 2007 that lets consumers stream their movies or music to televisions, Jobs said. The new device, code-named iTV, has 802.11 wireless built in. It will sell for $299 and works with PCs and Macs. "We think it completes the picture here," Jobs said.

Tuesday's announcements marked more than just a tweak to existing products and services, one analyst said.

"The big theme today was, Apple announced its intentions to take over your living room," said Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray.

Apple would not say which flavor of 802.11 wireless networking the iTV would use. "We're not talking about the technology inside iTV," Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller said in an interview. "That's next year's discussion."

But Apple has made its mark in digital entertainment with music, and for those who just want a music player, it is offering new iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle models, along with a new video iPod. The new Nanos feature twice as much capacity as the original generation of Nanos introduced last year, and are available in a variety of colors like the iPod Mini they replaced.

Click here to Play

Video: Apple Nano gets styled
Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs presents new Nanos to the crowd at Apple's showcase in San Francisco on Sept. 12, 2006.

The new Nano will come in three models--a 2GB in silver only; a 4GB in silver, blue, pink and green; and a 8GB in black only. Apple also will use an aluminum casing on the new generation of Nanos, perhaps to counter complaints that the Nanos were easily scratched. The 2GB version costs $149, the 4GB models cost $199, and the 8GB Nano costs $249.

The new video iPods have a 60 percent brighter screen for watching movies and television shows and a higher-capacity battery, delivering up to six hours of video playback on the 80GB model. The 80GB version costs $349, and a 30GB version costs $249. Consumers will be able to play games on the devices, including "Bejeweled," "Tetris," "Texas Hold 'em," "Zuma," "Pac-Man" and "Cubis."

Although the new video iPods have a brighter screen, better battery life and the ability to play games, Apple did not add wireless abilities or a larger screen, as some Apple watchers had predicted. Microsoft's forthcoming Zune player will include built-in Wi-Fi as well as a larger screen. However, it's unclear how bulky that player will be or what battery life it will offer.

Others to follow Disney?
As for the movies, notably, Apple launched with just Disney's studios, while rival Amazon.com announced last week that its Unbox service will include films from 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. Entertainment and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios. Apple's desire to have new releases available the same day as the DVD may have been among the sticking points.

In addition, Apple now has a family connection with Disney. Jobs earlier this year became a member of the board at the venerable entertainment company, which acquired Pixar, where Jobs is CEO.

But Disney CEO Bob Iger said he doesn't expect Disney to be alone on iTunes for long.

"I'm confident there will be many more after us," Iger told CNET News.com in a brief interview after the Apple event. "We're the first but we will be one of many fairly soon."

See more CNET content tagged:
iTV, Steve Jobs, Apple video iPod, The Walt Disney Co., Apple Computer

176 comments

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iTV is Excellent
The Forthcoming iTV box changes everything.

Now the PC is the Server for all TV's, iPods, etc, in the home.

This is the future that analysts have predicted would be needed
to jumpstart video on demand and it is here.

Nice job Apple. How do I preorder?
Posted by dansterpower (2511 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wake up, Apple fanboys (and get an Xbox)
Streaming video on a home network has been done for years now. Why would you want to stream from a crappy little 80GB handheld when you can stream to Xbox Media Center using all the storage your heart desires?
Posted by Anonymous Hero (47 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Agree
I bet that Apple will come come out with before January. They want to sell this for the holiday season. Take that to the bank
Posted by jasonm0817 (23 comments )
Reply Link Flag
iTV and video games
Speaking of the Xbox vs. iTV, I wonder how long it will Apple to announce you can store video games on your Mac and play them through on your television using iTV. Seems to me that it wouldn't be a stretch to turn iTV into a kind of console. Apple wouldn't have to make a huge investment to enable this and the games are already there in that they are essentially just PC games.
Posted by KehaarHraka (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
iTV + Mini?
It appears that the iTV is designed to complement a Macintosh Mini
on top.

Apple says the iTV will be 802.11 -- but will that be "g" or "n"?
Posted by CBSTV (780 comments )
Reply Link Flag
iTV, will cost $299
Is it worth the price?
Posted by jasonm0817 (23 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I'll check it out
Still feel that they are overpricing their products
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.teckmagazine.com/content/view/661/42/" target="_newWindow">http://www.teckmagazine.com/content/view/661/42/</a>
but it's worth taking a look.
Posted by (156 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Jobs copied it again
iTV is a copy of Dlink's DSM-320 which was released more than two years ago. Even then, it had many more features than this 'yet-to-be-released' iTV, like online compatibility with certain radios, S-Video, digital audio (optical/coaxial) and RCA out and compatibility with quite a few file formats which I doubt iTV will have.

Dlink has come out with newer models like DSM-320RD (with built in memory card reader and DVD player) and DSM-520 (with HD support and USB port to access media stored on flash drives and portable hard drives)

And most important thing: all these are cheaper than iTV. DSM-320 costs almost $150.

Looks like Apple is doing some catching up here... but it's never too late.
Posted by cary1 (924 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not impressed
I was more looking forward for a IPOD phone!!!

All they released was
IPOD + better screen
IPOD Nano which is smaller!!! (1gb shuffle)

IPOD movies is a service and I am not interested in watching it on a small screen. ITV will take care of watching on big screen and it is not here yet.

I am not sure if todays announcement is such a great one.
Posted by Tanjore (322 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Still No Subscription Music CHOICE
I won't buy an iPod, because iTunes still doesn't offer customers the CHOICE of a subscription music service.

In contrast, Urge's web site states they they offer customers the choice of pay-per-song, or of a subscription service.

I know, AppleSheep don't want choices. They prefer having Steve Jobs dictate to them what they should, and shouldn't, want.
Posted by john55440 (1020 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Near DVD Quality, no rent option, no thanks
I assume the target market is someone bright enough to hookup iTV to a TV. This person will likely have a HDTV, so if the video is near DVD quality at 640 x 480, it will be 4x3 image not 16x9. This means that it will have bars on the left and right of the image, and look only as good as SDTV.

As is not poor enough, but then add the fact that your are "buying" the movie, not renting it. Additionally, if takes 30 minutes to download, assuming a 5 Mbps connection (which most don't have), you could go down to the video store and rent the movie.

How is this better then pay-per-view?

Bottom-line, they want a tech literate consumer to buy a lower quality version of a movie instead of DVD, for about the same cost, plus the cost of the device. Sorry Steve, you got it right with iTunes and the iPod but iTV hasn't been thought out.
Posted by jmhmaine (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Vista Media Center and XBOX 360 = Digital Nirvana (already achieved)
Sorry Apple too little too late

<a class="jive-link-external" href="https://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/experiences/magic.mspx" target="_newWindow">https://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/experiences/magic.mspx</a>

Really this is strange, Apple plays catch up and Microsoft absolutely blows them out of the water with a innovative UI design

Hey Apple where is my TV programs, isn't it called iTV? Let me know when you will be able to provide HD programming as well?
Posted by mcepat (118 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Impressed with Everything .... Except
I really expected something ground-breaking, or at least
reasonable for the movie prices. It seems the negotiations,
along that line, failed.

I don't know about everyone else, but I can find absolutely no
compelling reason to purchase movies for a small screen at that
price.

If any of you have seen my previous posts, you know that I am a
true Apple fan. (hate that word "fan" by the way). But I see a
quick demise, and dismal sales regarding the movie section of
the store.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Reply Link Flag
but...
That is the point of iTV - Apple knows that you do not want to watch movies on a small screen...
Posted by jamesm1973 (13 comments )
Reply Link Flag
hmm
hmmm...sorry i guess my post is misleading.
That i do not know. And knowing apple probably not. But you
can get them for $20 bucks.
my bad.
Posted by bbydon (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Lower the prices
C'mon Apple, you have products that people "want" to
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.teckmagazine.com/content/view/661/42/" target="_newWindow">http://www.teckmagazine.com/content/view/661/42/</a>
buy but don't want to take out another mortgage to pay for it.
Posted by (156 comments )
Reply Link Flag
DRM = Death
DRM will kill/limit this product. In order to appease the MPAA, the movie download service will probably scan the room to see how many people are on the couch so your "criminal" friends can't "pirate" the movie by sitting on the couch and watching it with you.
Posted by StinkyMcButt (13 comments )
Reply Link Flag
iTV = Mac Mini / Xbox = crap
Put a Mini on that TV and you can do just about the same and
even more, its one of these "less is more" concepts from Apple
and not the "More is less" concepts from Micro****t.

The iTV is small, costs $299 (or less) and you only need any PC
or Mac with iTunes to host the content.

Xbox 360 is big, loud, costs $500 and you need an expensive
Media edition PC to host the content.
Posted by Peter Bonte (316 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Could be better!!!! Stevie Jobs please read it!!!
In the iTunes 7 still the music videos DOESN'T KEEP PLAYING in
full screm mode, you have everthing in the Library menu but a
button for music videos is missing!!!!!
If you have a few CDs in your computer "cover flow view" could
help
you a lot and this looks cool, but if you are like me has 1600 Full
cds, 24 live concert/music videos DVDs organized in only 14
diferent genres, forget about it!
Before install it back up your iTunes Library File and if you don't
like it still you can Back to the iTunes 6.? whiout losing your
playlists.( But still you can use the Browsing Mode in the 7.0)

iTV if this thing come in 2 pieces one for my Mac (with a TV
tuner to wach and record digital/Analogue TV and automatic but
it into your iPod)., and the other piece for my Home Theater
Room (to acess all and control the recordings abillities in my
mac and acess it too) Sure i will buy it!
About the new iPods (Nano and Suffle) only the case and battery
performance changes. (is time to put something new on the
table)

New iPod 5G why buy it now? In a few mouths the 6G will be in
the market (with a bigger monitor for sure)

Movies Downloads? dowload a 30min TV show and wach it in
your iPod make sence, how about a 2 hours Movie? If you own a
home theater DVDs still a better deal and in some cases
cheaper!

I'm a Mac user from Japan but after the "Funny Products event" i
get disapointed with Apple!

Why i can't use the iPod Hi-FI to upload songs to my iPod?
Why the Mac Mini (and all Macs) don't have a optional acessory
(from Apple) to wach and record TV ,and transfer it automatic to
your iPod? (Do you have time to wach all your favorites TV Show
at Home? / Why buy again a TV Show if already you have a cable
service?)

If Apple wants to keep the iPod/iTunes Market in the top is time
to
THINK DIFERENT!

I Hope someone from Apple Directors Board read my coment
and make the changes!

English is not my first language, sorry about it!!!
Posted by Edmiya (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Read between the lines: games are next!
Apple introduced what? Some new iPods, some games, iTunes
7, downloadable movies and set top box to play on content on
TV. Movies transferred to your tv will be cool but what's the
next step?

Downloadable games to be played on your TV via the iTV box.
Just add a game controller that works with the iTV unit and what
have you got? An Xbox Killer!! If Apple has been working with
EA (and probably other game manufacturers), as Steve Jobs
stated in his presentation, do you think they've only been
working on a few simple games for you iPod? I don't think so.

So now you'll your music, your movies and your games on your
computer and you'll be able to wirelessly transfer that content to
your TV. Apple is looking for new markets to move into. If they
can successfully move into games it only means one thing: Adios
X-box and PS3!
Posted by hal Summers (80 comments )
Reply Link Flag
MCE has been here for years
I'm not a huge MS fan, but I love my MCE2005. It is a really cool piece of technology. It records TV, plays music, videos, DVDs, FM radio, etc... I have it onnected to my 37" LCD TV via DVI. It has 7.1 THX surround sound.

I can already stream any content wirelessly to other TVs in the house via MCE extenders. (XBOX is an extended, but I don't have one). There are several extenders available including some from Linksys.

It runs fast and reliably. I think Apple has a ways to go before they can catch up. I'm sure Vista will add some new twists to MCE, but MCE2005 is VERY mature.
Posted by frankwick (413 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Apple Q1 2007 starts in OCT 2006!
When Steve Jobs stated that the code named "iTV" will be issued in Q1 2007, THAT is the 2006 HOLIDAY SEASON, not just January 2007 / MACWORLD EXPO. Paris Expo 2006 started on the same day as this keynote in San Francisco...

Keep your mind &#38; eyes open for what exactly the "iTV" / MacTV, Mac Mini Tv, Mac XBOXTV will be &#38; when it will be for sale...
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
DON'T INSTALL ITUNES 7!!
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://discussions.apple.com/category.jspa?categoryID=149" target="_newWindow">http://discussions.apple.com/category.jspa?categoryID=149</a>

PLEASE READ THE TERRIBLE TROUBLE PPL ARE HAVING WITH ITUNES
7!!!
Posted by fakespam (239 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Where's iTV lacks HANA standard features, Apple!?
Apple seems to completely miss the boat with their new Q1
2007 $299 "iTV" product, it has NO FireWire, and IGNORES the
HANA (High-Definition Audio-Video Network Alliance) standard
which standardizes on FireWire to *control* all A/V devices! Who
cares about a USB port, Apple! :(
See:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.hanaalliance.org/" target="_newWindow">http://www.hanaalliance.org/</a>

FireWire is the new standard to control A/V devices, and Apple
should be LEADING this charge!
Posted by libertyforall1776 (650 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Where's iTV's HANA standard features, Apple!?
Apple seems to completely miss the boat with their new Q1
2007 $299 "iTV" product, it has NO FireWire, and IGNORES the
HANA (High-Definition Audio-Video Network Alliance) standard
which standardizes on FireWire to *control* all A/V devices! Who
cares about a USB port, Apple! :(
See:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.hanaalliance.org/" target="_newWindow">http://www.hanaalliance.org/</a>

FireWire is the new standard to control A/V devices, and Apple
should be LEADING this charge!
Posted by libertyforall1776 (650 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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