So Macworld 2007 will forever be known as "birth of the iPhone", but it also marked Apple's move into the lounge with (the-gadget-formerly-known-as-iTV) Apple TV. And it's a pretty sound warning shot over the bows of what up until now have been mediocre but competetor-lacking Windows Media Centre Extenders: WiFi b, g AND n, USB 2.0 and Ethernet connectivity, 720p High-Def HDMI and component video as well as analog and optical audo ports for your big-screen TV, and a 40GB hard-drive to manage up to 50 hours of downloaded video (from what I hope is a pretty damned broad internet connection), storing up to 9,000 songs, 25,000 photos or a combination of each.
Linking up with iTunes means a catalogue of over 250 feature-length movies and 350 TV shows in near DVD quality, along with the four million songs, 5,000 music videos, 100,000 podcasts and 20,000 audiobooks already enjoyed by iPod owners. You can even stream media from a computer outside of your home network, such as from a friends' house or that holiday home your wife made you buy. The intuitive remote makes navigating media - including all those family photos you've got stashed away - easy, and up to five Macs or PCs can be connected to each Apple TV unit at any one time.
Apple are likely hoping that you'll use their new AirPort Extreme with draft-802.11n support to do all that media streaming: five-times faster than the previous model, as well as increased range, it also boasts a three-port switch and a USB port that turns it into a makeshift NAS or print server when an external hard-drive, flash memory key or printer is plugged in. The Apple TV is priced at $299 and the AirPort Extreme at $179, and although you can order them now you'll have to wait until February for them to ship.
More photos after the cut...
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