Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the iTV (now called, AppleTV) system during his keynote speech at Macworld Expo today.

The device is set to cost £199 in the UK and to ship in February. Apple is accepting pre-orders for the device at its online store now — it connects to almost all widescreen television sets.

AppleTV will wirelessly play iTunes content from a Mac or PC on your widescreen TV, including movies, TV shows, music, photos and podcasts.

The system uses a Front Row-like interface, which allows users to browse and view entire collections of digital media from across the room using an Apple Remote.

“Apple TV is like a DVD player for the 21st century — you connect it to your entertainment system just like a DVD player, but it plays digital content you get from the internet rather than DVDs you get from a physical store,” said Jobs.

“Apple TV plays the same iTunes content that users enjoy on their computers and iPods, so now they can even watch part of a movie in their living room, and watch the rest later on their iPod.”

Apple TV has a 40GB hard drive to store up to 50 hours of video, 9,000 songs, 25,000 photos or a combination of each and is capable of delivering high-definition 720p output.

Connectivity options include: HDMI, component video, analogue and optical audio ports. It uses AirPort 802.11n wireless networking (and supports b and g), The device is capable of auto-syncing content from one computer or streaming content from up to five additional computers right to your TV without any wires.

Wireless video streaming requires an 802.11g/n network.

Apple TV requires iTunes 7 or later running on a Mac with Mac OS X version 10.3.9 or later, or a Windows PC with Windows XP Home/Professional (SP2). An 802.11b/g/n wireless network using AirPort, AirPort Extreme® or 10/100 Base-T Ethernet networking is required, as is internet access.