Apple has introduced a new refresh to the Apple TV, dubbed the "hobby" by Steve. The new model is considerably smaller than the one it replaces, measuring just a fourth of the size of the original model and replaces storage and syncing with a streaming only model.
However, there is no sign of the device being capable of running iOS 4 apps, n fact, Apple appears to have gone the opposite direction by removing all storage from the device making download and storing of apps impossible.
Apple thinks that this time it's cracked the difficult set top box market. "They [customers] don't want another computer" said Steve "and this is really hard for people in the computer industry to understand. But people understand it."
"They don't want to sync to a computer" said Steve, "it's too complicated".
The new Apple TV comes with 802.11n Wi-Fi and an Ethernet connection plus a HDMI connection (no other form of television connection is included) and features the the newer-style aluminum remote.
"They want Hollywood movies and TV shows whenever they want them" said Steve and "they want everything in HD. They don't want amatuer hour they want quality" said Steve.
Apple has gone with a complete rental model for the new Apple TV. "there's no purhcases on iTunes any more" said Steve. "There's no storage problem any more because you don't buy anything any more."
However, you can stream content from your computer. "There's no syncing required. It's super-easy to stream stuff" said Steve. Users can also stream content directly from an iOS 4 device (like the iPhone or iPad) and see it directly on an Apple TV.
The Apple TV also works with YouTube and Netflix (in the USA). However, Steve made no mention of of the popular Hulu service in the USA and there is no specific UK service available such as iPlayer. It is unknown whether users will be able to stream iPlayer content streaming in QuickTime to the device, although it's certainly possible.
Apple has also cut the price of the device to $99 in the USA and £99 in the UK.
TV show rentals will cost 99c in the USA (UK pricing TBA). Apple points out that this includes approximately £23 VAT, duty, and levies although that still leaves the device slightly more expensive in the UK than the US. Whether a price drop and rental-only model is the kickstart that the Apple TV requires remains to be seen, but it's certain that Apple hasn't given up its "hobby" just yet.
Users can pre-order the Apple TV today and it will be available in around four weeks.