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Apple terms hint Apple TV 3.0 overhaul

updated 10:50 am EDT, Thu October 29, 2009

Apple TV to get iTunes LP, Extras

Apple has inadvertently hinted at a major refresh for the Apple TV through an update to its iTunes Store Terms and Conditions. The new agreement, which has shown up in iTunes 9 but isn't yet reflected on Apple's website, references an as yet unreleased Apple TV 3.0 update and says it will enable both iTunes LP and iTunes Extras, both of which so far only work on a computer. The LP standard is already known by AppleInsider to be formatted for 720p and to include HDTV metatags but hasn't had any definite migration plans until today.

The 3.0 update in itself is significant as it points to the first major refresh of Apple TV software, and possibly hardware, in about two years. Version 2.0 was first unveiled in January 2008 and since then has received only minor updates, most of which have been to either support new iTunes features or else use an iPhone or iPod touch as a remote control. It continues to use a platform based on Mac OS X Tiger despite two newer more modern operating systems having since shipped; Snow Leopard in particular is optimized for media playback with hardware video decoding on certain graphics processors and HTTP streaming that can feed online video directly, even through most firewalls.

Adding LP and Extras support would also make the Apple TV one of the first online media hubs to carry extra content beyond the central movie or TV show. Critics have often attacked services like Apple's, Vudu or the Xbox Video Marketplace for the absence of extras despite often charging as much as or slightly less than the cost of a regular DVD that often has special features.

Hardware has remained intact for longer still with the last update being a 160GB Apple TV added in May 2007; it only just received a price cut in September. Apple's interest in upgrading the media hub itself may have been given away by its decision to redesign the Apple Remote for the first time since it was unveiled with webcam-equipped iMacs in fall 2005.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. Feathers

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Oct 1999



    So two things suggest new hardware: indications of a possible software update and a change in the design of the Apple remote. I just hope nobody at MacNN ever sits on a jury! Guilty, guilty, guilty!

  1. Zaren

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Apple remote + 27" iMac

    I'm thinking that with the remote re-design, the ginormous size of the new high-end iMac, and the VESA mount on that model, that there might be more going on with this AppleTV refresh than meets the eye...

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001



    So you're suggesting Apple's going to follow Dell into the big-screen TV market?

  1. danviento

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005


    Re: 27" iMac

    I don't think an actual mac would be running the AppleTV software. That's what Front Row is for. Now if they're updating both with the same new feature sets, i can see that.

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