Not just another iPad: Apple updates TV

The big news today may be that Apple has indeed brought out a new iPad, but that’s not all the Cupertino company unveiled, with a refresh of its tiny TV streamer shown off as well.

Initially released in 2007 and then later updated in 2010, the new model is the third generation of Apple’s TV, a small media device reliant on Apple’s iTunes network. Much like the second version in 2010, this new Apple TV lacks a hard drive and relies on streaming TV shows, movies, music, and pictures across a network, while also supporting online media networks including YouTube, Flickr, and Vimeo.

In the 2012 refresh, Apple is also including technology capable of streaming content in 1080p Full HD, while also updating the interface so that it’s easier to use than before.

Integration with Apple’s Internet-based storage solution “iCloud” has also been added, making it easy to stream pictures, movies, and music straight from an iTunes account without plugging a device in.

While an update of Apple TV was expected, industry insiders expected the new Apple TV to be built into an Apple-designed LCD TV display, with the current look of the iMac cited as what it could look like. This announcement more or less puts those rumours to rest – for the moment, anyway – as the new Apple TV is an upgraded version of the original second-generation design.

The new Apple TV will arrive in stores on March 16 for $109 RRP, while the software update will be made available to owners of the previous generation of Apple TV.