Towards the end of Apple's event today Steve Jobs came to Apple TV, which has been the subject of so much conjecture and rumour of late. A lot of it, it seems, was right on the money, but not all of it. Pointedly the name hasn't changed, as was rumoured, but the size of the device (it's one-fourth the size of its predecessor) definitely suggests it's using iPhone derived hardware. As does the price, which is a mere $99 – just as expected.
Connectivity includes HDMI, an optical audio output, Ethernet and 802.11n Wi-Fi, as well as the power input. Apple has gone ultra-simple with the new Apple TV, as it will not store anything locally. Instead all content, be it films or TV shows, will be rented and streamed. You won't be able to purchase anything on the Apple TV, but rental prices for TV shows will be low, at just 99 cents. Not all the major US networks are signed up, though, with just Fox and ABC involved for the time being.
Naturally HD is supported. No specific mention was made about what kind of HD, but 720p is clearly the most likely considering this is an exclusively streaming device. Were it doing 1080p, we're certain Jobs would have made a point of mentioning it. US users will get Netflix integration, while YouTube and Flickr are also included. Contrary to previous suggestions there's no App Store integration, and the Apple TV has an interface that's very much its own.
One final interesting point, we definitely spotted The Stig/Top Gear among the TV shows as Jobs scrolled through them in his demo, so some kind BBC connection is there. How this might work we're not sure, but the smart money would be on some kind of custom iPlayer interface akin to Netflix. Fingers crossed on that one.
No word as yet on pricing outside the US, or availability for that matter, and the device is due over there in four weeks times.