Wired hands-on with new Apple TV: Snappy, intuitive, and 1080p

“Thanks to its brand-new A5 processor and new software design, the updated Apple TV experience is snappy and intuitive, largely improving on the 2010 version,” Christina Bonnington reports for Wired. “The new device is capable of delivering 1080p content, and the fresh UI takes full advantage of the fact that you’re probably watching content on a widescreen TV set with large icons and luscious HD images.”
“The new Apple TV still has the same black hockey puck shape that its predecessor did. No complaints from us, as it’s a discrete little living-room peripheral,” Bonnington reports. “The real change is in the software. Apple gave its Apple TV interface quite the face lift. Set atop a black background, your home screen features large images from recently rented or top content across the upper portion of the display (for Movies, for instance, they’re movie posters), and beneath that, a row of five iOS-like icons: Movies, TV Shows, Music, Computers and Settings. Below those options are icons for services like Netflix, Flickr, MLB.com and Apple’s own Photo Stream.”

Bonnington reports, “Current Apple TV owners can snag an update to their set top box today, but you still won’t be able to stream 1080p — only new Apple TVs get that perk. The 2012 Apple TV is $99, can be pre-ordered today, and will be available for purchase next week.”

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