Apple reignites race for the digital living room

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Apple reignites race for the digital living room

Simon Quicke

Apple is aiming to get its brand firmly entrenched in the living room with a slimmed down and more attractively priced TV product that allows users to hire and watch movies and Internet video content.

The vendor made a stack of product announcements last night, refreshing its iPod range and updating iTunes, but also revived the ambitions for the digital living room with the TV moves.

In the past Bill Gates and Microsoft have spoken about the importance of winning the battleground for the digital home because of the potential size of that market and Apple has thrown its hat back into the ring with its latest product changes.

The Apple TV will cost £99, less than half of the previous version, and is a quarter of the size of the old model. Through the device users will be able to rent HD movies, including the latest films and television shows from a range of networks.

Steve Jobs, Apple CEO, was keen to stress that the device would be providing the latest Hollywood content in HD and revealed the position it would take in the digital home.

"This tiny, silent box costing just £99 lets users watch thousands of HD movies and TV shows, and makes all their music, photos and videos effortlessly available on their home entertainment system," he said.

Other changes included an updated iPod shuffle and nano and a change to the iTunes store, adapting the logo, which had been based on a CD, and launching a social network based around musical tastes, called Ping.

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