Apple TV Moves to Rental Model, Drops Price to $99

Apple TV

DISCLAIMER: I thought the first Apple TV was relatively useless.

Today, Apple announced significant changes to Apple TV at the press event held in San Francisco (which, by the way, was streamed LIVE for the world to watch). The new Apple TV, available by the beginning of October, comes in at 1/4 the size of the original. It’s smaller than a sandwich. You can use a Tupperware container as your carrying case now – provided you’ve cleaned it first.

But there are tastier details to sink your teeth into!

There’s no media to keep track of anymore (through klutzy synching processes and whatnot) – everything will stream live into the tiny slice of digital heaven through either a network cable or WiFi (802.11n). As someone who hates storing media, this change is most welcomed. There’s a reason I use and love both Pandora and Rhapsody for my music, and why I’ve taken to Hulu for available TV show viewing. And on that note…

Once you’ve set up your new Apple TV, you’ll be able to “choose from the largest online selection of HD movies to rent, including first run movies for just $4.99, and the largest online selection of HD TV show episodes to rent from ABC, ABC Family, Fox, Disney Channel and BBC America for just 99 cents.” That’s quite a competitive price for legally-attainable media in conjunction with a convenient interface and service. Not sure I’ll take advantage of this part of the Apple TV, though; I’m not into à la carte media consumption.

Netflix subscribers (like myself) have access to the entire streaming library of Netflix videos. If the video is in your instant queue, you’re just a few clicks away from watching it with Apple TV. You can also view streaming media from YouTube and Flickr – plus watch your favorite podcasts (like a certain someone’s) and access streaming media and images on the computers in your home.

Job(s) well done.

Oh, did I remember to tell you that the price of this sophomore effort has also been cut by 66%! That brings the Apple TV price point to US$99 – a great impulse buy for gadget geeks and mediaphiles. I’ll buy one, pick up a few extra HDMI and power cables, then tote a single unit around the house with me.

While I never considered purchasing the original Apple TV (not once), I can’t wait for this to ship (available in about four weeks to consumers in the US, Canada, the UK, France, Germany and Australia).

Am I alone with being impressed?

Do You Appreciate Your Technology?

Gordon asked on Geeks recently: “What do you consider to be this most ignored item of technology?” He talks about how we often take for granted the items we have around us… our gaming consoles, our computers and even our navigation systems. He’s right, you know. Most of us use these items without really thinking about them or appreciating them.

We want the newest technologies. We want things that are better, faster and newer than what we have. But do we stop and think about what we have? Do you appreciate the fact that science has evolved enough to even allow the design and implementation of that smartphone you cannot live without? Do you ever think about those people whose brains are so much more advanced than mine (and perhaps yours) that they can come up with things like this to make our lives easier and more fun?

What piece of technology do you think is the most ignored? What one item do you believe we all tend to overlook – despite the fact that we likely use it every day?

Don’t overlook the hot new software and app deals we have for you on our download site.

How Does iTunes Work on the iPad?

Imagine being stuck in an airport for hours on end. You’re bored out of your mind, and feeling as though you could flip out at any second. Now imagine having the iPad with you, just waiting for you to connect to iTunes. It takes one tap of a finger to connect to the iTunes store via a wireless connection.

Once you connect to iTunes, you know what to do from there. You can browse through music, podcasts, telelvision shows and movies to purchase. Grab that new album you’ve been dying to listen to, plug your headphones in, and rock out. There are millions of songs available – and thousands of movies and videos.

If you are a student and could use some extra knowledge (who couldn’t?), you can connect to iTunes U. There you will find lectures, lessons, audiobooks and even podcasts – all coming from universities and museums.

You can quickly transfer your existing iTunes library from another device to your iPad and from your iPad to the other machines. No matter where you go (or what device you have with you) you won’t have to leave your media at home.

How to View Media on the iPad

We spend a lot of time working with photos as we edit, resize and upload them to various websites. Photos are easier to work with on the iPad than many other devices due to the size of the screen. You can scroll through your entire collection with the touch of a finger. If you want to view all of the photos in an album within Photos, you can “pinch” it to open. You read that right… you can PINCH your iPad! You can also create a slideshow within the application, and choose music from your library as a background. Quickly import your photos from a Mac or Windows machine using iTunes, and have them organized for you in one place.

We also spend a lot of time watching television shows, movies, podcasts and music videos. I’d have to say I probably spend at least half of every day playing some type of video to listen to as I work. I like the way this type of content is organized and accessed using the iPad. When you tap the “Videos” button, all of your media will be displayed in neat lists to help you find what you’re looking for. You can watch movies in wide-screen, or double-tap to watch them on the full screen.

The large screen on the iPad will be a plus for me when watching movies or videos, as well as when I’m working with pictures. You’ve seen my glasses. I need all the help I can get, and the screen real estate should make a big difference.

Where to Get Blu-ray DVD Movies for Cheap

The Amazon Movies & TV Team is offering several special sales in the month of March. First is a Blu-ray sale with over 300 Blu-ray as Low as $13.99 while supplies last. This is a great opportunity for you to build your Blu-ray library from their selection of titles – including Iron Man, Transformers and Wall-E.

Next is a chance for you to save up to $60 off James Bond on Blu-ray while supplies last.
Finally, they have their Big DVD Sale with hundreds of DVDs as Low as $6.49 while supplies last.

There are further pre-order bargains on Quantum of Solace [Blu-ray], Slumdog Millionaire [Blu-ray] and Bolt [Blu-ray]. Also explore Amazon’s huge selection of over 1,500 Blu-ray titles, with everyday savings up to 40%.

Now all I need is a Blu-ray player!