March 10, 2012, 7:43 AM —
While Apple executives have continued to call the Apple TV a hobby, over the past couple years, the company has dedicated a fair amount of resources to it. The Apple TV 2 was a major upgrade, and Apple has added a good number of features to that media player through software updates.
The third-generation Apple TV unveiled Wednesday shows Apple is taking its hobby just a little bit more seriously, thanks to improved video support and an overhauled interface. But there are still plenty of questions about the latest edition. Here's what we know so far.
What's new about it? Does it finally do 1080p?
The new Apple TV looks exactly like its predecessor, and is housed in the same tiny, black enclosure. The big hardware change for the new the Apple TV is inside: Instead of the Apple A4 chip found in the previous Apple TV and the iPad 2, the new model hosts a single-core A5 chip. The improved horsepower finally allows the Apple TV to support 1080p video output.
On the software side, there's a new user interface with large, iOS-like buttons instead of textual menus for the major content categories. There's also a new Genius feature that suggests movies based on movies you've already watched, and Photo Stream images are pushed to your Apple TV without any manual intervention.
1080p sounds very cool, but I don't have a very fast Internet connection. It's going to take me forever to download a 1080p video!