"The new Apple TV software update, which allows users to rent high definition movies directly from their widescreen TVs, is not quite finished," the company said in a statement. "Apple now plans to make the free software download available to existing Apple TV customers in another week or two."
With iTunes Movie Rentals and the new Apple TV software update (AppleInsider's First Look), users will be able to just click a button on their remote to rent movies from a catalog of over 1,000 titles by the end of February, including over 100 titles in high definition video with 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound, with no computer required.
DVD-quality iTunes Movie Rentals are $2.99 for library titles and $3.99 for new releases, and high definition versions are just one dollar more with library titles at $3.99 and new releases at $4.99.
Once complete, the Apple TV software update will be made available as a free automatic download to all existing Apple TV customers, and will subsequently appear on all newly manufactured versions of the wireless set-top-box.
Apple TV, which includes the Apple Remote, is available for a suggested retail price of $229 for the 40GB model and $329 for the 160GB model (US and Canada). The device requires an 802.11g/n wireless network or 10/100 Base-T Ethernet networking, a broadband Internet connection and a high definition widescreen TV.
Separately, Apple said Wednesday that MacBook Air (AppleInsider's First Look) -- the world's thinnest notebook -- is now shipping from the Apple online store and will soon be available from Apple retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $1,799 under its base configuration.