Apple releases Apple TV 3.0 software with redesigned interface

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple on Thursday introduced its new Apple TV 3.0 software, which features a redesigned main menu that makes navigating content simpler and faster, the company says.



Users can now watch iTunes Extras and iTunes LP in fullscreen with their Apple TV, as well as listen to Genius Mixes and Internet radio through their home theater system. The new Apple TV software is available immediately free of charge to existing Apple TV owners.



"The new software for Apple TV features a simpler and faster interface that gives you instant access to your favorite content," said Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of Internet Services. "HD movies and HD TV shows from iTunes have been a huge hit with Apple TV customers, and with Apple TV 3.0 they get great new features including iTunes Extras, Genius Mixes and Internet radio."



A summary of the new features in Apple TV 3.0:



Experience iTunes Extras: Buy select movies with iTunes Extras and take your entertainment beyond the credits and behind the scenes. Access special features, watch interviews and trailers, view photos, and more right from Apple TV.



iTunes LP, now on your TV: The visual experience of the record album returns with iTunes LP. Download select albums and experience a beautifully designed interactive world -- many are created by the artists -- full screen on your Apple TV. While you listen to your favorite songs, you can dive into animated lyrics and liner notes, watch performance videos, view artist and band photos, and enjoy other bonus materials.



Genius Mixes: This new feature searches an iTunes library, finds songs that go great together, and creates multiple mixes, all automatically.



Visual aids -- Events and Faces: Apple TV brings the ease and organization of iPhoto to the big screen with Events and Faces. Events lets users flip through photos grouped by event, like "Beach house" or "Vegas trip." Faces uses face detection to identify people in photos and face recognition to match faces that look like the same person. Click the Faces view and Apple TV shows you a corkboard featuring a snapshot of each person named in a photo collection.



Streaming Internet radio: Browse thousands of streaming radio stations and every genre imaginable, including rock, reggae, classical, and jazz. Just click a station and begin streaming. Apple TV now includes stations in high-quality HE-AAC formats for your listening pleasure.

Apple describes iTunes LP as "the next evolution of the music album, delivering a rich, immersive experience for select albums on the iTunes Store by combining beautiful design with expanded visual features like live performance videos, lyrics, artwork, liner notes, interviews, photos, album credits and more."



Meanwhile Apple TV 3.0 users also gain the ability to listen to Genius Mixes through their home theater system and hear up to 12 endless mixes of songs that go together, automatically generated from their iTunes library. Users can also tap into Internet radio, allowing them to browse and listen to thousands of Internet radio stations, as well as tag favorite stations to listen to later.



The redesigned main menu on Apple TV gives users instant access to their favorite content. Recently rented or purchased movies, as well as other content including TV shows, music, podcasts, photos and YouTube, are accessible directly from the new main menu.







Apple TV's support of HD photos has also been enhanced with iPhoto Events, which simplifies finding favorite photos, as well as iPhoto Faces, which gives access to photos organized by people identified in iPhoto.



In total, Apple TV users have direct access to a catalog of over 8,000 Hollywood films on iTunes including over 2,000 in HD video available for rent or purchase. Users can also choose from a selection of 11 million songs, 10,000 music videos and over 50,000 TV episodes to purchase directly from their Apple TV or browse and enjoy the iTunes Store podcast directory of over 175,000 free video and audio podcasts.



Earlier Thursday, Apple updated the terms of service for its iTunes Store, noting that Apple TV 3.0 was necessary to view iTunes LP and iTunes Extras content via the set top box device. Both formats debuted in September alongside the release of iTunes 9, bringing bonus content to movies and albums purchased through Apple.



The TuneKit JavaScript framework on which both iTunes LP and iTunes Extras are based uses open Web standards like HTML and CSS. The content is designed for a 1280 by 720 pixel resolution, which exactly fits the HDTV output resolution of Apple TV, and could even scale down to a 480p display. When it debuted, Appleinsider first discovered the TuneKit format includes references in its HTML meta tags to "hdtv-fullscreen" and "hdtv-cursor-off."



Thursday's update marks the first major update for the Apple TV since early 2008, when the "Take 2" 2.0 software was released. That update enabled movie rentals with just the click of a button.



The new Apple TV software is available as a free automatic download to all Apple TV customers. The 160GB Apple TV is available for a suggested retail price of $229 (US). Apple TV requires an 802.11b/g/n wireless network or 10/100 Base-T Ethernet networking, a broadband Internet connection and a high definition widescreen TV.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 150
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,150member
    Woot! The ATV just gets better and better!
  • Reply 2 of 150
    Apple Rules! IS there anything they can't do?
  • Reply 3 of 150
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    Woot! The ATV just gets better and better!



    as long as apple do not release a raid home nas to serve atv to me it's useless. I am not prepared to run the mac solely on the basis of serving to the atv. and add some pvr capabilities for crying out loud. (as far as I m aware the indepent solutions for jailbreaking and running on the apple tv do not allow that so far right?)



    btw, does anyone know if the nas servers with integrated iTunes serving functionality can interface with the atv?
  • Reply 4 of 150
    argh, now all the cool apple tv hacks will have to be redesigned. that new menu looks like it's going to make adding more options more difficult.
  • Reply 5 of 150
    swingeswinge Posts: 108member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple on Thursday introduced its new Apple TV 3.0 software, which features a redesigned main menu that makes navigating content simpler and faster, the company says.



    Users can now watch iTunes Extras and iTunes LP in fullscreen with their Apple TV, as well as listen to Genius Mixes and Internet radio through their home theater system. The new Apple TV software is available immediately free of charge to existing Apple TV owners.



    Apple describes iTunes LP as "the next evolution of the music album, delivering a rich, immersive experience for select albums on the iTunes Store by combining beautiful design with expanded visual features like live performance videos, lyrics, artwork, liner notes, interviews, photos, album credits and more."



    Meanwhile Apple TV 3.0 users also gain the ability to listen to Genius Mixes through their home theater system and hear up to 12 endless mixes of songs that go together, automatically generated from their iTunes library. Users can also tap into Internet radio, allowing them to browse and listen to thousands of Internet radio stations, as well as tag favorite stations to listen to later.



    "The new software for Apple TV features a simpler and faster interface that gives you instant access to your favorite content," said Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of Internet Services. "HD movies and HD TV shows from iTunes have been a huge hit with Apple TV customers, and with Apple TV 3.0 they get great new features including iTunes Extras, Genius Mixes and Internet radio."



    The redesigned main menu on Apple TV gives users instant access to their favorite content. Recently rented or purchased movies, as well as other content including TV shows, music, podcasts, photos and YouTube, are accessible directly from the new main menu.







    Apple TV's support of HD photos has also been enhanced with iPhoto Events, which simplifies finding favorite photos, as well as iPhoto Faces, which gives access to photos organized by people identified in iPhoto.



    In total, Apple TV users have direct access to a catalog of over 8,000 Hollywood films on iTunes including over 2,000 in HD video available for rent or purchase. Users can also choose from a selection of 11 million songs, 10,000 music videos and over 50,000 TV episodes to purchase directly from their Apple TV or browse and enjoy the iTunes Store podcast directory of over 175,000 free video and audio podcasts.



    Earlier Thursday, Apple updated the terms of service for its iTunes Store, noting that Apple TV 3.0 was necessary to view iTunes LP and iTunes Extras content via the set top box device. Both formats debuted in September alongside the release of iTunes 9, bringing bonus content to movies and albums purchased through Apple.



    The new Apple TV software is available as a free automatic download to all Apple TV customers. The 160GB Apple TV is available for a suggested retail price of $229 (US). Apple TV requires an 802.11b/g/n wireless network or 10/100 Base-T Ethernet networking, a broadband Internet connection and a high definition widescreen TV.



    LOVE IT!!



    And for AppleTV / iPhone users, the update to the iPhone remote App is huge! For media controls I didn't notice much of a difference, but for navigating the menus it's infinitely faster and the ability to use the iPhone keyboard to do YouTube and Podcast searches just makes the whole product a pleasure to use.



    THANK YOU APPLE!!
  • Reply 6 of 150
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lopsided View Post


    argh, now all the cool apple tv hacks will have to be redesigned. that new menu looks like it's going to make adding more options more difficult.



    Most people don't use them though, so it's not that big a deal unless you are one of the developers.



    Personally, I'm a little underwhelmed by the new "features" but I like the new menu look a lot.
  • Reply 7 of 150
    I think the addition of internet radio is very welcome.



    I like my @TV overall - I got all that I paid for, and then some - but I do wish that Apple would try and take it to the next level, by making it a true multimedia hub.



    One minor peeve: There are few things worse than viewing your favorite band on Youtube looking horribly pixelated on a 46-inch flat panel screen. Surely there must be a way that @TV can enable transmission of a smaller-sized image on to the screen? Please?
  • Reply 8 of 150
    filburtfilburt Posts: 398member
    While 3.0 is much needed with freshly improved UI, I am a bit underwhelmed. I was hoping for at least one major new feature, either USB external disk support, TV subscription, Netflix streaming, Hulu, or Vimeo.



    I am just guessing here, but I suspect new remote will be included with updated 3.0 Apple TV packaging.
  • Reply 9 of 150
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    I think the addition of internet radio is very welcome.



    I like my @TV overall - I got all that I paid for, and then some - but I do wish that Apple would try and take it to the next level, by making it a true multimedia hub.



    One minor peeve: There are few things worse than viewing your favorite band on Youtube looking horribly pixelated on a 46-inch flat panel screen. Surely there must be a way that @TV can enable transmission of a smaller-sized image on to the screen? Please?



    Easy solution, stand\\sit farther away from your TV
  • Reply 10 of 150
    Look what's now at the top of the movie listings- Nice!
  • Reply 11 of 150
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


    Most people don't use them though, so it's not that big a deal unless you are one of the developers.



    I'm one who does (Boxee makes the already useful TV infinitely better: DivX support, Pandora, Last.FM, Hulu, etc) and as such will have to hold off on the update for now.
  • Reply 12 of 150
    Definitely a good upgrade...the UI was stale and difficult to navigate for an Apple device. I still think that either DVR capability or a DVD/BluRay drive with an ability to import would be nice. If they hooked in a DVR with a new remote, Apple could rival TiVo...without the subscription fees...
  • Reply 13 of 150
    This is a full point upgrade? I would appreciate some new features in regards to content. DVD Extras aren't exactly going to do it for me. How about a subscription service or same day release of TV Shows. This is just an incredibly weak upgrade for the nearly two years since the last major update (which that one actually was). I was way more excited when the iPhone/Touch remote came out than this.
  • Reply 14 of 150
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Hmm… Anyone here installed it yet? That seems like a very light update for going from v2.4 to v3.0. It is a major UI change, but I would have thought there would be more new features. Maybe even some built in widgets so you can have local weather, stocks as part of the screensaver.
  • Reply 15 of 150
    1024 is HD. I'll be the first one in line when Apple releases a true HD model.
  • Reply 16 of 150
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DKWalsh4 View Post


    Easy solution, stand\\sit farther away from your TV



    I wish I could walk - and then view - thru walls. \
  • Reply 17 of 150
    I'm puzzled that Apple hasn't bothered to update FrontRow to match the Apple TV features. Once upon a time they were almost identical but since then Apple TV got 2 major updates and 0 for FrontRow. I don't mind using Plex but I would like iTunes Store integration.
  • Reply 18 of 150
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    Holy shit! I was NOT expecting another update for this current form factor. 3 updates in 3 years. It's not often that I feel I have gotten my money's worth.
  • Reply 19 of 150
    cmf2cmf2 Posts: 1,427member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by filburt View Post


    While 3.0 is much needed with freshly improved UI, I am a bit underwhelmed. I was hoping for at least one major new feature, either USB external disk support, TV subscription, Netflix streaming, Hulu, or Vimeo.



    I am just guessing here, but I suspect new remote will be included with updated 3.0 Apple TV packaging.



    They haven't announced new hardware (since this is just a software update), the same remote will remain until that time. Hopefully there will be a little more than just a new remote when they do announce new hardware though.
  • Reply 20 of 150
    cory bauercory bauer Posts: 1,286member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    In total, Apple TV users have direct access to a catalog of over 8,000 Hollywood films on iTunes including over 2,000 in HD video available for rent or purchase.



    Kudos to Apple for hiding the fact that only 71 movies are available for purchase in HD by continuing to combine their "rent or purchase" figures. Look out, Blu-Ray!



    Glad to see they finally added HD YouTube support, though. I don't know what took them so long.
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