Apple releases Apple TV "Take 2" software update

Apple on Tuesday quietly released its much-anticipated Apple TV "Take 2" software update, which introduces a brand new on-sreen interface and allows users to rent high definition movies directly from their widescreen TVs.

The update is available for existing Apple TV owners by selecting the "Update Software" option under the "Settings" menu. Once selected, the software requires approximately 6 minutes to download on a broadband connection and another 10 to 15 minutes to install. During the install process, it appears as if the Apple TV runs through three distinct update sessions in which the Apple logo and update progress bar will appear, complete an update, and then disappear three times.

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, 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.

The Apple TV software take 2 software update is 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). However, Mac Mall is offering free shipping, a $5 instant savings, plus a three percent added discount at checkout (via this link), which brings the cost of the 40GB model down to $217.28 (reflected at checkout).

Apple TV requires an 802.11g/n wireless network or 10/100 Base-T Ethernet networking, a broadband Internet connection and a high definition widescreen TV.

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