The new iPad was the star of the Apple show on Wednesday, but something was also there wrestling to get some attention from the crowd that had gathered to see the new super tablet unveil. It is Apple TV, which is expected to go on sale later this year for only $99, or the same price as the previous version.

Many people (including us) expected Apple to come blazing with a new Apple TV - an actual television with a big touchscreen. Sadly, that wasn’t the case at all. Nevertheless, the new Apple TV set top box is a powerhouse since it has support for 1080p streaming of movies and other content. When it comes to design, the new Apple TV has the same layout and design hardware wise when compared head-to-head with the first Apple TV.

Inside the box lies an A5 Dual Core Chipset, the same chip found in the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S. This chip allows the device to stream 1080p content smoothly at 30fps. While the device does not come with a version of iOS installed as rumored, the new user interface looks similar due to the huge icons, which is a kind of give away that Apple might have designed it for ease of use with touchscreens.

People are going to love streaming movies and TV shows in 1080p with the new Apple TV, and photos look beautiful displayed at the maximum resolution of your TV, said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. Apple TV is easier than ever to use with its new icon-based interface and the ability to access your purchased movies, TV shows and music right from iCloud.

What’s good is the new Apple TV support for Netflix HD. Despite the problems Netflix is going through right now, millions of users are still subscribed to Netflix. Now these users can access their content with an Apple TV box for only $99.

Apple TV is not all about movies or TV shows, users have the ability to stream photos of their loved ones straight from the device. This is a neat addition, but something we see as redundant and might not be used by the majority of Apple TV users.

We still hope to see a touchscreen television released by Apple in the near future. It would go well with the company’s set top box, and other hardware content.

(Reported by Vamien McKalin, edited by Surojit Chatterjee)

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