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The long awaited new Apple TV is now available for pre-order.  Although this announcement is largely overshadowed by the unveiling of the new iPad, this is a long overdue upgrade of the Apple TV.

For those of you that don’t know, the previous 2 or 3 versions of the Apple TV were only able to output 720 lines of horizontal resolution.  The new version will output at a full 1080 lines to give you all of that resolution you have been missing out on.  Chances are that you currently own a flat panel that is 1080p or have a high-quality home theater with a 1080p LED or DLP projector ,  Now you can enjoy the easy to use Apple TV and also take advantage of the new icon based interface (see above).  The previous menu system used a bunch more text and this new menu looks a whole lot more like an iPad or iPhone.

Keep in mind that this version, like the last incarnation, requires your TV to have an HDMI input.  So don’t pre-order unless you are connecting this up to a projector or flat panel that has been built in the past 4 years or so.

Features of the new Apple TV:

  • 1080p movies and TV shows downloadable from the iTunes Store
  • New and improved 1080p user interface
  • Ability to re-download purchased movies through iCloud
  • “Genius” recommendations for movies
  • Photo resolution bumped up to 1080p
  • Single-core A5 chip
  • 1080p output