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After capturing the market of digital music players and digital music business, Apple Computer is aiming to become a major player in the emerging market of digital movie sales with its iTunes 7 software and code-named iTV set-top-box.

Apple Computer has become the major player in the market of portable digital market players, but this is not the spot where the company wants to stop. After launching the iTunes 7, the company becomes capable of selling movies to consumers to watch on their PCs or iPod players. It is obvious, however, that the majority of consumers would still like to watch motion pictures on their TV-sets and that the majority also does not have a PC in the living room. Especially for those people Apple Computer will offer a set-top-box that will help to stream videos from a computer directly to TV using wireless or wired local area network.

Apple’s set-top-box designed for streaming movies, photos or music comes in enclosure that mimics that of Mac mini, but has twice lower height. The device, which Apple calls iTV right now, has USB, Ethernet and 802.11n Wi-Fi connectivity for data input as well as HDMI, component video and audio in addition to digital audio outputs.

The device is going to be sold for as much as $299, reports AppleInsider web-site. The gadget will be available in early 2007.

Videos purchased from the iTunes 7 Store are downloaded in near-DVD quality at a resolution of 640x480 (up to 480, depending on the aspect ratio) and currently can be played on computers and iPods. Television shows and feature films are available in the U.S. only, and video availability varies by country. New release feature films are $14.99 each and other feature-length films are $9.99 each, television shows are $1.99 per episode, music videos and short films are $1.99 each.

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