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Apple, the producer of the world’s most popular digital media player, on Wednesday unveiled a new version of its Apple TV set-top-box with enlarged hard disk drive as well as said that in several weeks the device will be able to displays from the popular video portal YouTube.

“This is the first time users can easily browse, find and watch YouTube videos right from their living room couch, and it’s really, really fun. YouTube is a worldwide sensation, and Apple TV is bringing it directly from the Internet onto the widescreen TV in your living room,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive.

Beginning in mid-June, Apple TV will be able to wirelessly stream videos directly from YouTube and play them on a user’s widescreen TV. But while viewers will be able to easily browse, find and watch free videos from YouTube in the comfort of their living room, it is unclear whether the feature becomes popular, as generally low-quality videos from YouTube in 320x200 resolution are unlikely to look properly on modern high-definition TV-sets, which may have resolution of up to 1920x1080.

Apple TV has an Intel microprocessor and a 40GB hard drive to process and store content, including movies, videos or photos locally and is compatible with Wi-Fi 802.11 b, g and draft-n standards. The set-top-box comes with HDMI, component video, analog and optical audio ports, but despite of the fact that HDMI supports up to 1080p (1920x1080 progressive scan) resolutions, Apple declares only up to 720p (1280x720 progressive scan) resolution for its Apple TV device. The new version of Apple TV will come with 160GB hard disk drive, but will also cost $100 more than its predecessor – $399.

The upgrade of Apple TV means that the new set-top-box gains importance for the company. 160GB hard drive will allow consumers to accumulate more media acquired via Apple iTunes online store, which brings substantial profit for Apple.

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