The “launch” of Apple TV was revealed in February through Apple’s India website. It reflected the availability of the device and listed its various functions, and also put up images of India-centric content. The Apple TV is essentially a media streamer that ties in to the company’s iTunes store or your other iDevices and lets you stream and share content to your HDTV.
It was supposed to be available in the first week of March, but has finally made its way to stores now. Our sources have told us that Apple TV is still available in the grey market for Rs. 6,500.
The device needs to be connected to your HDTV through HDMI, and it can pull content from other Apple devices when connected to the same network. If you have a good collection of films and music, you can share it with other viewers over the Apple TV connection. You can also buy or rent new content from the iTunes store.
The Apple TV page on the company’s India site says:
[quote]No more queueing to check out DVDs or watching stale blockbusters on cable. With Apple TV, you get instant access to the hottest Hollywood titles and new releases—often the same day they come out on DVD. Once you find what you’re looking for, simply press Play, and in seconds, you’re watching the opening credits with cinema-like Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. SD rentals start from just Rs 80, and HD rentals start from Rs 120. You have 30 days to start watching, and once you begin, you can watch as many times as you want in 48 hours.[/quote]
Apple TV links to some out-of-store content as well, but this is mostly geared for American audiences. American sports fans in India will be glad to know they have options to catch up on their favourite sports besides conventional TV and illegal streams. Apart from music and videos, you can also use the box to view photos from Flickr, access content stored on iCloud, mirror your iPhone, iPod or iPad’s screen to your TV using AirPlay to play games on the big screen, and even watch YouTube and Vimeo videos using their respective apps. The device also streams news feeds from the Wall Street Journal.
Apple is reportedly in talks with Indian content providers to bring more local content to the iTunes store, which already has most new releases in its library. An initiative similar to the Netflix and Hulu Plus integration could be the magic pill that could bring us content normally not released in India.