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Apple TV: What’s new and when it’ll be available

The new iPad may be the product that’s grabbing the most headlines after Apple’s Wednesday media event in San Francisco. But it wasn’t the only announcement that the Cupertino, Calif.-based company made.

Apple also unveiled a new version of Apple TV, which will hit stores March 16 at a price of $99. The device will feature high-definition video, which is known in geek speak as “1080p.”

This version of the product has a simpler, icon-based interface that Apple says makes it easier to use than ever before.

Another noteworthy change is that the device will allow customers to purchase movies and television shows on iTunes, and, with the help of iCloud, stream them and watch them instantly on their HD TV sets. Content can also be streamed from Netflix, Vimeo and other providers.

Like its predecessor, the new Apple TV will incorporate AirPlay, a mechanism that allows for wireless streaming from an iPhone, iPad or iTouch to Apple TV.

For those who already own the previous version of the Apple TV, the new interface is easy to obtain. All it requires is a free software download, which is available beginning today, March 7. However, these users will have to purchase a new device to take advantage of the high-definition video.

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