Apple's digital hub, known as the Apple TV, has finally started shipping. It's aiming to bridge the link between your media and your TV, providing a wireless digital hub through which you can transfer your content to watch, namely the content purchased through the iTunes store. How much does it cost? $300, if you live in America.
Apple has of course, designed this device to be multi-platform, so it has support for both Mac and Windows. (Nothing for *nix, of course.) However, though it supports multiple operating systems fairly well, it doesn't seem to play too well with other formats and TVs. Unfortunately, it seems narrowly-targeted at iTunes customers who happen to own HDTV sets. Which is kind of limiting, although the market seems to be shifting that way, so it's not an illogical decision.
A slight problem that Apple TV will have to undergo is the competition it will be facing. Partly to blame is the fact that it doesn't have a clear purpose. It's simply a digital hub. On Apple's website, it says the following about the Apple TV: "If it's on iTunes, it's on your widescreen TV." Well, computers can do that just as well, so Apple will have a much harder time convincing consumers to buy it. For example, if you already own an iPod, to watch content, it's as simple as buying a little adapter and hooking it up to your TV. Or, if you're the kind of person that prefers a remote control, you can get a docking station.
It looks like a promising device, and if you happen to be lucky enough to fit the Apple TV's target audience, it could likely simplify your connections. The question now is: will Apple be able to convince the consumers that?