Apple has launched its new multimedia player Apple TV here. With it, multimedia files downloaded to the computer can be played on TV, and Internet music files can be piped through an audio system wirelessly.
But since Apple does not yet have an online media store for Koreans, the release of Apple TV could be seen as encouraging illegal file downloads.
Apple TV isn’t a TV set, but a set top box. It enables all kinds of multimedia files to wirelessly sync to the Apple TV “box.” Once data is stored on the Apple TV, the remote lets the use play the content on any TV set.
Philip Schiller, vice president of Apple’s worldwide marketing, said that Apple TV is like a “DVD player for the Internet age.”
He emphasizes that the Apple TV is wireless, which enables it to play content from both PC and Macintosh computers. The wireless broadband connection, of course, is not provided by Apple ― users must find their own local high-speed Internet service provider.
The odd part about the release is that iTunes, the online Apple store that offers movies and songs for download, is not available in Korea.
So Apple is telling consumers to download movies and watch them on their TV through Apple TV, but it is not taking responsibility for providing the content.
Also, Apple TV has a photo display feature, which allows users to view photos stored on the computer on a TV set. However, the set top box is only able to process photos that have been transmitted through iTunes.
The lack of an iTunes service in Korea already provoked much criticism in the local music industry, with a chorus of complaints arising each time Apple launches a new iPod music player. Worse, the company said in an official release yesterday that it still doesn’t have plans to offer an iTunes service here.
Apple TV went on sale yesterday on Apple Korea’s Web site and at authorized retailers for 319,000 won ($346) including tax.
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