Apple TV graduates from hobby/accessory to product line ahead of major changes

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Apple appears to be putting its ducks in a row ahead of major Apple TV changes. Alongside last night’s changes to the Apple Online Store to promote Valentine’s Day specials, Apple added an entire Apple TV section.

The Apple TV is now promoted as a full product line alongside Macs, iPads, iPods, and iPhones. Previously, the Apple TV did not have its own section, and it was simply tucked away as an accessory in the dwindling iPod department.

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Not only does the Apple TV now have its own section, but it now has promoted and dedicated accessory, AppleCare, refurbished, and community question/answer sections.

Of course, the timing of the Apple TV’s “graduation” is interesting. Last week, we reported that Apple is working on a new version of the Apple TV set-top-box that will integrate new content (such as apps).

If Apple were to launch such a product in the near-future, it would make sense for it to have a dedicated, unhidden spot on Apple’s online store. And, based on what we’re hearing, the new Apple TV will certainly deserve to be called more than a “hobby.”

And we have some more information on why…

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WWE Wrestling Network coming to Apple TV, company executive suggests

Earlier this year, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) held a press conference to announce that it will be bringing its wrestling content to television and mobile devices via a new WWE Network. At the event, WWE Chief Revenue and Marketing officer Michelle Wilson announced hardware partners and that the network will provide its content via a 24/7 stream that costs $9.99 per month.

As shown in the video below (5:30 in), Wilson said that the network would become available on a slew of devices, including iOS devices, Android devices, Rokus, Amazon Kindle devices, Xbox hardware, and PlayStations. Rounding out the list of supported devices, Wilson said, is “a connected device that I am not allowed to mention at this press conference…”

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Sources say new Apple TV box likely coming soon, App/Game Store possible

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We’ve learned that Apple is making progress on its development of a successor to the current Apple TV and that the device is well into testing. We are led to believe that the new device, which is said to be a set-top box rather than a full-fledged TV set, will likely be introduced in the first half of 2014. We understand that the product will include a revamped operating system that will be based on iOS. Of course, release timeframes with these type of products can quickly change due to the content partners that are involved in such products…

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Apple TV NBA League Pass app updated for new season

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Following significant updates to its app on iOS, the NBA has updated its app on the Apple TV for the 2013-2014 season. The new season begins tonight, starting with three games (and several games tomorrow night). The updated Apple TV application includes a new icon on the Apple TV Home screen, the ability to view NBA standings across the league, the ability to stream games if you have a League Pass subscription, view highlights, and access NBA downloads from iTunes. More photos of the updated app below. Thanks, David!

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Apple boosts Apple TV content offerings with Major League Soccer, Disney Junior

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This morning, Apple has sent an over-the-air update to the Apple TV to add two new apps of content: Major League Soccer (MLS) and Disney Junior. The MLS app allows Apple TV users to watch soccer games live, and Disney Junior includes several shows oriented toward young children.

The new soccer app will surely be a big bonus for sports fans, while Disney Junior will continue to attract kids to the Apple’s living room appliance.
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Last week, Apple added iTunes Radio and many new features to the device. A few weeks ago, the company added a couple of Disney Channel apps, The Weather Channel, Vevo, and a Smithsonian app. Thanks DJ

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Apple TV will get more Chromecast-y in an iOS 7 update next week

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Photo: cnet.com

We mentioned last week that an Apple TV software update would allow owners to stream content from a friend’s Apple TV box elsewhere, and AllThingsD now has a little more info on how this will work.

The new software will allow people who have purchased content from Apple’s iTunes store to play that stuff on other people’s TVs, via its Airplay system.

The key part is that they will be able to tell an Apple TV box they don’t own to stream the media they do own, directly from the cloud. That’s a change from the current system, which requires users to  download stuff to their iPhones and iPads and fling it to the TV from there. It also echoes the way Google’s new Chromecast device works …  Read more