Apple Previews Wireless TV-Top Box

The last announcement from Steve Jobs at Tuesday’s special event completes the total picture of what the iTunes Music Store (iTMS) was meant to be. A central place for you to purchase legally downloadable music, music videos, television shows, and movies. Of-course iTunes is even more than that because you can also watch video Podcasts and listen to audio Podcasts which are both available free of charge.

The final piece to the puzzle was a television set-top-box that resembles in many ways the Mac Mini. What a better way to get the music, movies, television shows, and anything else you can purchase from the iTunes Music Store to your television than to also make it wireless. So now you can stream anything within iTunes to your television through your home network. Did I mention it also does photos? It does and all of this with Apple’s incredible design and innovation that we all know and love.

Think of this as Front Row a software application from Apple on your T.V. We all know that anything you can rip from a DVD that you own could be put into iTunes as long as it’s encoded correctly and now with this latest edition to the Apple lineup, you can watch them on your television. Think of it as an on-demand service that you can begin watching after one minute of download time on broadband from the iTMS. Even better is that you could rip your current DVDs that you own legally and put them into iTunes and stream them over your network to your television on demand. It’s easily done using applications like Mac The Ripper and Handbrake, both available for OS X. Rip it and never handle a DVD or case again.

Apple will release the iTV in the first quarter of 2007 and for a great price of just $299. I must mention though that the name is an internal code name for the product and might wind up being called something else when it is released. I think iTV works well but we will see if they change it. Think about it, the same movies on your Mac, iPod, and now on your television. It’ll work for Windows too if you’re still using that operating system.