Apple has announced the new Apple TV, featuring 1080p programming including iTunes movies and TV shows, Netflix, Vimeo, photos and more in HD.

The new Apple TV features a simpler, refined user interface that makes it easier than ever to access your purchased movies, TV shows and music with iTunes Match right from iCloud, says Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. With AirPlay, users can stream or mirror their favorite content from their iPad or iPhone 4S to the Apple TV.

“People are going to love streaming movies and TV shows in 1080p with the new Apple TV, and photos look beautiful displayed at the maximum resolution of your TV,” Schiller says. “Apple TV is easier than ever to use with its new icon-based interface and the ability to access your purchased movies, TV shows and music right from iCloud.”

Apple TV users can choose from a selection of programming including over 15,000 movies and over 90,000 TV episodes on the iTunes Store. Apple TV also offers content from Netflix’s streaming catalog, live sports from MLB, NBA and NHL as well as Internet content from Vimeo, YouTube and Flickr.

With iCloud, you can buy movies and TV shows on an Apple TV and watch them on your Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or PC. iCloud also stores photos and pushes them wirelessly to all your devices, including your HD TV via Apple TV. iCloud provides a way to get instant access to all of your content, no matter which device is being used.

iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users can use AirPlay to stream music, photos and videos from their devices directly to their HD TV with Apple TV. iPhone 4S or iPad users can use AirPlay Mirroring to show the screen of their device right on their HD TV, allowing them to stream web pages, spreadsheets or even games.

Apple TV lets you enjoy iTunes video, music and photo libraries from your computer right on your HD TV; with iCloud you can instantly enjoy content that was purchased on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, as well. iTunes Match customers can now play their entire music library from iCloud — even songs they’ve imported from CDs. Users can also control Apple TV with their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch using the Remote app, available as a free download on the App Store (

The new Apple TV will be available on Friday, March 16, for a suggested retail price of US$99 through the Apple online store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. Apple TV requires iTunes 10.5 or later. The Apple TV requires an 802.11g/n Wi-Fi network or Ethernet network, a broadband Internet connection and a HD TV capable of 1080p or 720p and an HDMI cable (sold separately).

iTunes movie and TV show availability varies by country. Second generation Apple TV users can install the new Apple TV user interface via a free software update, available today. Third generation Apple TV hardware is required to play 1080p video.