Honestly, Roku's price drop and yesterday's announcement of Hulu Plus coming to the platform probably stole much if any remaining thunder from the imminent arrival of the new Apple TV. While we'll still give the Apple TV a thorough treatment, it's still clearly a very niche product from Apple (until it gets jailbroken, then all bets are off). It's one of the easiest devices to test simply because it doesn't work with the vast majority of downloadable video content. We can't even run our media streamer test suite on the device since it doesn't  support streaming anything outside of iTunes.

To tide you over until our review is done however we've got a full gallery of the new Apple TV dissected. There aren't many surprises installed. The thing is tiny, there are no fans and the entire chassis is used as a heatsink. Apple makes liberal use of thermal conductive pads within the device. 

The new ATV does use the A4, but the markings on the chip in my unit are very faint so I couldn't tell how much memory was integrated onto the package. There don't seem to be many other surprises inside, the new Apple TV is a $99 iPod Touch without the display and speaker/mic. The real potential for this platform (much like its predecessor) is realized if/when it's hacked. Until then it'll be a tough sell for many. Update: Looks like it has already been jailbroken (thanks crimson117), it's just a matter of time for folks to put the freedom to good use.

Check out the gallery!

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  • FATCamaro - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    You need to increase the depth of field by playing with your camera settings.
  • TheCheese - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    I think the best *jailbroken* potential would be wireless display software like the ipad app(except more stable)

    The F***tard Topolsky over at Engadget spends a whole article convincing himself this thing is worth purchasing as it is. Judging from the comments, Topolsky and Nilay are two bloggers that manage to be consistently hated by their audience.
  • BrooksT - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    "it's still clearly a very niche product from Apple (until it gets jailbroken, then all bets are off)"

    Um, really? Jailbreaking is going to make it more mainstream? I have to think that the number of people who want an iTunes-only streaming solution *far* exceeds the number who want to spend $99 for a device and jailbreak it so it supports other formats.

    On these forums, of course the latter are prevalent. But out in the real world? Jailbreaking is way, way more niche than just living happily within the Apple walled garden.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    The default niche is playing in the iTunes walled garden. Jailbreaking simply expands the niche :)

    Take care,
  • xype - Thursday, September 30, 2010 - link

    True, it's a real niche—hence the iTunes Store only ranking in 216th place in terms of digital content sold, 366th in terms of registered users and a whopping 578th in terms of revenue.
  • Donkey2008 - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    Hey Anand - I hope you also do a review of the WD TV Live Plus. It is a legitimate alternative to Apple TV. I bought one a few weeks ago instead of building a HTPC and I could not be happier. It plays virtually all files I throw at it (xvid, x264, mpeg1/2 in avi, mpg, mp4 and mkv) and it streams movies from Netflix to a 42" LCD over HDMI with few problems. It even has a digital out for surround sound. There are a few little bugs in it, but WD is pretty consistent with firmware updates and an active test forum.

    I respect your opinions and I hope to see a review of this product. It really does have a decent underground following (i.e. tech people know about it, but it is not mainstream like Apple TV). It isn't flashy, but it is very functional. Being a tech junkie (which after following your website for many years, I assume you are) I figure it would be something right up your alley.
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, September 30, 2010 - link

    Like this: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3830/wd-tv-live-plus...
  • Donkey2008 - Thursday, September 30, 2010 - link

    HAHA, don't I feel stupid.

    Maybe next I will ask Anand if he can review these new fangled contraptions. called "smart phones".
  • B3an - Thursday, September 30, 2010 - link

    Great, another utterly useless Apple product. But with this one even the iSheep wont buy it..

    The time spent on this could have been spent reviewing something worthwhile.
    Too much Apple stuff these days Anand.
  • Commodus - Thursday, September 30, 2010 - link

    Oh, this one thinks he's special -- he's hip because he's anti-Apple.

    Apple gear is important to look at because it has a wide impact and because it does sometimes push things forward. Saying that anyone who buys an Apple product is an "iSheep" is as bad as die-hard Mac users who write "Windoze." It dismisses what's good about a rival to feed your own insecurity.

    Mature people don't care who makes the technology, so long as it's good, and accept that Apple can at least sometimes make good products. Let me know when you're one of them.

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