Apple made its foray into the media set top market with the Apple TV 3 years ago.

The Apple TV was not a successful product and was widely regarded as a hobby device for Apple. Now, three years later, Apple has updated the device.

The physical dimensions of the device have gone through a significant reduction and is almost similar in size to the iPhone4. The Apple A4 chip provides the processing power. There is one HDMI port and an optical out port , an Ethernet port and a micro USB port( for service and support). Wifi n and a built in infrared receiver is included.

The device plays HD TV shows from ABC & Fox ($0.99) and plays HD Movie rentals ($4.99/$3.99), Netflix, iTunes, YouTube. You can no longer buy movies for this device.

HD resolution is at 720p. This is disappointing as other set top devices such as Roku XR and Pop Box deliver a 1080p output.

The Apple TV is limited in its worldwide distribution and thus, its sale maybe limited to certain markets. Apple TV is up against some stiff competition in the set top market sector and its success, at this point in time, is suspect.