Apple TV's second coming is at hand

 Apple has finally released the software update to Apple TV that Steve Jobs announced back in January at Macworld. And it's rather lovely.The fre

Apple has finally released the software update to Apple TV that Steve Jobs announced back in January at Macworld. And it's rather lovely.

The free download totally changes the Apple TV's user interface - see above - and allows access to a host of new features. Most significant is the ability to access the iTunes Store from the comfort of your sofa.

In the UK, that means you can download (rather expensive) music and pop videos, plus podcasts – including the Stuff.tv's own weekly podcast and vidcast.  

But if you're lucky enough to have a US account, you can download movies direct to your Apple TV for as little as $2.99 (£1.50), or two dollars more for hi-def versions of the latest blockbusters.

I bought a 160GB Apple TV on my recent trip to the States for Macworld - and yes, I've managed to wangle a US account - so I'll be testing out the download speeds and services over the weekend and will report back next week.

If the movie downloads work - and if they arrive in the UK this year at a decent price -  it could save the Apple TV from obscurity. And perhaps even adversely effect the uptake of Blu-Ray.

If not: file Apple TV next to Newton, Pippin and the G4 Cube. 

Read our review of the Apple TV... with its OLD software.