New Apple TV Induces Zs

3:45 PM -- The new Apple TV was the first product to be introduced at today's big Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) to-do in San Francisco, but it was not the main attraction. And, even as a sideshow, it was pretty ho-hum.

There's a redesigned interface, support for the bandwidth-gobbling 1080p format (versus 720p in the previous generation), and the new box can stream purchased movies, TV shows and music from iCloud. Oh, and it'll still cost just $99 when it goes on sale March 16. Whoopie. Execs of the traditional pay-TV industry can sleep soundly tonight.

There was some good news out of this for Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) -- Apple TV users can buy Netflix subscriptions directly via iTunes. But despite the early speculation about what other goodies might come with the new Apple TV, there's no cable video-on-demand (VoD) integration to speak of, so we'll have to wait and see if Apple and the MSOs can find a way to work together or if they intend to turn this into an all-out video war.

For now, this amounts to a bit more of the same, with a new splash of paint. Nothing too disruptive to see yet. Still a hobby. Move along. But we'll expect much more when Apple gets around to introducing its much-ballyhooed integrated television. (See Jobs Bio Confirms Apple Television Plan .)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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