New Apple TV on the way with cheaper show rentals

Apple is working on a new TV which could allow users to watch a TV show for just $0.99 (£0.65), which is half the price of what it currently charges, according to reports from the infamous Rumour Mill.

Apple currently charge $1.99 (£1.31) for a standard definition show, with some TV shows a little cheaper, but it seems that Apple is pushing for making all shows a standard, lower price, more in line with that of purchasing a song on iTunes.

Another big change is that purchases will be streamed from the cloud instead of being downloaded, with cloud computing in general being a huge focus of the new TV effort. This could mean users will get to see their shows faster, but it’s also likely that Apple’s intention is to pull the plug on piracy, either through streaming or downloads elsewhere, that could put a stop on downloading through iTunes. Early rumours suggest that this feature will be called iTunes Replay, which will also allow for 1080p high definition video.

Users will be allowed 30 days to watch a show, but once you’ve begun watching it the timer goes down to 24 hours, which means you’d want to make sure you finish the rest of it as soon as possible. For users planning to rewatch an entire season of a TV show they would have to pay for it all again, which could run up quite a bill, so potentially the old-fashioned DVD is a more cost-effective option.

Some reports suggest that because the TV shows will be stored on the cloud, there will be pretty much no reason to have a large hard drive, which could allow for significantly cheaper models of the Apple TV to arrive. With the Google TV on the horizon, Apple may just need to consider price cuts if it is to make sure it doesn’t lose customers to its bitter rival, like what is happening in the smartphone market.

In fact, some rumours suggest a price of $99 (£65) for the Apple TV, which is pretty cheap and more likely to give Google a run for its money than the more excessive prices it charges for its iPhone and iPad.

We wonder if the components inside such a cheap telly will actually be any good, or if the iWhatevers are just astronomically overpriced, which is probably true no matter what scenario.

It seems also likely that Apple will use the iOS 4 on the new device, expanding in the same way Android has into a growing number of mediums. It remains unclear, however, if these price drops will really give it the edge over the little green robot running rampant.

It’s also worth keeping in mind Samsung’s BaDa, which will integrate screens and will similarly use the same OS on a variety of devices.