This is so, so long overdue. Until now, the Apple TV has been stuck at 720p, which, although still considered "HD," has lost a lot of its lustre in the era of Blu-ray, which boosts the resolution considerably. But what's the point of an Apple TV that streams movies in 1080p if none of the movies are in 1080p? No point at all! So of course, the new box will support movies and TV shows in 1080p—including unlimited streaming of movies you've purchased before, via iCloud. Need help figuring out what to watch? An iTunes music-style Genius will tell you what to watch.
The UI itself is also getting an HD overhaul, with a new, simplified menu of shiny chiclet icons. It'll pull in iTunes Match, your iCloud Photo Stream, and pretty much everything the Apple TV offered last time around. Now it's presented with less text.
The gold standard streaming box just got a polish job—at the same old $100, out next week.
Still: no HBO Go or Hulu. Bummer.
Image courtesy GDGT