"This is the first time users can easily browse, find and watch YouTube videos right from their living room couch, and it's really, really fun," said Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive. "YouTube is a worldwide sensation, and Apple TV is bringing it directly from the internet onto the widescreen TV."
Before the announcement, Apple TV owners looking for content were mostly limited to move their own home videos to Apple’s set-top box or to stream television programs they had previously purchased through the iTunes Store on a Mac or PC. With this deal Apple begins extending their offerings through select, controlled partners.
But the deal could also put Apple in the middle of a copyright infringement battle over videos shown on the web. YouTube is currently being sued for $1 billion by MTV-owner Viacom, which following the announcement said:
"We're always vigilant about protecting our copyrights," said a Viacom spokeswoman. "But we would welcome the opportunity to license our content to Apple as we do with all distributors."
In addition to the YouTube deal, Apple also announced it will start selling a new version of the Apple TV with a 160 GB hard drive for up to 200 hours of video, 36,000 songs, 25,000 photos or a combination of each. The newer model will set you back $399 and will be available on Thursday.