Apple intends to revitalize its flagging Apple TV hub by launching HD video downloads on iTunes, according to a rumor from a source which in the past accurately described the iPod touch in advance of its launch. A “selection” of the movies and TV shows available from the company’s store would receive a significant step up in resolution from today’s videos, which are currently limited to the maximum 640×480 size officially supported by the iPhone and all existing iPod models. Apple is stocking up on supplies of its media hubs in anticipation of increased demand spurred by the HD videos, says the purported insider.
While many of the details were left out of the alleged leak, the 40GB and 160GB Apple TV models on sale now support playback of widescreen videos as sharp as 720p (1280×720), qualifying as HD-capable. Apple’s September iPod refresh also introduced a new component video output cable that would theoretically support HD video, although the existing lack of support by current Apple handhelds would limit its usefulness with iTunes HD content.