The iTV was announced at Apple’s “It’s Showtime” event last week. Set for release in the first quarter of 2007 it will deliver iTunes and iPhoto content from PCs and Macs by wifi to the TV. Though the name is likely to change it will apparently sell for $299.
There’s no word yet whether ripped DVDs or other files will be viewable through iTV. If talks between Google and Apple are regarding whether to make it possible for the systems to be connected instead of some sort of cross promotion agreement, then that would indicate to me that the iTV will be very locked down and much less useful than it could be. The elephant in the middle of the room as far as iTunes is concerned is the DRM; customers have apparently accepted it to some degree (though recent studies are finding that almost none of the music on iPods was bought on iTunes) but iTV may be a whole new DRM can of worms.
Contextual advertising by Google on iTV is also a possibility that a number of people are discussing and could be quite interesting.
Google Video competes with Apple in selling some TV episodes. AOL Videos are also promoted on the Google Video page as a result of the partnership between those two companies. Where will the lines be drawn and what will be viewable through iTV? So far the product is months away from market and the talks between Apple and Google are just talks. By the time the iTV, or whatever it ends up being called, is reality – Apple could make all kinds of exciting deals to allow us to watch some of our video files on our TVs.