Apple TV Box Now Streams TV Shows Purchased From iTunes

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Apple released an update Monday for the Apple TV set-top that lets users stream TV shows they've purchased via the iTunes Store directly over the Internet.

Previously, to play content bought through iTunes, Apple TV customers had to use a feature called AirPlay that wirelessly streams music, video and photos from iPad, iPhone and iPod touch devices.

Apple TV

The computer giant last fall released the slimmed-down version of Apple TV without a hard drive, geared around streaming movie and TV show rentals. The second-generation set-top, priced at $99, began shipping in September 2010.

Currently, networks participating in the 99-cent rentals include Fox, ABC, Disney Channel and BBC America.

With the version 4.3 update, Apple TV users also can purchase shows through the set-top and those shows can then be re-downloaded on other iOS devices, according to a notice posted on the company's website.

In addition, the update provides the ability to access content from IAC's Vimeo, a video-sharing site that claims to have more than 50 million unique users worldwide.

Other services available through Apple TV include Netflix, MLB.TV, NBA Game Time, YouTube and Flickr.