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Apple TV set to download YouTube

Next month, Apple TV owners will have the option of watching all that user-generated video has to offer on their big-screen TVs. Photo: YouTube coming to Apple TV

Thousands of hours of user-generated video madness will soon be available through Apple TV, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced Wednesday.

Jobs revealed the partnership with YouTube during his talk at the D: All Things Digital conference in Carlsbad, Calif. Starting next month, Apple TV users will be able to select "YouTube" as an option from the device's main menu and view thousands of the most viewed and most popular videos on the site.

Apple TV is designed to connect a wide-screen television with content purchased or downloaded over the Internet by a Mac or PC. Until now, however, Apple TV users looking for content were mostly dependent on television programs or movies they had purchased through the iTunes Store. There's no browser inside the interface that would let users access other Internet videos, though they could move their home videos to Apple TV.

Now, Apple has designed a hook into YouTube that will let Apple TV owners access the most popular videos that have been converted into the h.264 standard, said David Moody, vice president for Mac hardware marketing at Apple. The full catalog of YouTube videos will be available later in the year, as YouTube converts the rest, Moody said.

Apple also announced that it will make a higher-capacity version of Apple TV available Thursday. The current Apple TV product costs $299 with a 40GB hard drive, but a version with a 160GB hard drive will now cost $399.