In all the excitement over the launch of the new iPad today, it would be easy to overlook the fact that Apple also launched a new Apple TV set-top-box.

The announcement of the new set-top box came just before the new iPad was revealed. It basically served as the easily forgotten warm-up act to the big event.

We noted last month that the previous model of the Apple TV seem to be disappearing from store shelves. Indeed, that was a sign that something new was coming down the pike.

Apple-TV-set-top-boxIn the same manner that the new iPad pretty much looks like the old iPad 2, the Apple set-top-box looks like its predecessor.

The new Apple TV upgrades Apple’s set-top-box to 1,080p full HD video, up from the 720p resolution the previous version offered. The new set-top-box will come with a redesigned user interface, which will also be available for the previous version of the Apple TV through a software update. The update will also include a new ‘Genius’ feature that suggests programs based on what the user has already viewed.

The new Apple TV set-top-box will keep the same price as the previous one, $99. Like the new iPad, it’s set to hit store shelves here in the US on March 16. Apple does not have the set-top-box available as a ‘pre-order’ specifically, like it does the new iPad. It’s just the regular order form, though it says shipping will be in one to two weeks.