Apple TV Review
Ok so this may be a little late, but I don’t think that really matters.
So last year Apple announced the new version of it’s ‘hobby’ to the public, and it became available shortly after. I think hobby is a strong word for that. The original Apple TV was a bit clunky, and it’s watered down version of Mac OSX was a bit slow, however funcionality wise it worked great. AirTunes (now AirPlay) worked great, and movies, tv shows, music and podcasts all seemed to work perfectly, however there were issues. The fact that it was a hard drive based product, that you had to sync, all the time made it a bit of a pain to use. This was all resolved with the second iteration of the product, where it was all about streaming. The product packs 8GB of onboard flash storage, yet strictly for buffering the movies it’s streaming to you. Streaming of movies from the iTunes store is brilliant, and they usually start to play within two or three minutes, which for a feature length (mostly 720p) movie, I think that is pretty good.
Airplay has got to be one of my favourite features of my iPhone, iPad and Apple Tv. It’s ease of use is incredible, by litterally tapping the screen two times I can have the movie or tv show I am currently watching pushed straight to my tv, with only about a 3 second load time on the apple tv’s side, and that really depends on your home network speed. Either way, if you can’t wait three seconds for something like that, I think you should seek help.
Apple TV plays nice with your tv, only as long as it has HDMI compatibilty. At first I tried to convert the siganl to an analoge one so it would work with my ancient projector, this wasn’t going to happen though. Somehow the Apple TV sensed me skewing with it’s output and decided to just, not output. Later the next day I bought a 32″ full HD lcd in the boxing day sales, yet I still think I would have preferred my wall sized non HD display. Other than that I have almost nothing but praise for the device, it does exactly what it says it does, very well. It runs on a standard apple A4 chip, running a version of iOS actually.
So, are we ready to ditch the cable box just yet?
As much as I’d love to say yes, unfortunately for me the answer to that is still a no. However we are getting closer and closer. The ability to stream all of your content to it makes it a very good device, however I think until we start so see some sort of subscription iTunes plan, like what we have with foxtel, commcast, etc, I don’t think this can be an option. 99c Tv rentals are great and cheap, however think about it, if you paid 99c per tv episode you watch, you would end up paying a lot of money. Every night I probably watch about 5 tv shows, give or take 1-2. So in a 30 day month you would be paying about $120 a month for your tv, and I know there are a lot of people who watch a lot more tv than I do.
So after using my second generation apple tv for just under a month, it has already taken up the position of one of my most used gadgets, coming fourth to only my iPhone, iPad and iMac. That’s a lot of i’s. As I said before it’s ease of use is incredible, it’s streaming capabilities are almost flawless, and the only problems I can think with it would be it’s text entry, and lack of some sort of payment plan. Overall a great device, something that has made my media consumption easier and better than ever