Prior to the
iTV Apple TV launch, I mentioned looking forward to reviews from two of my favorite bloggers. And now that they’ve spent some time with the devices (me too) their posts are live…
The Apple TV is great at everything it was built to do — serve as a plug and play solution to interact with your iTunes media. But it isn’t called the Apple HDTV for a reason. Sure, it technically supports 720p, but not in any meaningful way. Anyone who cares about high quality video will not be happy — the 5Mbps limit is just too low. The other big misses here (like no photocasting, photo streaming, inadequate enhanced podcast support, and not being able to sync with multiple machines) are all hopefully things that can and will be fixed with future software updates. But the simple fact is, this is a mass market device intended to have mass market appeal, and while some will balk at the limited codec support and walled-garden approach, people who live in iTunes will enjoy the simplicity of just plugging it in and never having to fuss with anything. It’s hard to deny the fact that the interface is slick and simple enough that anyone — and we do mean anyone — should be able to use it with ease.
A little over a week ago mine arrived and after 20 minutes or so of setup I was enjoying my entire iTunes library on my TV. Let me just say upfront that despite a few drawbacks, I really like AppleTV and I suspect anyone with a decent home theater system and a decent sized media collection in iTunes would also find it handy. If you’re an iPod owner and you use iTunes for music and video and always wanted an easy way to move that content into your living room, I’d say AppleTV is a great buy. For others, it’s probably a bit too costly to consider.
Matt and Ben weren’t the only ones who had some time to play with their new media extenders, as quite a few Apple TV hacks have appeared across the Internet. Here’s a sampling…
- Configure a larger hard drive
- Or just buy one
- Add DivX and Xvid support
- Install Linux
- Play Super Mario Brothers