Apple TV Review

by Mike

Apple TV (wide)
You may have heard of that new Apple product, I believe it’s called the, uhh, Apple TV. I picked one up today and I’m here to give you a little review of it. I understand that newspapers, other blogs, and your Aunt have already reviewed this thing, but I thought I’d add my two cents.

Pictures, please
I took some mediocre pictures that you can find here.

I was expecting setup to be a breeze. It was. I’ve come to expect that from all Apple products. The packaging was simple, just the Apple TV itself, a remote, a power cord, and a manual. It did not include any cables, not even a cheap RCA one. But, we’re talking about Apple, they’re not known for handing out freebies. Fortunately the Apple Store sells a relatively cheap HDMI cable for only $20. The most complicated part of the setup was figuring out how to set up my receiver to display the Apple TV. Once that was done, I directed to connect to a network by the Apple TV setup guide and after that, I was asked to open iTunes and enter my syncing password (for syncing, duh!).

As soon as I opened iTunes, I saw a page asking for a password. I entered it in, and the device authorized. Then it automatically began syncing my content– music, podcasts, TV shows, and movies. I cancelled that as I wanted to play around with it rather than waiting an hour for it to sync over my 802.11g network. Syncing wise, you have plenty of options. You can tell iTunes to sync only music, selected playlists, only certain shows, etc. As far as I can tell though, you cannot selectively delete songs or TV shows.

Playing a show
I easily connected to my own iTunes library (not syncing, streaming.) and selected a TV show to watch. In about 10 seconds I was watching my show and the only hiccup was my fault. Closing the lid/sleeping the computer your streaming from will interrupt the stream (it sounds so obvious now). I quickly resumed though and the Apple TV remembered where I was. The rest of the show went without a hitch, I pretty much forgot what I was watching it on (other than the non-HD quality.)

The TV I have the Apple TV hooked up to is a 60″ plasma, needless to say, I wasn’t expecting 1080p quality from my iTunes-bought shows. I was actually surprised at the quality though, it wasn’t spectacular but I never thought to myself: “Wow this is complete crap!”

User Interface
If there’s one thing Apple is just amazing at is interface design. The iPod has a brilliantly simple UI and the Apple TV also has a lovely UI. The UI itself is in HD quality, so it looks astounding on your TV. It also uses the simple, sometimes to simple, Apple Remote. Navigating is easy enough and finding your way around the device is no problem. Honestly, it’s all logical, you really don’t have to think about it.

Closing Thoughts
This isn’t a super in depth review, more of a general overview to give you a feel for the Apple TV. Personally, I think the price is a little high at $300 for what it is, which is a way to get content you already paid for on your TV. Still, I’m really enjoying it so far and you really can’t beat the simplicity you get from an Apple product.

Remember, there’s a gallery here.

3 reviews or comments

andi Says: March 25, 2007 at 1:24 am

this $300 device is just as useful as a hdmi link between your PC and TV+a bluetooth keyboard.. would you buy it just for the interface?… get a HDMI cable and a Logitech DiNovo edge ;)… looks better, you get full f*****g HD, and access to all your media content, not just the itunes formats… this is the most over-hyped product ever.. no practical use at all…

methodshop Says: April 3, 2007 at 4:33 pm

Al, the only issue i have with my Apple Tvs is the slow network. I gave up on the wireless and hooked up one of my ATVs with an Ethernet plug. also, i just ordered an Apple Airport Extreme. maybe that will speed things up. the Airport Extreme has a USB port for NAS. im gonna try keeping all my iTunes media on a shared hard drive. the wireless sync just took too long. all wknd to be exact.

excellent review by the way…

how’d you know my Aunt reviewed it too?

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