What You Need To Know
- Apple TV is much smaller than any other media streamer we've seen.
- It measures just under an inch tall and will fit anywhere in your living room.
- It would be hard to not like the design but since it's so small, it doesn't quite have all the outputs we want.
- It features an HDMI out, optical out and Ethernet in but no component or composite out, so you'd have to have a television with HDMI inputs.
- The easy set up and interface from the previous generation of Apple TV still applies here.
- The set up is simple: plug it in and connect to Wi-fi.
- The interface is immediately intuitive: everything is at a glance and has pretty little thumbnails.
- Browsing shows, movies and music looks especially nice in 720p.
- Another major change from the old Apple TV is that this new one actually streams.
- Before, Apple TV would start downloading your video to the hard drive and wait for enough of it to buffer before playing.
- This one is much smoother since it's only streaming.
- Home sharing is also really easy: it's an option that you turn on in iTunes, so as long as your computer is on the same network, you can stream anything from that computer to Apple TV.
- It only supports video within iTunes, though, so don't expect WMV's to play.
- You can also control Apple TV with the remote app on the iPhone or iPad, which actually is better than the standard remote since it doesn't have a QWERTY keyboard.
- Some people have complained that there isn't enough online content in addition to all the iTunes music and video, which is still the case.
- It's nice they have Netflix, YouTube and Flickr, but almost any modern home theater device offers these features and more.
- We reviewed a Western Digital Media Streamer before that streamed Pandora and Live 365, and we've also seen a number of Blu-ray players with Amazon video on demand.
- That said, iTunes does have 8,000 movies and more for rent.
- They are still lacking in the TV department, since there are only a few networks represented through iTunes. We're sure more will sign on in the coming months.
- AirPlay is also coming in November, which is a feature that allows you to stream media from your iPhone, iPod or iPad directly to Apple TV.
- 4 Seals of Approval out of 5 (How do we rate gadgets?)
- This device works extremely well for the price, but the content is not all there yet. When they add more shows and get AirPlay working, it should be 5 out of 5!