The long awaited Apple TV has finally arrived! Chris Hardwick joins Kevin Pereira in studio to review the little black box that can wirelessly stream media from iTunes, rent TV shows or movies, and access Netflix, YouTube and Flickr. Find out what rating they give this $100 device.
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.