03 February 2011

Apple TV

I was lucky enough to receive an Apple TV recently as a gift. It’s one of those pieces of tech I’ve been pretty curious about but even with the lower price it got not too long ago, it’s hasn’t been exactly on my list of «must haves». I should say, it still isn’t but it is a lot more useful than I would have guessed. The basic concept for those of you who aren't aware, is to get content from the computer or online (or with Apple, your ipod or ipad) easily on to the TV screen.

The good:
Really works well, fast and has a nice interface. Takes nothing to install it and gives you access to Netflix, I-tunes rentals etc. I find I-tunes rentals far too costly for what you are getting but it’s available. The new «airplay» feature on iOS devices is pretty cool. A great way to show stuff on the TV without having to make a DVD or some other time consuming method.

The bad:
Missing the ability to browse the internet is a ridiculous omission in my opinion. Even many new TV sets can do it. If Apple wants people to use their device over anything else, it will need one. Apps are apparently coming for the device and that’s a good thing, it will give it more functionality and will personalize the device according to the needs of the user. «Airplay» is lacking a few features it really needs to succeed in a big way. Many apps show TV shows (such as tou.tv here in Québec) would profit from being able to use this feature. As of now, only the sound is transferred over, not very helpful. It would be amazing if you could see your game on the ipod/ipad on the tv but I’ve been told there are certain technical problems that make that difficult to accomplish. Still.. it’s something that would turn Apple TV into something much more than a «hobby» for Apple overnight.

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