30 Days of AppleTV – Day 22

As we turn into the home stretch here, I find myself torn.

On one hand, I have to say that I am happy with the AppleTV.  Not just as a device that plays my iTunes videos on my TV, but as a replacement for my cable bill.  Even if, when I total up the money spent in the last post, it comes out to be more than my cable bill and dvd purchases would have been – I still don’t intend to get the cable hooked back up.

Why?

Because this works.  Most of what I watch looks good, and I get to keep it.  I own the shows that I have purchased, and I can watch them on my iPod, my Macbook Pro, or my TV with no encoding hassle, or worry that it won’t work with the stuff that I use ( I realize that if I was using non-Apple products it would be an issue…but I am using Apple products, so it’s not for me).

I’m also not worried about the eventual upgade to HD in iTunes because (based solely on my own speculation) the EMI deal with iTunes sets a precident, and I expect to be able to download HD versions of the stuff I have already downloaded (should I choose to) for a small fee.

BUT…

When writing about it, all I can think about are the things that I don’t like…so I’m afraid it gives the impression of being unhappy with the device.  I can still say that I wouldn’t recommend that a videophyle purchase it…and I am still surprised that there is no non-podcasting HD content available…

All of that said, we still have 8 days to go before the final verdict is in…so we’ll see.  If it explodes between now and then, I’ll be very unhappy.

Comments

  1. At least it would still be under warranty! ;)

  2. @Chris –

    Very true…still..it would be a disappointing end to this little 30 day review…. :)

  3. Rick Rouse says:

    I must say that I am very happy with mine. It does almost everything I was hoping for when I bought it. Now if I can only figure out how to get the best video quality from my home movies. But…great looking photos, plays my music with album cover art, and the video podcasts are a very pleasant suprise. And best of all…my wife can work the darn thing. No keyboard or mouse. Yes, at this stage it is just an iPod Deluxe but the future looks bright.

  4. It sounds like you expected it to do more or at least do things differently. Do you feel that Apple released it too early, that it doesn’t exactly fit your needs, or that the hype was over-inflated? I’m just curious, as I own no TV and so I’m not in the market for an Apple TV. I think there is an important distinction to be made between the device’s performance and the availability of content.

  5. Yes, I’m also very happy with mine, too. It has actually changed my entertainment habits in somewhat astounding ways. I’m listening to my music collection now more than ever before, I’m watching numerous Podcasts that I never actually knew existed before, and I’m watching a couple of my favorite TV shows on _my_ schedule, and without commercials (!), which has been very rewarding. I don’t think I could ever go back. :-)

    Bob

  6. “I’m also not worried about the eventual upgade to HD in iTunes because (based solely on my own speculation) the EMI deal with iTunes sets a precident, and I expect to be able to download HD versions of the stuff I have already downloaded (should I choose to) for a small fee.”

    Although Apple allows us to upgrade our EMI music for a small fee, they did not allow us to upgrade our iTunes video purchases when they switched from 320 x 240 to 640 x 480. I had purchased a few childrens shows for my son to watch on my MacBook while we were on a trip last year. And, after our trip, Apple announced the G5.5 iPods and new video standards on iTunes. Unfortunately, they won’t allow me to upgrade my previous purchases.

  7. I love my new AppleTV, but now I’m beginning to get frustrated that it’s so difficult to get “other” video content on it. Due to work constraints, I use Windows XP at home, and although iTunes works great with my PC environment, I really need a solution to get other formats of video on the AppleTV. I have a small collection of .WMV and .AVI video favorites, and a couple of DVDs I’d like to have access to on the device.

    At this point, is there any simple, “drag & drop” method of conversion that works on the WinXP platform? Or at least a solution that doesn’t require a degree in technical engineering to figure out the options? :-)

  8. Rob, not sure if you’ll see this (nearly a month since your post), but Nero Recode 2 is a pretty straight-forward solution of XP video conversion. It’ll happily convert anything to near-DVD quality based on their iPod 640×480 h.264 1500kbps profile. If you’re looking to do HD content, it can handle that too with a little tweaking.

    Videora is another (free) solution, although it’s not quite as robust as Nero.

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