I have purposefully avoided reading reviews of the AppleTV until I got a chance to play with it on my own. I’ve been playing with it for a few hours now, and after spending time with the device, I think I can safely say that this is the future of television entertainment…but iTunes isn’t quite there yet with the necessary content to make this a must have.
Setting up the AppleTV could not have been simpler. In true Apple style there were no unnecessary steps, and everything that was required was capable of running quickly and easily.
The Interface is crisp and beautiful. The entire device works exactly like you would think that it should, with easy to navigate menus, and beautiful high-rez images to go along with the interface.
Watching (some) of the content, however, is a bit disappointing. Episodes of Lost I have downloaded are not even in widescreen, and the quality on them is standard def at best. Other shows like Andy Barker P.I., and the newly remastered Star Trek TOS episodes…look pretty darn good. Almost as good as their HD counterparts…but not quite. I’m not a videophile, so it really doesn’t bother me, but I can certainly see where it would drive a person obsessed with the best quality picture nuts.
Overall, If I had to make a snap judgement on the AppleTV, I would probably say, wait until HD content makes its way to iTunes before you run out to buy one. When that time comes…this is going to be a must have…but until then, you can probably save your money…
…but…this short review isn’t the end of our AppleTV coverage here at Apple Gazette – Oh no – starting Monday, I will be blogging about Living with AppleTV – by replacing my cable with it to see how well it fares against the Time Warner’s and Comcasts of the world. I’m interested to see how my perception of the AppleTV will be after using it instead of my cable for 30 days…what kind of changes will iTunes make in that time? Who knows…but I’ll be interested to find out.
My attitude is, if watching iTunes content on your iPod/computer doesn’t bother you right now, it won’t bother you on the AppleTV either. I’ve downloaded a bunch of Lost, Monk, and video podcasts, and they look the same on AppleTV as they did on my powerBook – only bigger and way easier to access from my sofa/bed.
The only downside I see to replacing your cable is the fact that you can’t watch specials or things that are exclusive TV, such as that documentary lately “The Lost Tomb” Sure with the Apple TV you get to watch what you want but you miss all the chances to see those TV exclusives. I also wish you could control the TV volume with the remote rather than having to keep your tv remote hanging around.
I don’t think its possible but being able to buy movies/tv shows/rent movies directly from the AppleTV would be extremely handy imo. I agree it is the future but I don’t think it will be all it can be until its 2nd generation comes, and/or if Leopard changes it a lot.