So just what is this Apple TV thing….

Only one of the best pieces of tech I have seen in ages.  Apple TV has been around for a little while and this is its second version but I had assumed like Netflix or other such services(devices) that this probably wouldn’t work or be available in Ireland.  However I got a demo on their latest release from my ‘little’ brother who had his home over Christmas.  I was very impressed.  As soon as I got home I ordered one online – €119.00 (OK so it was on the Visa but I treated myself which then caused a conversation or 2 with my better half on budgeting but that was all good and as usual she was right :-) )

Its fast, easy to use, links up to iPhones, iPads, computers.  We can play our music on it from any of our iTunes accounts using the home sharing facility in iTunes.

We can watch\browse YouTube or Flickr.  We can rent movies on it. They stream to the device via the internet and are immediately(within 30 secs!) available to play.  No more driving the 5 km to Xtravision and back for us.  Movie rentals on it are cheaper than DVD or Blu-Ray rentals.  It’ll save us money in the long-term as we normally rent at least 1 movie every week.

I can buy movies or series on iTunes and watch on the TV easily.

Its HD. It’s very small (roughly 10cm x 10cm x 2.5cm – see pic). Its wireless. I can control it from my iPhone or iPad (Yes there’s an app for that!) but it also has its own remote so iPhone\iPad not needed. I can stream content from my apple devices to the Apple TV via Airplay e.g. On my iPhone I recorded the kids playing. I play it on my iPhone and hit the Airplay button and it appears on my TV.  Simple. It’s very very easy to use. Rumored that more features such as Safari are coming with later software releases. And did I say its easy to use?

For me its the missing link with the whole Apple personal devices\ home entertainment piece.  It brings them all together seamlessly. It’s the best piece of home tech and value for money from 2010.  Honest!

Note: OK so I spouted off on its wonders.  Yes there are some things that could be better(maybe they will come in the future here?).  We dont have the same options as in the states such as Netflix so we need an iTunes account and if they could add the RTE and TV3 (and BBC!) online players it would really enhance it and make it appealing for this market and even the must have home entertainment device.

Also if you don’t have any other Apple devices and prefer to buy your movies as opposed to rent them this is probably not for you.  You also need a decent home internet connection for it to be effective and if you have kids or others  playing games online or streaming media in other rooms you may want to kick them off to ensure you have full bandwidth for movie duration or wait a little bit for your movie to be ready but this will be a ‘suck and see’ as your internet may be good enough to allow all to happen together. The range of movies\programs is nowhere near what is available in the US but I am sure this will improve over time.  Still the best piece of tech last year in my view.  Yes the iPad is wonderful but the cheapest iPad is four times the cost of this………this is cheap for what it offers.  It is small, easy to set up, simple to use and most importantly just works.  This is how all tech should be!)

Tags: , , , ,

Categories: Apple, House, Technology

Author:Feker

Another techie with another blog. Dad, husband and F1 fan.

Subscribe to this blog.....

Subscribe here to get all the latest updates from this techie .......

7 Comments on “So just what is this Apple TV thing….”

  1. Kdobey
    January 13, 2011 at 10:57 am #

    Will it play other formats of the network? I have lots of xvids, divx etc which I made from the kids DVDs and stuck on a Nas ? We use Windows Media Center for every thing in the living room and its great. I’m very curious about the apple tv device.

    • January 13, 2011 at 11:45 am #

      Kevin, here is a couple of pieces from the apple site….

      If you can’t add or play a movie in iTunes or QuickTime Player, then you won’t be able to convert it to play on Apple TV. Some examples of movies you can’t add or play include WMV, AVI, DivX, RealMedia (rm), and Flash format files. Some third-party utilities may be able to convert these types of movies to a format compatible with iTunes and Apple TV.
      H.264 is the base format, but see this page for more detailed specifications of the compatible video formats.

      Video formats
      H.264 video up to 720p, 30 frames per second, Main Profile level 3.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
      MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
      Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format

  2. Eamonn Kelly
    January 20, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    You can download a program called Handbrake for free. This will convert any type of video file into any type of video file. I had over 100 movies on my hard-drive that i couldnt get to play on my Apple TV unless i had it connected with VGA and AUX. Now i converted them to H.264 with Handbrake and moved the movies into my Shared folder and it now comes up on my drive

    • January 21, 2011 at 10:29 am #

      Excellent thanks… wifeys Pc is gonna be busy over the weekend :-)

  3. Kdobey
    January 21, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

    Check out http://www.geektonic.com/2011/01/xbmc-makes-new-appletv-awesome.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed: Brentevans (GeekTonic)&utm_content=Google Reader

  4. July 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    VERY happy with our AppleTV. Use it for renting movies and for showing slideshows made on iMovie then exported to YouTube. What a great device for a nominal price! Loving your blog. :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: