Tag Archives: DVD

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!)