Apple TV Wireless HD Media Streamer Review

11 thumbs up


In early September, Steve Jobs took to the stage and unveiled the new-and-improved Apple TV. What was once considered a “hobby” device was reworked, streamlined, made more affordable, and aimed squarely at the masses. It enters an increasingly crowded market of devices that offer near-instant access to libraries of recent movies and TV shows, as well other online streaming media content from the likes of Netflix, YouTube, and Flickr. Not to mention the ability to also stream media you already own—videos, music, and photos—from your computer to your TV and audio system.



The Apple TV comes with a consumer-friendly price tag of $99, which is sure to give the likes of Roku, WD TV HD Media Player, and Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex TV HD Media Player devices a run for their money. You can even add the myriad of Google TV devices we’re sure to see coming to market in the coming months to the growing list of devices that are vying for the precious HDMI connections on the back of our HDTVs. Speaking of HDMI, the Apple TV does not come with an HDMI cable, so you’ll need to provide one yourself.


Apple TV Specifications
Specifications & Features
 In the box  • Apple TV
 • Aluminum Apple Remote
 • Power cord
 • Documentation
 Size and weight  • Height: 0.9 inch (23 mm)
 • Width: 3.9 inches (98 mm)
 • Depth: 3.9 inches (98 mm)
 • Weight: 0.6 pounds
 Processor  • Apple A4 chip
 Ports and interfaces  • HDMI
 • Optical audio
 • 10/100BASE-T Ethernet
 • Built-in IR receiver
 • Micro-USB (for service and support)
 Environmental requirements  • Operating temperature: 32° to 95° F (0° to 35° C)
 • Storage temperature: –4° to 113° F (–20° to 45° C)
 • Relative humidity: 5% to 95% noncondensing
 • Maximum operating altitude: 10,000 feet (3000 m)
 Power  • Built-in 6-watt universal power supply
 Wireless  • Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)
 Video formats  • H.264: 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: 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
 Audio formats  • HE-AAC (V1), AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV; Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound pass-through
 Photo formats  • JPEG, GIF, TIFF
 TV compatibility  • High-definition TVs with HDMI and capable of 720p 60/50Hz, including popular models from these manufacturers: Hitachi, JVC, LG, Mitsubishi, NEC, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, Vizio, Westinghouse
 System requirements  • Wi-Fi (802.11a, b, g, or n) wireless network (wireless video streaming requires 802.11a, g, or n) or 10/100BASE-T Ethernet network
 • iTunes Store account for renting movies and TV shows
 • Netflix account for streaming Netflix content
 • For streaming media from a Mac or PC: iTunes 10.0.1 or later; iTunes Store account for Home Sharing
 Accessories  • HDMI to HDMI Cable
 • Digital Optical Audio Cable
 • AppleCare Protection Plan
 Apple TV is designed with the following features to reduce environmental impact:  • Brominated flame retardant–free
 • PVC-free10
 • Meets ENERGY STAR Version 2.0 requirements for set-top boxes

Price: $99

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Good review. I don't like the limitations that are a major part of this device. There are many other ways to do what this does without restrictions. The lack of Full resolution stinks too. Sorry Fruit Guys, this is a fail..

 

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The biggest problem with the Apple TV, other than the limits, is that it does not provide anything new.  If you own a PS3 or XB360, you already have everything and more that it offers.  If you buy a new TV, you'll already have almost everything it offers.

Granted it is very easy to control and lick looking, but it is just another expensive digital rental device.  The streaming features are not is major focus.  It's major focus is to get you more tightly tied into the iTunes'verse.

Anand did a very extensive review of this device a month ago.  I've read reviews from several other sources and most of them boil down to "Slick look, but too little too late to join the party".  Heck, if price is your target, the Roku HD is $40 cheaper.

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