Apple TV Wireless HD Media Streamer Review


Apple TV’s standout feature is how easy it is to use. Authorizing movie and TV show rentals is a simple process, as is watching streaming movies and TV shows from Netflix and videos from YouTube. Accessing media files saved on your computer is also fairly straightforward (be it media you ripped yourself or purchased from iTunes), although you’re somewhat limited by the file types and codecs that the Apple TV supports—and your computer must be powered on with iTunes running in order for the connection to your media to work. Also, any 1080p content you plan on streaming will be downscaled to the Apple TV’s maximum supported resolution of 720p. These are small prices to pay, however, for what is ostensibly a very easy-to-use and inexpensive media player with numerous media streaming options.

One Roku-like feature we’d like to see on the Apple TV is the ability to also access the Amazon Video On Demand library. As this would likely be direct competition to Apple’s own iTunes Store’s movie and TV show rentals, we can see how this could be an unlikely addition. That said, if third-party apps ever do become available for the Apple TV, it’s certainly not completely out of the realm of possibilities.

Which bring us to the hidden potential of the Apple TV, just simmering below the surface. The imminent release of iOS 4.2—which will enable iPhone/iPad/iPod touch devices to stream content directly to the Apple TV—could very well be just the beginning of greater things to come. Running a version of iOS, using a powerful Apple A4 processor, and having 8GB of flash storage means that the Apple TV could very much act not unlike an iPad or iPod touch—with thousands of apps and games to install and run. We don’t know if this will ever happen, but if it does, the Apple TV could become far, far more than just a media player.

  • Inexpensive
  • Great quality video streaming
  • Netflix and YouTube streaming
  • Plays video, music, podcasts, and photos from a computer on your local network

  • For streaming your own media content to the Apple TV, your computer must be powered on, with iTunes running.
  • Cannot stream content from a NAS device
  • Limited media file type and codec support
  • 720p maximum supported resolution (no 1080p support)


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