Review: Apple TV

Discussion in 'Apple Hardware' started by RHochstenbach, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. RHochstenbach

    RHochstenbach Administrator Staff Member

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    Purchased the Apple TV 160GB model today, so It's reviewing time :)

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    Specifications
    - 160 GB Hard Drive
    - 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
    - Connections: HDMI, Component Video, Audio RCA, Optical Audio, 10/100 BASE-T Ethernet, USB 2.0

    What's In the Box?
    The Apple TV Box contains these items:

    - Apple TV
    - AC Power Cord
    - Apple Remote (the white plastic one)
    - User manuals
    - The famous Apple sticker sheet

    There are no AV cables included of any kind. No HDMI, no audio and no component Video cables. So you must purchase either an HDMI cable or a Component Video with Analog Audio RCA cables, as these are all not included. I chose the Component Video with Analog Audio RCA cables, as my TV's only HDMI plug is already occupied.

    Turning it on
    After plugging in the power cord, the front light turns amber. Meanwhile an Apple logo becomes visible for 10-20 seconds, followed by a video-like intro.

    At the first boot, it asks for your preferred language and video output format. You then choose your preferred wireless network (if you're not using Ethernet) and enter the password (if required).

    Now it's time to launch iTunes. It asks for it, and shows a number. When iTunes is launched, it shows a wizard to configure your Apple TV. Enter the code that the Apple TV shows on your screen and then continue configuring the iTunes Store account and synchronization options. That's all! It just works.

    User Interface
    The User Interface of the Apple TV shows columns with Movies, TV Series, Music, Podcasts, Photos, Internet, Settings.

    Photos
    Here you can see photo's that have been synced to your Apple TV, and photos that are published on either MobileMe or Flickr. Photos can be viewed one by one, or using a slide show.

    Internet
    The Internet column has two items: Youtube and Radio. Radio provides the ability to listen to Internet Radio stations like in iTunes (obvious). With Youtube you can view Youtube videos and even log on to your Youtube account to view your history, subscriptions and favorites.

    Settings
    Here you can change video/audio settings, pair remotes (including the iPhone/iPod app 'Remote' which I'll cover later), set screensaver, update software, activate Standby and much more.

    Each column shows highlights for that specific categories as cover art. This can be either items on your Apple TV or highlights in the iTunes Store.

    Environmental issues
    First of all, I'm not one of those idiots who complains about global warming but drives to work in a big Chevy. No, I'm only covering the stuff that affects normal people during their normal lives.

    The Standby mode doesn't put the Apple TV to sleep like it's done with a Mac. The video output turns black but is not turned off, the hard disk keeps spinning and the fan keeps running. This means that putting it into Standby mode still leaves a mark on your electricity bill. Furthermore it makes a soft noise even in Standby mode, which can be annoying to people who have the Apple TV in their bedroom at night. Not forgetting to mention, it produces a massive amount of heat.

    The only way to turn this off is by pulling the power plug after use, or by using one of the various 'Outlet Switches' that are for sale in most household stores. I'm really hoping that Apple would create a proper off-switch on the device in future revisions.

    Additional great stuff
    The Apple TV can be used as an AirTunes receiver. So it send the audio from iTunes on your computer to the speakers that are connected to your Apple TV. Great feature if you're having a great amplifier connected to it :)

    The 'Remote' app for the iPhone and iPod Touch can pair with your Apple TV. It can be used as a trackpad to browse through the menu items, or to select a song or movie.

    Overall Conclusion
    The Apple TV is a great way to get your iTunes experience to your TV. It's a better experience to watch movies on your couch instead of your computer. Apple did a great job in creating such a device. The User Interface is easy to manage (Apple Style) and it has all the features that iTunes provides.

    The only problems at the moment are the inability to turn it off completely and the lack of any cables in the box. Really I mean I've never seen any TV peripheral that didn't have any cables included. I can imagine that an HDMI cable and Optical TOSLINK cable is too expensive to include for free, but at least include some RCA cables in there.
     
  2. HardwareHunter

    HardwareHunter Geek Trainee

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    This is cool information. Apple is always releasing some new product so I haven't gotten around to reviewing or even purchasing this product yet.
     
  3. liciniusjack

    liciniusjack Geek Trainee

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    It' a beautiful concept of Tv. How much this cost? and how much channel are accessible through this? Please tell me.
     

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