The successes of iPod, iMac, MacBook and iPhone are well known. Yet quietly in the corner is Apple TV — not many talk about it. After just a few days use, I am surprised this device doesn’t get more love. Maybe it still needs to rebuild its reputation after the first expensive/not interesting version came out.
We bought one this weekend and let me tell you — this is an unbelievable value IMHO. We got the entry model (40GB) with a lower amount of storage space since we determined a lower need for persistent storage capacity.
In one device, I might possibly realize a la carte viewing.
In many ways, a DVR such as Tivo helps the cable/satellite subscriber achieve more value by recording shows they wouldn’t otherwise watch. But it hurts in much the same way that eating that Super Size Meal does — you feel obligated to consume more than you wanted because you paid for it.
With Apple TV, I can purchase the overwhelming majority of shows I want to watch only when/if I want to watch them. This fills in the gaps of shows I am not getting for free in HD over the air. I can definitely see this as easing the cutting of the cable/satellite cord. If the device added DVR capability it would be game,set, match.
The other really cool thing is that all of those video podcasts I subscribe to really make more sense now on a television. Viewing YouTube videos on demand is wonderful entertainment. Video quality varies(obviously), but this is probably good for me or I’d be back to gorging at the video trough.
iTunes movie rentals are straightforward. I think the rental price is fair. Supposedly the HD quality isn’t technically HD or as good as Blu-Ray, but I thought it looked really good.
Yeah, it will play my music library too. That isn’t a small thing when pumped through your home stereo.
Being able to view my photos on the TV without needing to bring down a camera and plug it in is nice. And the interface is really slick. It adds Flickr support which doesn’t help me much as I am a SmugMug guy, but for a lot of folks this would be great.