NY Times’ Pogue: ‘Apple TV offers a gracious, elegant, effortless, delightful experience’

Apple Store“Apple TV has landed. How does it stack up? In looks, it sits at the top of the heap. Apple TV is a gorgeous, one-inch-tall, round-cornered square slab, 7.7 inches on a side. It slips silently and almost invisibly into your entertainment setup,” David Pogue reports for The New York Times.

The heart-breaker for millions, however, is that Apple TV requires a wide-screen TV — preferably an HDTV. It doesn’t work with the squarish, traditional TVs that many people still have,” Pogue reports. “Apple defends its audience-limiting decision by saying that the future is HDTV; Apple is just “skating to where the puck is going to be,” as a product manager put it.”

Pogue reports, “Apple TV doesn’t come with any cables. You’re supposed to supply the one your TV requires (HDMI, component video or HDMI-to-DVI adapter). They cost $20 at Apple’s online store. So what is Apple TV? Basically, it’s an iPod for your TV.”

“The integration of iPod, iTunes and Apple TV offers frequent payoffs. For example, if you paused your iPod partway through a movie, TV show or song, Apple TV remembers your place when you resume playing it on your TV. Cool,” Pogue reports.

Pogue reports, “All of this works elegantly and effortlessly. But there are lots of unanswered questions that make onlookers wonder if Apple has bigger plans for the humble Apple TV. For example, it has an Internet connection and a hard drive; why can’t it record TV shows like a TiVo? Furthermore, it’s a little weird that menus and photos appear in spectacular high-definition, but not TV shows and movies. All iTunes videos are in standard definition, and don’t look so hot on an HDTV. And then there’s the mysterious, unused USB port.”

“Apple TV offers a gracious, delightful experience — but requires fidelity to Apple’s walled garden,” Pogue reports.

Full review here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “RadDoc” for the heads up.]

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  1. “it’s a little weird that menus and photos appear in spectacular high-definition, but not TV shows and movies”

    Wow, you think it might have anything to do with the difference in size between a photo and a feature-length movie? You think?

    “For example, it has an Internet connection and a hard drive; why can’t it record TV shows like a TiVo?”

    Record them from what, the Internet?

  2. Apple has never been one to shy away from establishing the future course of technology, then waiting for the world to catch up. No difference here. I like the “skating to where the puck will be”. In two years HDTV will be main stream. Plenty of time to add more substance to this amazing device.

    OS X Leopard may have some iTV surprises in store for us.

  3. Until HD content is available from iTunes Store, this device makes no sense at all. Why would I want to watch sub dvd quality movies in dobly surround (not digital 5.1) on my HDTV? I have purchsed a movie just to try it out and it looks horrible on my HDTV.

  4. “Skating to where the puck is going to be”‘

    That’s a Gretzky line actually, it’s seems Apple managers have studied “the Greats”

    I think they may still have to go back to school though, $350 bucks or there abouts for the delivery of content that will take forever to download when it finally gets to HD. By the time the do move to HD Congress the CRTC or someother Gvt agency will have put the breaks on high bandwidth use of the internet.

  5. A bomb.
    Too much for the average consumer.
    Forget it.
    We can´t understand why people don´t buy more Apple computers, how are they going to appreciate or grasp this thing?
    Can you imagine a sales guy trying to explain the appleTV pizza box?
    “It´s a $299 wireless thingy that beams Movies you bought for $11.99 via your iTunes on your computer to your HDTV except the quality is not HD. Yeah, sure you could go buy the DVD or rent it cheaper, but this is Apple cool.”
    NO sale.
    A teenty, tiny niche product for the few Apple that think they need it.

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