iLounge gives Apple TV a ‘B’ in hands-on review: ‘recommended’

Apple StoreiLounge.com’s Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Horwitz reviews Apple’s new Apple TV and gives it the “Recommended by iLounge” rating with a grade of “B.”

“Pros: A cleanly-designed alternative to tethering your iPod or a computer to a widescreen television set, offering streaming or synchronized access to part of your iTunes video and audio library, as well as synchronized, slideshow-style access to your PC or Mac’s photo library. Supports not only high-resolution televisions but also the playback of high-definition video and photo content, using an intuitive interface and sophisticated wireless networking software to ease installation, navigation, and playback of your content. Works well with common 802.11g networks and offers 802.11n compatibility for superior performance. Runs quiet, consumes little space, and includes Apple Remote; works almost seamlessly with iTunes 7.1 (or later), even with multiple Apple TV units or computers networked together,” Jeremy Horwitz reports for iLounge.

“Cons: You’ll have to create, convert, or buy compatible content, as limited video format support and glitches in many previously iPod-converted video files will render even an existing iTunes video library in need of substantial updating; older iTunes Store videos look downright bad on larger HDTVs, and some videos don’t display properly on any TV. Does not include video or audio cables of any sort, and may not be compatible with certain TVs that it can physically connect to. Included hard disk is of even lower usable capacity than expected, takes a very long time to fill over standard wireless connection, and USB port does not allow connection of a second dedicated media drive. Music and photo features are acceptable but not mindblowing. Lack of any volume control will bother some users. Pricey given the actual value it adds,” Horwitz reports.

Full extensive review here.

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46 Comments

  1. Apple TV device doesn’t use DRM

    An anonymous friend at an MPAA member-company sez,
    Now that my NDA issues are gone, a little tidbit for you.
    The Apple TV device has HDMI and component outputs. As of the launch, it doesn’t have the HDCP anti-copying technology.

    As you might imagine, this is an issue to media companies and they aren’t sure if they’ll supply HD content. They want money but they want ‘security’.

    Consider that the Xbox 360 has video component HD out (no HDCP) and the Apple TV will have HDMI and component out (no HDCP).

    Is the de facto standard now set by Apple & Microsoft?

    Funny to hear that Apple is refusing to put DRM on its high-def TV offerings — expecially after Steve Jobs told the entertainment industry never to release HD material on DVD, unless tech companies promised not to make HD-capable DVD burners.

    http://www.boingboing.net/2007/01/10/apple_tv_device_does.html

  2. I checked it out at the ocal Apple store yesterday. I was interested. I need to know whether I could play DVDs from my MacBook Pro through it to my TV. The answer was, of course, no.

    I will wait til I can do that.

    I think that Leopard will probably add that functionality. It won’t be long now.

  3. At the apple store here in tucson this morning to check one out. The thing is definately built by Apple. Beautiful design and warm to the touch. The lack of volume control sucked. The menu is goergous, of course. It seemed pretty seemless, and the video quality was good. By the time I left, there were 6 shoppers outside the store watching the window display, all pointing and asking questions of each other.

  4. @ cptnkirk

    well you’ll be waiting for a long time. most everybody that will buy an apple tv will already have a dvd player hooked up in the same entertainment unit. the point of the apple tv is to play content already on your computer within iTunes…this will never be a wireless DVD player…this will replace the dvd player all together.

  5. Tthis is so cool. I finally got my dirty mouse ball to work. Tried everything I had read, and still nothing.

    Why I didn’t think to use contact cleaner a long time ago I don’t know. It’s not like I work on electronics and have cans of it sitting around…

    Sorry, what were y’all talking about?

  6. If you want to play your DVD’s then rip it using Handbrake and import it the DVD or Video_TS folder into iTunes. The quality is acceptable – not HD but acceptable. If your renting DVD’s it beats the problem of burning coasters while making copies most of the time.

  7. I don’t know why no-one is mentioning this, but there’s one big reason I won’t be buying an TV any time soon; it places an arbitrary limit on how many computers I can stream content from whether there’s DRM or not.

    One major reason I bought an Express/Airport was that there was no limit to non-DRM’d file sharing or streaming via Bonjour. As people come into my house they can simply log onto the network and we can share everything without restrictions because we don’t use DRM.

    Apple has chosen to pre-emptively punish the consumer with the TV. If I make an original movie in iMovie and export it into iTunes, I should be allowed to share it freely with anyone’s TV without having to be “authorized” as one-of-five possible sources. This smacks of movie industry interference.

  8. ron
    no, my 3.5 year old grandson isn’t big on using it. Yet.
    I have thought about using a ‘puck’ mouse from an iMac G3 and putting the wireless Mighty away. They both work at the same time, which is cool.
    There, it is done!

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