Digit hands-on with Apple TV: ‘simple to set up, a delight to use’

Apple Store“Apple TV is as easy to use as it is to set up. The included six-button remote can be used to easily navigate through the menus to select and play content. Navigation is completely intuitive, and it’s hard to find anything more to say about browsing and playing content on the Apple TV — it simply works,” Heather Havenstein reports for Digit.

“Apple deserves high praise for the look and feel of the Apple TV interface, which is stunning while still managing to be simple. Each interface element delivers a cohesive look while drawing from such diverse sources as personal photos, album art and stills from video content. You really get the feeling as you navigate through the Apple TV that this is your personal digital media experience,” Havenstein reports.

“The fact that music and video tags from iTunes are displayed to give you additional information about selected titles (description, air or publication date, etc.) is a nice touch,” Havenstein reports. “One of the most visually stunning and personalized features of the Apple TV interface isn’t even truly part of the interface. The included screen saver feature will display random photos synced to the Apple TV with beautiful 3-D effects (you can also choose to view CD album art instead of photos). In fact, this screensaver makes your TV into a great digital picture frame when you’re not watching other content.”

Havenstein reports, “The Apple TV is focused on one goal: Bringing iTunes-based digital media stored on your computer to your TV. It achieves that goal quite well and simply with a device that is simple to set up and a delight to use.”

“Apple TV, however, isn’t for everybody. For one thing, its $299 price tag isn’t exactly inexpensive. And you are largely limited to using the iTunes store, which has a large and loyal following. However, videos are available from a variety of other sources that aren’t supported by Apple TV and the iTunes software,” Havenstein reports. “Still, if you want easy access to music and video from iTunes, as well as your personal digital images, Apple TV is an excellent choice.”

Full article here.

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24 Comments

  1. I never understand it when critics say something is expensive, or in this case not “exactly inexpensive.” It seems like they say these things without regard to what it is they are buying. I mean, yes, $299 is not a small amount of money… but you can’t say something is expensive without considering what it is you are buying. $299 for a toothpick is expensive… $299 for a mini computer with a 40gb hard drive that will sync with your other computers in the house and display your media on a HDTV… doesn’t sound that expensive to me. Same thing for the iPhone. $600 for an ipod is expensive… $600 for a plain cell phone is expensive… $600 for a smartphone with a widescreen ipod, WiFi and large touch screen… doesn’t sound too expensive.

  2. Once again, Yeah, but…Stop posting the same 2 sentences over and over again without telling us what was being shown on it or you will be labeled a troll (which is likely anyway).

    MW = “fact” Which is what we need from you “Yeah, but…”

  3. Well, no doubt ‘Yeah but’ post the picture sucks story over and over again will induce seven people to reconsider buying. But any intelligent person will see for themselves.

    And so far ‘Yeah buts’ view is in the minority of about 200 opinions to 1.

    I look forward to making up my own mind than you.

  4. Have to agree about the picture quality of movies and TV being disappointing.

    I love the functionality but I want this device to replace something in my overloaded AV rack. It doesn’t quite replace the Tivo the DVD player or the Cable Box. When one of those can go away and the picture quality is HD, I’m sold.

  5. “Have you actually SEEN the picture quality on an AppleTV?”

    Yes, I’m looking at it in my room right now. It looks awesome.

    What’s disappointing is the quality of some videos sold on iTunes. Not all, mind you – my episodes of Monk look as they would on any non-HD TV.

    I had some movies in non-AppleTV formats and I converted those in QuickTime (and VisualHub). They look excellent.

    Most of the time I watch free video podcasts in all sorts of resolutions and compression qualities. I appreciate the nice-looking ones, but the fuzzies really don’t bother me. With millions of people YouTubing every day, I wouldn’t side with picture quality when it’s matched against content.

  6. I have had my AppleTV for a week now, and for those of you complaining about picture quality, what did you expect? The movies and TV shows that you buy from iTunes are NOT HD, they are not even DVD quality. Considering this, I have had no problems with the quality of iTunes Store content. The DVD’s that I have ripped, have been MUCH better quality, and I can only tell it’s not the DVD if I concentrate on the lines and shadows, but that’s not why I watch something. The xvid and divx files that I have improted into iTunes through quicktime look great, and video podcasts look great for what they are.

  7. “Have you actually SEEN the picture quality on an AppleTV? It sucks! I was really, really disappointed when I saw it in person at the Apple Store last weekend. *sigh*”

    I have an Apple TV and I love it! The picture quality is awesome. However, I agree that the picture quality I saw in the Apple Store in Tyson’s Corner, VA sucked!

    Whoever is setting the demo units up in the stores should be fired! Immediately! It is a disservice to the buying public to mislead them into thinking this box only displays the crappy resolution video that is being displayed in the Apple stores.

  8. In other news…

    http://www.omninerd.com/2007/03/26/articles/74

    “As far as “straight-out-of-box” conditions go, both Microsoft’s Windows and Apple’s OS X are ripe with remotely accessible vulnerabilities. “

    “Without a diligence for applying the appropriate patches or enabling automatic updates, owners of Windows and OS X systems are the most susceptible to quick and thorough remote violations by hackers.”

    enjoy

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