Apple TV 2.0 is “everything Apple TV should have been when it launched, complete with audio and video podcasts, Flickr and .Mac integration and—most importantly—movie rentals without a computer. At $229, it’s an essential part of any iTunes user’s living room arsenal,” Jason Chen reports for Gizmodo.
MacDailyNews Take: Blame the studios for how Apple TV worked when it was launched. Jobs can charitably take the blame and can claim in public to have learned from his “mistakes,” but behind-the-scenes, we bet this is what he was trying to make Apple TV all along. It just took a year — during which Wal-Mart would fail with their horrible online effort — for Hollywood to finally decide to jump.
Chen continues, “The New UI: Gone is the right side text, left side image menu system of the first-gen Apple TV. It’s now a two-column affair, with the major categories on the left and subcategories for the selected entry on the right. It may not be quite intuitive at first, but you’ll get the hang of it in about 30 seconds. Simple and easy to use is the name of the game in the end.”
“Movies: This is going to be the core of your Apple TV experience. Browsing for movies is a fairly easy task, with a Top Movies section listing the most popular movies available right now, along with a genre browser and a search function,” Chen reports.
“People can plop down an Apple TV into their homes and rent movies, listen to iTunes music, sync up with their grandchildren’s Flickr or .Mac streams, or just waste an hour surfing YouTube,” Chen writes. “The only question you have to ask yourself to justify this purchase is whether or not you have faith in Apple to back up their fancy piece of hardware with content—both on the Movie and TV side—in order to provide you something to watch for years to come. It may take a while, and things might not go entirely smoothly (see NBC’s iTunes departure for example) but I think they’ll get there. And for the new, lowered price of $229, it’s not even an expensive gamble.”
Much more, including screenshots, in the full review here.