“Apple has released Version 2.0, adding a nifty feature that was sorely missed in the first iteration: the ability to rent movies and buy music and TVshows from your couch. You no longer need a PC or Mac to get Apple TV’s content,”Tim Gideon and Joel Santo Domingo report for PC Magazine. “If you already own an Apple TV, this free firmware update makes it an even better deal.”
“The basic concept behind Apple TV is straightforward: It lets you play iTunes content on your TV. This includes music, TV shows, even high-definition movies. You can wirelessly stream content from the iTunes libraries of up to six computers (five shared, plus a “host” PC or Mac) or play files directly from the device’s 40GB or 160GB hard drive,” Gideon and Santo Domingo report.
“Version 2.0 of the Apple TV offers some significant interface advances. For example, the main Apple TV menu now floats on top of whatever you’re viewing. You bring up the menu by holding down the menu button on the remote for a couple of seconds. This is a big improvement over the old main menu that the Apple TV shared with Front Row 2.0, which made you navigate back to the main home screen or stumble through a bunch of submenus. It takes a little while to get used to the new interface if you’re an Apple 1.x user or a Front Row fan, but after an hour or two into the review I was jumping back and forth between shared movies and my rentals with ease,” Gideon and Santo Domingo report.
“Videos purchased or rented from iTunes were clear and pleasant to watch. Purchased video and SD movie files are optimized for 480p displays, and HD movie rentals are delivered at 720p… The HD movie’s quality was comparable to 720p broadcasts on digital cable… If you’re really picky about your HD video, get a Blu-ray player (and a high-quality display). If you want to enjoy a better-than-SD-quality movie in a casual environment, the Apple TV will do you fine,” Gideon and Santo Domingo report.
Full review here.