Pioneer Press reviews Apple TV 2.0: A joy to use (works flawlessly, unlike Microsoft’s Xbox Live)

“If you have a high-definition television, you should be watching high-definition movies,” Julio Ojeda-Zapata reports for The Pioneer Press. “The newly updated Apple TV set-top box makes this easy. The slim Internet device, which connects to an HDTV, serves up dozens of high-definition rentals and hundreds of standard-definition versions, with more titles on the way from all the major movie studios.”

Ojeda-Zapata reports, “And it does so directly, without a computer as an awkward intermediary… Though HD-rental selection on the Apple TV remains a bit sparse (see accompanying article for comparisons with other movie-rental devices and services), I adore the Apple TV for reasons that go beyond movies.”

“The Apple TV is a joy to use via Apple’s signature mini-remote, the same one offered with its Macintosh machines. The Apple TV has a simplified menu that gets you quickly to flicks, TV shows, music, podcasts, photos and YouTube

“The Apple TV proved to be a godsend for one of my family’s recent movie nights. We didn’t want to go out into the bitter cold for a store rental, and we didn’t have anything good from Netflix. I had earlier attempted to download Disney’s ‘The Game Plan’ on a loaner Xbox 360, which was hardwired into my network and connected to the Xbox Live Marketplace e-store, but the movie was barely trickling from cyberspace (a download issue others have noted),” Ojeda-Zapata reports.

“So, I gave up on the Microsoft console and rented ‘The Game Plan’ on the Apple TV. It downloaded quickly (partly because this title isn’t in high definition) and was ready for watching soon after the download initiated. Viewing was flawless; ditto for ‘Garfield,’ another family-night rental,” Ojeda-Zapata reports.

“Apple TV has emerged as a movie-rental contender with gobs of great extras. If you gave the original a pass, take another look,” Ojeda-Zapata reports.

More in the full review, which includes the same quibble with the movie studios that every reviewer seems to have, “rental terms are a bit restrictive; once you start watching a rented flick, you have to finish within 24 hours” — Hollywood are you listening?! — here.

MacDailyNews Note: Apple TV 2.0 is amassing quite a collection of positive reviews which bodes well for the device going forward.

30 Comments

  1. I’m really surprised the first gen software wasn’t this good. Apple counts on first impressions so much that it makes me think the Apple TV was pushed out the door early to twist the arms of the movie industry..

  2. Well, I own AppleTV 2.0, and overall I really enjoy it, but let’s be honest, it’s not a flawless experience. The 2.0 software is buggy as hell right now, so it’s more like a frustrating experience. But I’m sure they’ll get those bugs worked out, so I’m not too concerned at this point. The movie rental selection is also abysmal, but I don’t think that’s Apple’s fault. Also, they have got to do something about searches on podcasts, youtube, movies etc. It is excruciatingly painful to search for anything with the Fischer-Price remote. Simple does not always equal easy. Let me use a keyboard or screen share with my MacBook!

    AppleTV is a work in progress, and I expect it to get much better over time.

  3. Do not know what you mean. I have had two since last summer. Even the old software worked fine and the new software works as well. What bugs are you talking about? I have my entire music collection on that atv hard drive and is a great set up right through my stereo.
    The controller is fine. As they are going for simplicity, they are not going to add a keyboard. They could improve the FF REW functions and make them more precise like Tivo.

  4. “So, I gave up on the Microsoft console and rented ‘The Game Plan’ on the Apple TV.”

    Another MAC crybaby and quitter with a gushy review for an Apple product. How much is Apple paying these losers? For only $130 you can have instant HD movies with the HD-DVD player on xBox. Just put the HD-DVD in the player and you’re there. Duh.

    And who gives up on Microsoft for copycat toys from Apple? How does someone turn their back on the creators of the first easy to use OS with a Desktop metaphor—Windows? Who turns up their nose at the first and best implementation of a portable media player with integrated software in Zune and Zune Marketplace? Smug and pretentious MAC sheep, that’s who. Whatever.

    Your potential. Our passion.

  5. The bit about the XBox Live is BS. Claiming Apple TV is working flawlessly versus XBox becuase of a download speed is pure spin. Go read the Apple forums and you can see plenty of people who have complained about slow download speeds. Go ahead. I DARE you brainswashed fanboys to get some accurate information.

    Of course you won’t. You will just call me a Microshill and continue living like sheep.

    Here is a real review from someone who actually uses both because he is not a brainwashed sheeple. They both work great. They both got quarks that suck. Like Apple TV not having xvid, and XBox not having mkv.

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