- Media support If you've got a large collection of iTunes media - you'll be happy to stay locked in the eco-system.
- Video quality It would be nice to see something slightly better than 720p.
- Audio quality Audio sent over HDMI or Toslink - depends entirely on how you encoded the media.
- Ease of use Typical Apple fashion - simple, easy set-up. Five minutes and you're done.
- Design and form factor Beautifully tiny, looks great with any TV thanks to it's glossy black looks.
It's absolutely tiny and super sleek, and looks great as a companion to any TV. As with all Apple products, bundled accessories are sparse, you get the Apple TV, power cord and the remote so you'll need to supply your own HDMI.
Set-up is painless and simple, especially compared to the original Apple TV. Unlike the original, the new Apple TV is purely streaming, there is no syncing whatsoever, so if you want to grab content off your iMac or MacBook - it'll need to be powered on!
The new software update also includes support for iCloud and iTunes Match - meaning it'll be able to grab your photo stream and if you've paid for it, your iTunes Match music, meaning that you won't need to power on your computer.
As for internet-connected apps, there isn't many. Even though this is an iOS based system - there is no AppStore, which is hopefully something that Apple will introduce with the next generation or even their talked-about TV set. You have the standard apps of YouTube, Vimeo, WSJ, MLB and Internet Radio I believe. Something else worth noting is that Apple has added support for Netflix - which did come as a surprise to me, but the implementation is fantastic, it's beautifully simple and works a charm.
Strangely, even if you're based out-with the US, the MLB and WSJ apps are still enabled - I highly doubt there's tons of MLB subscribers in the UK!
Anyhow - this is my main issue with the device is the price. In the US the price is $79 - in the UK where Apple products are traditionally slightly (and I do say slightly) cheaper compared to their US counterparts, the Apple TV actually works out more expensive. It's £99, which works out at roughly £150 (according to Google). Seriously? £99 = $99? Don't think so...
So, the question you need to ask yourself is - would I use it? Well if you've not got an internet connected TV, have vast amounts of media in iTunes and maybe have a Netflix subscription as well - it definitely wouldn't hurt to pick one up and I'm sure you'd get lots of use out of it.
With the recent introduction of Netflix in the UK, the Apple TV is a relatively in-expensive way to add Netflix to your non-internet enabled TV.
All in all, apart from the discrepancy of price - it's a fantastic little purchase.
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