Welcome to the TUAW Holiday Gift Guide! We've sorted the treasure from the junk and are serving up suggestions to make your holiday gift-giving a little easier.
The second-generation Apple TV might just be on a lot of Christmas lists this year. The new Apple TV is inexpensive at US$99, now allows streaming of photos and some video (YouTube and Netflix, for example) from iOS devices, and isn't plagued with hot operation, large size or slow response like the original one.
Long-time TUAW readers may remember that I really hated the first-generation Apple TV. It just didn't seem like something that came out of Cupertino, and I enjoyed gutting my old Apple TV as an experiment to extract some photos that I had saved on it. Well, the second-generation device is small, fast and easy to use, and the remote control app that is available for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad make it even more enticing. But do you really want to get one for Christmas?
Let's talk about what you need in order to be able to use an Apple TV. First, you should have an HDTV with a free HDMI port. The Apple TV uses HDMI output, and you frankly don't want to try to use an HDMI to Composite, HDMI to DVI or HDMI to Component adapter. It's designed for ease of use, and Apple wants you to be able to take a standard HDMI cable and connect your Apple TV to your HDTV in seconds.