photo Mike Oldham
Spanish Fork, Utah

Apple TV 2.0

It's been about a week since Apple TV went 2.0. The experience so far has been good. Not perfect but good. I still get 3689 firewall errors. But after reading a bunch of forums I'm convinced it is a problem with my router. I'll report on that again if I find more info.

As for the new software I think it is a good update. I find it interesting how far the focus has gone to the iTunes store. Under every section there are several subsections that relate directly to the store, and a "My" section that holds my stuff. That means the iTunes store is 1 level deep, but my stuff is 2 levels deep.

The iTunes sections work just about as you'd expect them to. You browse the store in varying ways and can preview/rent/buy stuff. The experience isn't as good as sitting at your computer using iTunes, but there really is something nice about sitting on your couch browsing the store.

We've rented one movie so far, and the process went just about exactly as Apple advertised. Click buy, wait about a minute, and you can start watching the movie. There were no hiccups or pausing. The experience was basically instant. The video quality looked great on my 32" Inch Standard Def CRT TV.

The rental experience is great. I can watch a near DVD quality video at an impulse. Movie studios should be ecstatic. They have finally delivered an experience that is easier than piracy. You get good quality, no ads, no running to the store, I can watch on all my Apple devices, and most importantly it is easy.

There are a few problems with rentals. Right now the selection is very small, however this should improve with time. The 30 day after DVD release period is ridiculous. They've made it easier to buy and/or rent movies from iTunes so long as they are old movies. The great marketing engines of these huge companies have already moved on. Chances are I will have already bought the DVD or forgotten about the movie by the time it is on iTunes. If I want to download to get an instant fix piracy is the only option.

The "My" sections are a huge improvement. In Apple TV 1.1 you could browse media on the Apple TV, or you could browse a streamed library. In 2.0 the "My" section lists everything on the Apple TV as well as all media from the computer that syncs with it. (There is an option to turn this off in iTunes). You can see all the playlists and media on the synched computer. If you play something it will play the local version if it is on the Apple TV, or stream from the computer if it isn't. It is a very seamless process. I have actually started synching much less stuff because the streaming works so well.

Overall I think the update is a good one. Most of the drawbacks come from the content providers not from Apple. For podcasts alone the Apple TV was worth the purchase to me. Adding the ability to rent and watch movies nearly instantly is just icing on the cake.

Posted on February 18, 2008 at 5:37 pm
tags: appletv apple
 

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