If you've been sitting on the fence wondering whether an Apple TV is for you, now is the time to take a closer look -- version 2.0 of the product is a huge improvement.
If you've been sitting on the fence wondering whether an Apple TV is for you, now is the time to take a closer look. With a complete software revision and the ability to operate sans computer, Apple TV isn't just for geeks anymore but mums and dads looking for a better way to buy and consume digital content.
1. No Syncing required.
|Apple TV is the only media box you'll actually be proud to show people.
Apple TV 2 requires nothing more than a power point, a network connection and a TV. That's right - even your parents can use an Apple TV to browse and buy music, download and watch podcasts, and rent movies. Because Apple TV doesn't need a computer to get content it's now a zero-hassle configuration product.2. Movie Rentals
- This is the killer feature for Apple TV. My wife, who isn't really interested in technology at all picked up the remote after I upgraded our Apple TV and said 'can I really rent all of these movies?' With the Apple TV rental catalogue scheduled to grow quickly, expect Apple TV to transform the market for movie rentals as it did with music.3. Photo viewing is truly slick.
If you've got a digital camera (and I'll assume you do) Apple TV makes your digital photos look great. A big-screen TV is a much better way to show off your photos to friends and family than dragging them all into th study where the computer is. Since AppleTV now has .Mac and Flickr integration, your friends can also come over with a bottle of wine and share their photos with you as long (as they can remember their username -- get on to the login before you get on to the second bottle.) 4. Podcasts
- Apple TV 2 now lets you download podcasts direct to the box. You can search through any of the podcasts listed in iTunes, or select from a list of providers, like the ABC, Sky News or BBC (If you change the iTunes store location setting in the General settings tab you'll be presented with a list of providers from other countries). You can also add any podcast to your favourites list for easy access. 5. AirTunes
- Apple TV 2 now functions as an AirTunes client in a similar fashion to the Airport Express. Enabling AirTunes lets you stream music from iTunes on your PC to the Apple TV which can be plugged in to a stereo. If you check the 'Allow iTunes control from remote speakers' box you'll even be able to use the Apple remote to play/pause and rewind/fast forward iTunes. Apple TV 2 also displays the artwork of the track that is being played.
6. The Interface
|Check the box in iTunes to control AirTunes from Apple TV
- While there are other media boxes out there that do some of what Apple TV 2 does, there's no way you'd ever expect your mum to be able to use them. Apple completely redesigned the interface of Apple TV 2 and it rocks. See here
for more detail. 7. Apple TV now supports 1080p video output
- Even though videos you download from iTunes are 720p at best, Apple TV 2 now upscales and supports 1080i output. Note:
Only the US iTunes store actually supports video rentals - To get a US iTunes account you'll either need a US credit card or a US iTunes Gift Voucher