Apple TV - It Rocks But …

by Sachin Balagopalan on March 26, 2007 · 1 comment

I finally got my Apple TV fedexed to me on Friday and I was able to set it up over the weekend. Like all other apple gadgets the packaging was cool and it was easy to unpack and get it out of the box. The first thing you’ll notice is it does not come with any cables except for the power cord. The remote control is about the length of an Ipod Nano but slimmer and very sleek and cool looking! The controls look like the Ipod Shuffle’s except there is no volume control - only next, previous, up, down and pause/play. The main unit is also cool looking and follows the minimalist approach as in all apple products - even my wife loved it because it was not very intrusive and could be nicely tucked underneath the TV :) .

I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to set this thing up. I hooked it up to my Sony Bravia wide screen through the HDMI ports. I was totally impressed with the screen based UI which was very intuitive and easy to use. However for me the “bang for the buck” was the streaming. I downloaded a movie from iTunes (the file size was about 1.3 gigs) and I started to watch it while it was syncing so the video had to be streamed (while the syncing was going on). There was not even a small hiccup and I am connecting through a wireless G network - worth the Benjamins just for that!

I’m not sure what the thought process behind the 40 gig hard drive was, especially these days multi media file sizes tend to be huge to say the least. Other than the 40 gig issue this device is really worth it. It brings all your ITunes content to your TV/Home-Theater.

However the question is, will non-ITunes users embrace apple TV? I think current ITunes users, about 118 million of them will not have a problem doing so - just because they are already on the platform and are comfortable with it. In my opinion they are going to have to beef up ITunes if they want the rest of the crowd to jump on board. For starters, I don’t think many people are going to spend $9.99 on a movie albeit cheaper than buying a movie on DVD . I know I don’t want to “own” these movies, I just want to rent them. Unless ITunes comes out with a rental site I don’t think the masses are going to be too enamored. The other issue is the selection that is currently available on ITunes. Right now I can RENT the latest movies from Netflix, not sure how many people want to watch Pirates of the Caribbean, Cars and Zoolander today. And the TV shows? :( C’mon, nearly everyone these days has a Tivo or DVR. Of course I understand that there is considerable difficulty in obtaining the distribution licenses from the movie studios but Steve Jobs with his Pixar connections should be able to have some influence with the movie industry.

So the bottom line is the device is great BUT ITunes needs to become better to really change the way we watch movies in the future.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Dogztail 03.26.07 at 5:18 am

Nice Post.. Really Cool work!
Keep it up.

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