I got an Apple TV right after Thanksgiving and overall I am very impressed with it. If you have movies and songs stored in iTunes, it works smoothly with them. It also does a variety of internet streaming services like netflix and youtube, and you can rent videos through iTunes. Plus, it also has a feature called airplay mirroring, which allows you to play something on your iPhone or iPod and then play it on your TV. This may not initially sound like as much of a cool feature as it is. My daughter has embraced this technology; she has begun filming short videos and then playing them for us. Plus, you can see the pictures that are stored on your phone. In other words, your phone has become your slideshow projector. That’s pretty sweet.
I did have to return my first one, however. Unfortunately, something went wrong in the HDMI connection so that the contacts were loose. It was fine until I accidentally nudged the unit when dusting, and all of a sudden the screen and sound would flicker constantly. Even though I had purchased the unit at Best Buy, the Apple Store was able to take it back. I added on Apple Care, this time. Since then, smooth sailing.
Some movies look absolutely stunning on the Apple TV. Others don’t look as good. Mainly, this is due to the movie rather than the player. I’ve found that the movies that are bigger files (meaning more information in them) tend to do better. If you’re streaming your home movies, they say that it takes about 10MB per minute for a movie. I’d go a little larger than that if you have a choice. Of course, I’m not condoning illegal behavior, and you should never file share.
Music sounds great as well.
For a comparison, I streamed the same file on both my PS3 and the Apple TV. It was Batman (the Tim Burton version). Batman is really dark in tone and on the PS3, I had a little trouble making out the scenes. Everything was a bit muted. The same scenes were much brighter on the Apple TV.
So, will I get the new Apple TV? Yes. Most definitely, when I can afford it. In the meantime, I’m going to continue to enjoy my second generation Apple TV.
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