Apple TV’s are now shipping as the latest (perhaps greatest) way to watch your iTunes content in high definition. With a 40 GB hard drive (around 50 hours of video), the Apple TV is set at a price of $299 with free shipping.
I hadn’t really paid much attention to the Apple TV ever since it was announced, so I finally decided to take a look at all of the specifics and how it works.Using the Apple TV, you’ll be able to watch all of your downloaded content like movies, TV shows, even your podcasts on your TV after the unit synchronizes itself by automatically grabbing the content from your computer.
One of the down-falls is that it requires a widescreen enhanced or high definition TV with HDMI, DVI, or component video input. You’ll also need a wired, or wireless network, and a broadband Internet connection. Another major factor is your operating system. It will work with Mac OSX 10.3.9 or higher, or Windows XP Home or Professional (SP2). Note: It does not work with Windows Vista. Part of this can probably be related to the fact that it requires iTunes 7.1 which is known to not work properly with Vista.
For me, the Apple TV is underwhelming with one of the major down-falls being that there is no DVR. If you’re someone who has purchased a lot of content from iTunes, it’s a no-brainer way to be able to get the most out of what you’ve purchased. Other than that, I don’t see that many benefits.
Wired has put together reasons why Apple TV Rules, and why it Sucks, and they do point out valid reasons both ways. My favorite reasons from Wired:
Why it rules: It goes spiffingly with the Mac Mini, using
the same a similar form factor at half-brick height. You can use the Mini as the server, turning the duo into a fully-featured high-def PVR, streaming media system, WebTV box and game console.
Why it sucks: With all that grunt, it’s basically a Mac Mini Mini with lots of outputs and special software. Why can’t I just slap OS X or Windows or Linux on it and use it as a kids’ computer, the heart of a MAME cabinet, a Car PC, or something a little more fully-featured? Let me in. (We may get in real easy, of course, but that’s for the hackers to discover.)