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Apple TV

Saturday, February 12, 2011
Today, as I'd been planning to do for a while, I went out and bought myself an Apple TV. I've been building a plan for a while in my head of the best way to stream Netflix (currently going over the Wii) and yet be able to stream media files from my computed, and I decided that the Apple TV would best match my desires and budget.

it's so delightfully tiny!

I was torn between buying a used first generation Apple TV and the second generation one. I liked the flexibility and hackability of the former, but I loved the power consumption and elegant simplicity of the latter. Whereas the first generation Apple TV was as stripped down an Intel Mac as they could build, the new one is basically made up of the inexpensive parts from an iPad.

In the end I opted for the less expensive, lower power-consumption 2nd generation Apple TV. It took just minutes to plug it in, get it configured to connect to my wireless and stream from my computers. It'll only display on my TV at 720p, but considered that I don't have anything that'll currently display at better than 480i, this is not really bothering me.

So how does it work? It's fantastic. It's simple and allows me to do the things I bought it for with remarkable ease. The diminutive size - easily fitting into the palm of my hand - belies the convenience and thought that went into the design.

But my favorite feature? Using it with my iPhone. Not only is the Remote app amazingly useful - it emulates the remote control from my phone, so I don't even need to grab the physical remote at all - but Airplay is pretty neat, too. I spent some time playing with it and it works as advertised: I can start playing video or music on my phone and (almost) instantly switch that over to the Apple TV.

So am I a happy customer? At this point, I would definitely say yes. $99 feels like a steal for what I got!


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