Apple TV: Full Review

Apple TV with remoteWe’re going to take a look at the third generation Apple TV. So let’s get to it. Now, over the years, there’s been a lot of talk of Apple actually putting out television set, but that’s all just speculation and rumor because the only Apple TV Apple has ever put out is a streaming media box very similar to a Roku device. The third generation of the Apple TV which is what I’m running here, is the latest version up the device and I just updated it to version 6.00 up the operating system, so basically I’m running the latest version of the Apple TV operating system on the latest Apple TV device.

The Apple TV the device itself is very comparable to a Roku, it does have a little more weight to it, it’s just basically an unassuming black box that will fit nicely in your entertainment center and it doesn’t take up a lot of space. It’s actually twenty three millimeters hi or .9 one inches it’s 98 millimeters wide and deep or 3.9 inches and this device ways .6 pounds 4.27 kilograms. Now the first and second generation at the Apple TV had 256 megabytes of RAM, this device, the third generation has double that, so it has 512 megabytes of RAM, the device does have some flash storage on it, but it’s not user accessible, it’s just for the device itself.The interface is very simple grid-like interface, this device is really good if you’re entrenched in the Apple ecosystem so if you have a lot of TV shows movies and music on iTunes, this device might be the device for you, also if you have Apple devices, so if you have any OS 10 computers, you can link them to this device.

Also if you have any I O S devices, there’s a lot of integration between Apple TV and that you have your grid interface down here, on movies at top there are some other top movies that are available on iTunes right now, so anything on these top row icons here is drawing from iTunes. You also have the option of TV shows, it brings up Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, American Horror Story, Homeland and, you can actually scroll through those, if you’d like, it’s very smooth responsive interface, very nice. You also have the option for music, you can scroll through inteface – as I said I updated this device to version 6.0 – whatever they call the operating system.

Apple TVIt came with iTunes radio, so enjoy a free streaming radio that is tailored for you from the most popular music in the iTunes Store. Now the last selection, the Greens selection, you can actually draw from content from your computer’s as long as you’re running iTunes on those computers. So basically if you have iTunes on, one of your computers and you have Home Sharing turned on, you can access all of your iTunes content on this device. That makes it again convenient for those at you who are entrenched in the iTunes ecosystem. I personally was an Apple user for about eight years, so I was very entrenched in the Apple ecosystem, but that was several years ago and since then that moved on mostly to Amazon dot com, so in addition to those options, there we’re basically accessing iTunes, you also have some absence the device scroll down here and start with Netflix. Now Netflix is your basic Netflix, the only difference is is the interface, if click on this now on the Apple TV, you’re gonna notice that all up the interfaces are pretty much the same, basically you have this kind of Cover Flow looking presentation here and then you have on the right hand side. How you want to go through the content that’s on Netflix e have suggestions recently watch genres TV shows, new releases, just for kids, my list, search and then you have signed now, if you wanna sign out of your Netflix account now, the remo on this device is very simple, it’s an aluminum remot,e very thin kinda easy to lose, if you have a cat. I have a cat, he’s a push this under the couch couple times, so header deftly keep track of it, but it’s a nice compact remote, it’s got a good way to it because it is made out of aluminum and has very few buttons.

Hit the menu button you have a play/pause button, you have a directional button and you have a Select button, in the center, so everything is very simplistic with this remote so we’re gonna go back to the main menu gonna hit menu here and brings us back. They also have Hulu Plus. I do not subscribe to Hulu Plus but let’s dive in here and see what it looks like, here I’m going to assume it looks pretty much the same as Netflix, but try 1-week free, I will try it unless they want me to enter in some sort of credit card information, which I won’t. Do slots check out see what’s going on here, what’s use my iTunes Store login, I’m not gonna do this, that is tied to a credit card. I haven’t bought anything of iTunes in quite a while so that credit card might have expire. But I am I’m going to assume that the interface is very similar to what the Netflix interfaces, now I hit the menu button once, you can back out the menu, button hitting at once will back you out. Basically like a back button. If you hold the menu button down it’ll bring you all the way back to the mainstream here next up his HBO Go nation ya go is kinda weird it’s actually a great service few subscribe to HBO from your cable provider you can most likely use HBO Go on one of these devices the reason I call it a little bit weird is that right now I have Comcast and I can use HBO Go on the Apple TV I cannot use HBO Go on the Roku and that’s not because the Roku is without an HBO Go app Roku actually has an HBO Go app but for some reason Comcast hasn’t put its stamp of approval on the Roku device so even though I do subscribe to HBO through Comcast I can’t use the Roku device to watch HBO Go on but I can use it on the Apple TV so it’s a little bit frustrating as far as they handle each year ago but there really has nothing to do with the Apple TV HBO Go is great on this device actually the am signed in I believe to my account so basically anything that’s on HBO that they offer even their back catalogue let’s see wanna watch Game of Thrones Season one you can do that all you have to do is scroll through here now obviously the interface is not what you saw for the Netflix interface now very much like a lot of the streamers out there on the market you can either use the stock remote or you can use your I O S device to control it right here I happen to have and iPod Touch and their is a remote back now being that the remote is so simplistic having a remote aps really is not that useful until you come into an area where your shift type something in says can see here this is what the app looks like you can maneuver around with this touch area up here and is very responsive as you can see now the good thing is that you can actually use the onscreen keyboard on your I less device to type stuff and so saves you a little bit.

Apple TV RemoteIt’s very responsive so again I could hit the menu button once and all back me up or can hold the menu button down not bring me all the way back the next thing we have here is iTunes Festival it’s basically a way that you can watch concerts on this device I’m not much of a concert goer and I’m certainly not much over concert watcher on TV except you have settings on the device if you wanna go when you want to do a software update you want to check are your credentials on something anything that you want to get into on the settings is there to bill for you then you have a major league soccer app here you have an NHL app we can watch games I some you have an mlb.Tv ap let’s dive into that I’m really not a sports fan here we go again here’s that so that Cover Flow look that we saw on the Netflix app and then you have your your menu on the right hand side there stock at that I we have watch ESPN and that’s something you have to link up with your cable provider sort of like the HBO Go app you have to have some sort of sign in for that except we have trailers and again sort of that that many system they use on the HBO Go app and the the concert app so this as you would expect from the name of the app is gonna allow you to watch trailers stock out that then we have watch Disney Channel let’s dive into that a little bit I’m really not a Disney channel watcher but again it’s something you have to sign in to you and are even think I have the Disney Channel on my on my cable package and I’m really don’t care but for those of you who do care it is available then you have watch Disney Channel and then you have Disney Junior except we have the Weather Channel and that obviously is going to you give your local weather, we have Sky News its click on that and to watch Sky News live Sky News Weather, unlimited access to the world’s largest library of concerts, music documentaries on your TV computer, iPhone and iPad for only $4.99 a month.

That’s not something I’d be interested in but if you’re interested in it it’s available here next up we have the meow which is a YouTube style video sharing site you have the vote for your music videos and see that interface looks like can very similar interface sir can watch your favorite music videos all right up next we have you too now re-signed in to YouTube account here this allows you to do pretty much anything you’d expect, you can watch YouTube videos on here you can search for YouTube videos, in fact one on the search for mine here again instead of using the on-screen keyboard I’m gonna use a keyboard on my iPod Touch and look up to harvest them shits go down to my welcome video here gonna play it on this TV here and you can see the quality of YouTube through the Apple sky I so there we go nice is snappy no lag it’s actually really nice YouTube experience slots go back to the main menu here and you have the Smithsonian Channel on something I’m probably not gonna be watching but a again if you’re interested you have some options here all right you crunchy roll I believe that’s again something I’m not really interested in but is available to those of you who are interested and see what the interface looks like Thomas okay sign up or log in I won’t be doing that but you can see here what it looks like and one thing that’s nice, if you notice when you scroll to the extreme right you notice how the next selection kinda folds in its kinda nice touch their all rights podcasts now its click on this and not see we’ve got here so it offers the basically what you expect podcasts that are available now appear you have my podcasts and my stations you have to sign into your iTunes account to access that and then anything that you subscribe to, you could access from here.

We also have John Rose here and providers you could do a search as well back at this and then you have a radio and these are what you would have an iTunes those basic radio stations that have been there for years and years and years are you have the ability to listen to them here not to be confused with the iTunes radio, that’s new to this device that’s here and, from what I understand, the iTunes radios more like a Pandora kinda I’m alright we have four more ass we have NBA again not a sports fan, but it is available here iCloud photos now I don’t do I clout but again if you deep in the Apple ecosystem you probably do use iCloud so you can pull down your content to this device is not see get here photos in your sign and I don’t use I cloud so I can show you that but it is available last two things we have here are Flickr again I don’t have a Flickr account I’m really not big into pictures I am its pro I don’t put my face on this channel but a these options again are available if you’re interested last election here’s Wall Street Journal I’ve and there we go so that’s pretty much what the Apple TV offers now one of the cool things you can do with an Apple TV is used airplay and if you’re not familiar airplay is a technology a wireless technology we can basically beam content from one device to the Apple TV and that one device is generally. I do believe you can actually use airplay from and devices, well but it’s been a long time since I’ve had an apple computer, as I said, so I can test that out now but I can show you airplay from an ISL s the vice my iPod Touch year and what I’m gonna do some gonna go in to YouTube now obviously as I showed you the Apple TV has its own YouTube app, but youtube is gonna make it easier because I can actually show you my contact again don’t want to get into problems with copyright infringement some gonna beam a YouTube video from the iPod Touch to the Apple TV and you can see how it works so I have my channel here and I’m actually gonna choose the Roku 2 verses the Google TV because it sorted in the same space as the Apple TV here so I’m going to include that in this video so I have on my videos here actually skipped the commercial before it and I muted device so it’s not gonna be conflicting with from saying here, but on the device there’s this little icon rate, there’s sort of a rectangle with triangle, so basically it means that you’re going to shoot this content over here from the small screen on to larger screen using the Apple TV device, so I’m going to press the air play button, the iPod Touch is selected here which its obviously playing on there right now, but I can play it on the Apple TV something hit that and that you changes here on the iPod Touch and you should see on the big screen the video.

Seeking control everything from the iPod touch with a press play there you go now all this is doing this, I can actually go and use the iPod Touch for other things okay in this video we’re gonna pay the Roku 2 XS head to head so I can hit was on this CD I want to control it I can also subscribe through the video here and it will control the video up there so it’s a cool feature on airplay not every app is compatible airplay in fact in the description down below I’ll give you a link from the Apple site what they recommend for airplay compatible aps one up. The aps that they do say is compatible is Angry Birds, strangely enough I haven’t been able to get it to work now it might be because my ipod touch is not running 7, this device cannot run I was seven, it’s not model later versions and the Apple TV is again on its mostly, this version which is version 6.0 but I miss the show you hear me to bring up Angry Birds on the iPod Touch. Gonna try and use the AirPlay function to mirror what’s going on on the iPod Touch on the big screen and assure you that it really doesn’t work all the time with all the app’s I which is sort of a letdown but it is cool when it does work is that you should you there so as you see I am on Angry Birds now and you can year let me new TV real quickly just so I can explain what’s going on here.

If I want to use airplay on this what I double tapped the home button and it brings up my caps. That I’m using and then you have your airplay buttons and you can hit it and again you can have the iPod Touch selected or the Apple TV. At the Apple TV selected and back to the game. I can mute TV, it’s just the audio that’s coming through not the video, which is sort of a write-down for, so would be nice if you could actually use airplay on your device and read all the content, whatever it may be, over to the Apple TV. She could actually then use Apple TV is Sour av, a large-screen gaming console using your device as a controller. Now you can do that with some maps but not all of them, at least in my experience, so this user interface is very basic and very user friendly and it does offer a very little bit of customization. So if you don’t like where one of these apps are placed, all you have to do is long press on your OK button and the app is shaking back and forth. Then you can move it to wherever you what the app. And then when you wanna play, sit down you proceed OK button again and it’s placed on where you wanna, the only thing you cannot do is change the location out these top 5 apps here so that’s the Apple TV.

My personal conclusion is that it is one of the best streamers on the market today, now the problem with a lot of the streamers on the market today is there’s not one the streamer out there that will offer you everything. Apple TV offers you some things that offers you as we’ve gone through here a lot of different options, mostly iTunes related but you do get netflix on it, Hulu Plus an HBO Go. It is lacking some Dealer Services like Amazon Video On Demand, now the Roku has Amazon Video On Demand, it has to do but the Roku lacks YouTube. Now a Google TV has pretty much everything that’s available out there, except, recently, HBO Go will no longer work on a Google TV, so as it stands right now there’s no one box to rule them all. Your best bet is to find out what each device offers you and see if you can live within those parameters. So in closing, the Apple TV is a very solid device it’s a very straightforward device and if you’re in trench in the Apple ecosystem, if you use iTunes then it’s a perfect fit for you to me. The thing I like about it the most is the HBO Go integration, I’m not a big fan of the Netflix user interface, I like the standard Netflix user interface, that some pretty much every device out there. If you price conscious the Apple TV is ninety nine dollars, which is pretty much the ski spot for these devices, I would not stand much more than a hundred dollars for one of the streaming media players. Right now you can get a Roku for $49.99 see you actually buy to Roku LT is for the price of one of these Apple TVs and that’s why I recommend the Roku as one of the best devices out there. But again you cannot go wrong with an Apple TV.

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