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Apple TV: The Verdict

I'm naming my first child iKid.

Any search on this blog will tell you that I am part of the Cult Of Apple. The iPod, iPhone, iMac, even an Apple AirPort, this house is about as close to an Apple Store as you can get. Minus the bearded, overweight virgins.

So, the latest addition has been Apple TV. It’s commonly known as kind of a fail for Apple, which is very rare. Don’t give me that antenna nonsense on the iPhone 4 either. How many people do you know that said, “Oh f— it. I’m taking the iPhone 4 back.” Yeah, that’s what I thought.

So what do I think of Apple TV after a bit over a month of use? It’s very hit and miss. The hits are great and the misses are some real head scratchers.

  • Movies

This is a bit iffy here. Once you sit down and press play after buying or renting a movie, the sound and HD picture could not be any more amazing. I recently watched “Kick Ass” on it, then immediately afterward, popped “Star Trek” in the Bluray. It would be very nitpicky to point out any difference in the two. However, as a huge movie snob, I’ve realized that I would never buy a movie through iTunes as it still just can’t compete with a Bluray disc. It’s close, but just a bit off.

So what good is this device for movies? Movie rental seems to be where Apple would make it’s mark with this device. It’s not that expensive to rent an HD movie and it works better than Netflix for me because I’ve been known to get a movie in the mail, then have it sit for weeks before watching it. The rental downside? It took my Apple TV just about six hours to download “Kick Ass” when we decided to watch it. Lesson learned. So if you plan on having a movie night, you’re best served picking the movie the night before or the morning of.

Grade: Better than having a monkey punch your crotch, but not quite as good as making out with the homecoming queen.

  • Music

To be honest, this is the main reason I purchased the Apple TV. No longer do I have to plug my iPod into my stereo in order to listen to music on the home theater system. Now, I just turn on the Apple TV, open up iTunes on the iMac, and pow, my entire iTunes library is right there. I even use the Remote app on my iPhone to control the music from anywhere in the house. Folding laundry and you don’t want to hear “The Girl Is Mine”? Click your phone and it’s skipped.

Grade: It’s like having dinner with Christina Hendricks.

  • Photos, Podcast, Internet

Once you sync the Apple TV to your iMac, you can look at everything in your iPhoto library. You can watch slideshows set to music, all in the beauty of HD. I normally do this with pictures of myself in which I look particularly awesome. I then set the slideshow to Enrique Iglesias’ “Hero”. Then, I take off my pants. I like to get weird with it.

The lamest thing about the Apple TV is the Internet. By Internet, I mean You Tube because that is all you can do on it. No browser, nothing. It is fairly stupid, considering the device is all WiFi’d up. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, but it would be nice to have a bit more online ability.

Grade: A total bulsh timewaste. Why you would even spend time looking a pictures, listening to a podcast, or goofing around on YouTube with this device is beyond me.

  • The Oh So Final Analysis

This is, at best, something that would only make sense for someone with a huge iTunes library and a penchant to never watch their Netflix discs. Luckily, that is me, which is why I bought the thing. The rumor is that Apple is working on some improvements for the device, one of which is an App Store just for what will be called iTV. Can you imagine a Monopoly app for the iTV? You just gather everyone the TV with an Apple remote and bang, we’re playing board games on the TV. Pretty cool stuff right?

So yes, I am lukewarm on the features of an Apple product. Phew. The Earth is still spinning. I was worried about that.


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