Apple TV, Take Two
Posted 20 February 2008 - 05:29 PM
Posted 20 February 2008 - 06:37 PM
Posted 20 February 2008 - 06:42 PM
The other thing is the limited library of available films to rent. Netflix and Block buster have literally thousands of movies. i#?TV has barely hundreds, if that many. I haven't seen anything about the target number of rental films or when such target might be met.
Posted 20 February 2008 - 06:42 PM
Posted 21 February 2008 - 12:02 AM
That last sentence perfectly frames the Apple TV's fatal flaw as a music device: horrible browsing. For movies and video, of which most people don't have that many, the slow-scroll approach is OK. But when you've got thousands of audio tracks, as many people do these days, this type of navigation makes using the Apple TV frustrating. For example, playing a track by They Might Be Giants involves going to Artists and then holding the Down button for a long, long time, hoping you let go at the right time to get somewhere close, then scrolling the rest of the way (and more often than not, for me, overshooting it).
Because of this, our Apple TV music listening is pretty much limited to shuffle play and the occasional playlist. We end up using an AirPort Express with a laptop running iTunes for anything else.
I'm with you: the Apple TV needs a better remote.
Posted 21 February 2008 - 04:47 AM
1) Access to your complete music library
2) Access to the digitized part of your video media library
3) Access to all your digital photographs
4) Access to others digital photos (via .Mac and Flickr)
5) YouTube access
6) Podcast Access
7) Movie rental with leaving home or waiting for something to come in the mail
8) Catching up on missed TV show episodes via a purchase from iTunes
That is a lot of additional functionality for only $230, and while it has not replaced my DVD player or my cable company's On Demand and DVR service, it certainly adds to the overall home theater experience.
Posted 21 February 2008 - 07:48 AM
As for Apple TV, Rob Pegoraro put it well in today's Washington Post:
All those these restrictions make for a very narrow target market.
Somebody who doesn't subscribe to an on-demand cable-TV service, but
pays for a faster-than-usual broadband connection. Someone who isn't
satisfied with the movies on premium channels like HBO but doesn't want anything too esoteric-- and doesn't watch movies often enough to justify a Netflix subscription.
I just can't see a lot of people dropping $300 for this. Maybe on take 3?
Posted 21 February 2008 - 09:58 AM
Posted 21 February 2008 - 10:29 AM
I'd be happy to update the review if you can point out where this "full music search" feature is. Currently there's a single Search command when you select Music on the left side of the interface. When you choose Search and press Play/Pause, you're taken to a Search screen that clearly states it's searching the iTunes Store, as I said in the review.
When you choose My Music or Shared Music there's no search command in evidence. So how is it that you're able to search your iTunes libraries' music with the ATV 2?
Posted 21 February 2008 - 10:58 AM
Posted 21 February 2008 - 11:09 AM
Posted 21 February 2008 - 11:35 AM
There IS an On/Off switch on Apple TV- Hold down the "Play" button for about 8 seconds, until the white light shuts off.
I agree with your review, and the couple of times I've had a freeze this has worked.
Does the pause button "hold" a movie indefinitely? I tried restarting a movie from the beginnng two or three times (never letting it hit the end) while watching a basketball game off cable, so I could finish a movie. I thought "Pause" would default back to the main menu after a couple of minutes, and then lose your movie.
Also, you kind of touched on this, but my router is upstairs, but my Apple TV is downstairs. I did bring just the Apple TV upstairs, hook it via ethernet to my computer, hit the remote so Apple TV lights up, and then once it appeared in iTunes, set up my initial sync. I did find stopping the automatic sync, then setting up what I wanted, and then hitting "Apply" or "Sync", worked well.
I am a professional photographer, and although I can hook my laptop to my 50" Plasma, using Apple TV gives amazingly beautiful, sharp, slideshows with music, without cables and wires, and the default Screensaver when clients come over with my photos cascading and spinning around is very impressive. I've had 100% bookings for weddings when clients see this. The TV and movie rentals are a huge bonus.
Last gripe, it took almost 30 hours on a very fast "G" network to download the Latest "Die Hard" movie. Even standard rez movies take 2-3 hours. And I get 20MB downloads! Would getting an "N" network make that much difference?