Apple ships Apple TV 2.0 – A review

I bought an Apple TV after Apple’s promised rental changes. Ok, so it is a toy, really I mean come on, $230 just to pay Apple more money to rent movies, but i love tech and wanted to check this out.

I’ve always wanted a 1080p Apple TV and while this is still 720p, my TV does a great upconverting job.

I rented “SuperBad” in SD via iTunes earlier in the month. Once the update installed, I tried to find the movie via streaming, but it could not be found.

I then realized you have to sync to watch movies rented on your computer. So I set up a custom sync and moved the movie over to the Apple TV.

This process, about 1.6gb of data, took 30 minutes. You can’t play a rented movie that is syncing, you have to wait.

The audio was prologic, and the colors a bit dull and dark, but the quality was very acceptable.

After that movie, I decided to rent The Simpsons movie in HD. After about 14 seconds, my movie was ready to go.

WOW, the colors are fantastic. The audio is 5.1 and sounds great.

This could get expensive. Even though we have Netflix for Blu Ray, renting HD movies via the Apple TV is fast and fairly affordable.

Oh yes, we’re watching Simpsons while iTunes is doing a new “automatic” sync, which will keep as much data on the Apple TV and let me stream everything else, in theory at least πŸ™‚

1 comment

  1. So we picked up an Apple TV last night. After splitting the cost it came out very affordable. πŸ™‚ Here is something I noticed right off the bat.

    One. The Apple store employee told me I could sync as many computers as I wanted. After calling you, it was understood that you could only sync data from one computer to the Apple TV hard drive, but stream data from several Macs. That is the case.

    So people understand. Syncing means you are copying the data from a Mac’s iTunes library to the hard drive on the Apple TV. This allows you to turn OFF your Mac but still watch the content on your Apple TV because it’s on the hard drive.

    Streaming means you must leave the Mac ON, in order for the Apple TV to see the data. I work long hours sometimes and have purchased many movies over the last year, so we purchased the larger hard drive Apple TV. Why? Because my wife will go no where near my computer for fear she’ll destroy my business. So, this way, I can continue to stock pile movies onto the internal hard drive on the Apple TV, and have peace of mind that I can leave my computer off all day and she can still watch the content.

    Two. Our Apple TV was setup and we attempted to learn the UI for synced movies vs streaming movies. In the cast of our purchase, we were using the old software. We’d have to go under sources in order to switch whether we were viewing my “sycned” computer or my wifes “streaming” computer. After I updated, the UI changed. Now, if you view “My” movies, or “My” tv shows, it’s the synced data. If you view “Shared” movies or “Shared” tv shows, etc, that is the streaming data.

    Three. I’m disappointed in Apple. They have no easy UI to allow you to view a “rental” section vs a “purchase” section. Some movies I just know I want to rent. Others I KNOW I want to buy! Sometimes I may just want to “browse” the “buy” section to see what is in their database. There is no way to do this. You have to go search for your title, either on the Apple TV or iTunes, and then see if it’s a rental only, or if one you can buy.

    Four. I do NOT have an up to date HDTV. I bought my sony rear projector (CRT) in 2002. It has component on two inputs and svideo. No HDMI (yet). I connected the Apple TV to it via component. When it booted the aspect ratio was wrong, and the apple image was stretched. I had to set the resolution to 720 HD for it to work properly.

    Five: Rentals. Easy to do. I saw 300, said rent (non HD), and then had to type in my Apple ID pw. Doh. But then, thank you Apple, an option to save your pw. It gave me a license to read which I just agreed to, and it started the movie download. After 20 seconds I chose to play the movie (thus starting my 24 hour period) and for my TV, the quality was great! wow I am impressed. Can’t wait to get an HDTV but that is a long way off. My only beef about rentals is the time frame. Apple please make this 48 hours. I rented it last night at 10pm and watched. Tonight, I’m repairing (Macs) till 7pm. I then will have to RACE home, play with my kid till 9pm, then put her to bed (because a 3 year old can’t watch 300) and then hope my wife is ready to sit down 1 hour prior to losing our rental and start the movie. WHAT A RUSH! 48 hours, less stress, MORE ENJOYABLE. Please Apple, 48 hours on rental time over 24 hours.

    Do I recommend an Apple TV? After you run the latest update, OH YES!


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