We picked up the new Apple TV yesterday and set it up today. The reason? We wanted to stream the audio from movies and tv shows through the Airport Express-connected speakers, along with renting shows instead of buying them. It was super easy to install (one HDMI cable, one power cord), and relatively painless to set up (we had to restore since iTunes wouldn't hold onto our account credentials).
The interface is much more clean and the hook into Netflix is nice, especially during our free trial period (more Arrested Development and Coupling, please!).
Now that we have it up and running and have been playing with it for a good while, here are five things to keep in mind before picking one up:
- NBC is not an included network - some nonsensical 'devaluing content' argument from the NBC execs. Silly, really, and it means no Office or / and 30 Rock.
- The box itself is absurdly small - seriously, it's tiny. Perfect for space-starved living in New York.
- No audio straming to Apple Express - seems like a bit of a misstep, but you can't stream audio from a movie or TV show to Apple Express-connected speakers. We worked around it but it would have been much easier if the AE could have been used.
- The UI is much cleaner - the old Apple TV seemed to get cluttered with all the content on the home screen. The new Apple TV tightens this up. Nice work.
- iTunes does not save your settings - this may seem obvious, but in the euphoria of setting up a new Apple product, we didn't even think of this. Our wish list, favorites, etc. Not there. Gone. We set up the older Apple TV on the second HDMI channel, so we're able to go back and see which shows were on our wishlist. Unless they are on NBC.
Ultimately, it's a good buy. We'll recoup the the cost of the device soon enough since we'll be cutting the price of TV shows by half. Still, this is the one product from Apple that I think they could have waited to release.
Even if it's just a hobby.