I purchased my first Apple computer shortly after they made the switch to Intel processors. It was the first time that I had purchased an Apple product and shortly after picked up iPod, after iPod, after iPod. The iPod touch led to the iPhone and before I knew it I had countless Apple products in my home. But one item from the Apple collection that was missing from my home was the Apple TV. The first generation model seemed interesting, but its design, approach to the living room, and cost led me to want to structure a media center with the Mac Mini before I’d consider purchasing an Apple TV to manage my living room.
Apple realized that their “hobby” wasn’t having the success that they hoped for and decided to shift things a bit this past year. The new Apple TV featured media streaming instead of hard drives and was offered to customers at a significantly lower price. For Christmas we decided to add the Apple TV to our product collection. At first my family was a bit skeptical. They didn’t really see a use for the product and it wasn’t used much. But with time that changed.
We started streaming family videos to our television from our computers and we became more comfortable with the interface and simple remote settings. My wife started exploring Netflix on the device and found she preferred watching shows and movies from Netflix on the Apple TV to the app available to us on the Xbox 360. The more we used the device, the more we found ourselves renting movies from the iTunes Store and downloading children shows for our kids. I’d honestly say that almost everyday we use our Apple TV as much as our DVR.
How did Apple do it? They offered a simple and powerful tool that brings us services we like to use and made it easier than competing platforms. Essentially, to win over our television and video usage, Apple followed the same approach they use for all their devices. Over time, we found we naturally preferred to use the Apple TV to other options because of overall positive user experience the device offers.
Apple has done it again and I believe that they are just getting started in the living room. The Apple TV is a steal at $99 and I imagine with future software updates and continued compatibility with the iPhone, iPad, and iPods we’ll find ourselves interacting with the media device more and more.
How do you use your Apple TV?