It turns out that most of what we were hoping for in the Apple TV didn’t quit make the cut. Apple did announce that they were making some tweaks to their Apple TV product (No, iTV was not the new name of the device) and that they believed the improvements in the device would help it fit better in the living room. We’re not so convinced, but describe below the secret value of the Apple TV that may just make it a hot item this holiday season.
The new Apple TV is a lot smaller and has a smaller purchase price of $99. In fact, you can hold the device in your hand and is probably slightly larger than the original iPod. Part of the reason that the device can be so small is that it does not include a large internal hard drive like the original Apple TV. The removal of the Hard Drive is in part because Apple believes that individuals don’t want to own their television shoes. With this philosophy they were able to talk some of the television networks to rent their shows for $.99. These rented shows can be streamed to your Apple TV and enjoyed in HD quality (720p) on your televisions.
The Apple TV comes with HDMI and USB ports and the ability to connect via Ethernet or Wifi to the internet. It includes Apple’s A4 chip as its processor and it will be interesting to see if individuals find ways to hack it as they did with the original Apple TV.
The Apple TV includes a remote to control the new interface for the device, or users can use the Remote App on their iPod Touch or iPhone to
Watch TV Shows, Movies, and More With Apple TV
In addition to renting television shows, Movies in HD quality can also be rented through Apple TV. The price for new releases is $4.99. Older movies drop in price by a dollar. I imagine that at these price points, Apple will still struggle to rent as many videos as if they compete with the price available to renting from RedBox.
Netflix subscribers will be pleased to know that the Netflix movie library is also available for streaming through the Apple TV. This time of agreement between Apple and Netflix makes me believe that Netflix won’t be streaming new releases anytime soon, or Apple wouldn’t have any movies to rent through their own device.
Music and other video can also be streamed to the Apple TV. This includes streaming your library from your Mac.
What Makes This Apple TV Special?
Overall, the changes to Apple TV are not significant. It still feels like a hobby for Apple. If they would have figured out a way to introduce their touch devices and iOS operating system to the television I’d be singing a different tune, but I believe there is still something special about this second generation Apple TV.
What makes the Apple TV special is the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Apple built into the Apple TV the ability to quickly connect to your iOS device and use it as a remote, or as the source of your media files. AirPlay, the technology behind the ability to connect the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad to the Apple TV will allow you to stream straight from your device to your television.
Why is this so special? The HD video that you capture with your iPhone, or the photo collection you store on your iPad can quickly be shared with a room full of friends and family in any home that has the Apple TV. It means that your digital library of movies and TV shows can go with you anywhere and then be enjoyed on your HD televisions. This is the best feature of the new Apple TV and one that will get people talking about Apple’s entire product line. Something that will surely continue to help Apple sell more computers and mobile devices.