Mark (mhaithaca) wrote,
Mark
mhaithaca

In other news...

I knew from the press coverage (some of which I helped with), the demos, and various friends that the Apple TV was a cool gizmo, but I was pretty sure I didn't need one. Between my TiVo, my Mac, and my iPad, I could do all that, right? Netflix streaming, Amazon instant video, YouTube... all set on my TiVo, thanks. I've also been able to convert videos to a form I can copy to the TiVo, using some third-party software, for when I obtain videos by, shall we say, other means.

Well, my parents gave me an Apple TV for my birthday, and let me tell you, I'm hooked. It won't be useful for live TV or the shows my TiVo is recording for me to watch soon after they air, but it's absolutely a better experience for all of the above than TiVo is currently offering. Now, it's not that different for some of the basics, and it's missing some things like the crucial hop-back-a-few-seconds button that TiVo has had since 2000. But, vitally, it has AirPlay.

AirPlay means I don't have to care where the video is that I want to watch. If it's on my iPad, or my Mac, I don't have to copy it to the Apple TV. (In fact, I can't; it has no long-term storage.) If I'm looking at it on my iPad screen, I just tap the AirPlay control on the iPad... and it continues playing on the Apple TV. (If I had two, I could pick which Apple TV.) Or, if I've got videos on the Mac, several feet away from where I'm relaxing, I can use the Apple TV's remote to pull up the video and start playing.

For just $99, this little gizmo deserves a spare HDMI port on just about everyone's TV. I may need another one for the bedroom before long.
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