Apple TV (40GB)
Typical Price: $394.99
CNET Editors' Rating: 3.5 / 5
The good: Provides access to iTunes-based movie rentals, TV shows, music, photos, and podcasts, as well as YouTube videos on your living room TV; streams media from networked Mac or Windows PCs; purchases and rentals can be done directly through iTunes Store on your TV; movie rentals from all major studios include some in HD and surround sound; sleek external design and elegant user interface; simple, streamlined setup; includes state-of-the-art 802.11n wireless networking; smooth, hiccup-free streaming.
The bad: No support for Netflix, Pandora, and other major online media services found on most new Blu-ray players; doesn't work with older, non-widescreen TVs; movie rentals must be watched within 24 hour timeframe; no subscription payment options; lackluster file support for non-iTunes video formats; oversimplified remote can't control other devices.
The bottom line: Apple TV provides a slick venue for iTunes-based media in the living room, but the average Blu-ray player now provides a wider array of online media options.
Design, Features & Performance (out of 10)
Editors' Note (October 1, 2010): This old version of the Apple TV has been replaced with a smaller $99 Apple TV that adds Netflix compatibility.
Editors' Note (August 16, 2010): We have lowered the rating on this product due to changes in the competitive marketplace. Customers interested in Apple TV should note that there are persistent rumors that this product (now more than three years old) will soon be replaced with an updated model that includes app-based online content services.
Editors' Note (September 14, 2009): Apple has discontinued the 40GB version of the Apple TV and lowered the price of the 160GB version to $229.
Editors' Note (February 12, 2008): This review has been updated--and the editors' rating has been raised--to reflect version 2.0 of the Apple TV firmware. Note, however, that user opinions entered prior to February 12, 2008 reflect users' experience with earlier versions of the Apple TV firmware and iTunes Store.
When the Apple TV was first released in March 2007, we praised its elegant interface, pain-free setup, and overall ease of use--all of which were a big departure from previous network-based entertainment devices for the home. The problem was that the Apple TV just didn't do a whole lot. Even with a later upgrade that added the ability to access YouTube videos, the product was little more than an "iTunes extender" for the living room. And viewed through that prism, it had issues: you could only access iTunes content that had already been downloaded to a networked computer and--because they were optimized for the small screen of an iPod--all of those iTunes-purchased TV shows and movies looked pretty bad on a big-screen TV.
Almost a year later, the hardware remains exactly the same, but a free software upgrade--and some changes to the iTunes Store--effectively gives the product a makeover. Apple TV now delivers direct access to the iTunes Store, so you no longer need to run over to your computer to pick the TV shows and movies you'd like to watch. Movie rentals from all major Hollywood studios are now available, and the quality of the iTunes video offerings has been significantly improved, with movies and TV shows in improved standard-definition and--for some movie rentals--720p HD video and 5.1 Dolby surround sound. And--if you've got decent broadband bandwidth--the videos start streaming from the Web within seconds (with a slightly longer delay for HD flicks). The software update also adds access to online photo galleries from Flickr and .Mac accounts. And all of that new functionality comes in addition to the Apple TV's old bag of tricks: the ability to access a full range of online podcasts and YouTube videos as well as the bulk of the digital photos and iTunes music and video library already sitting on any of the PCs and Macs on your home network. To top it off, Apple has cut the price: the 40GB model is now $229, while the 160GB version is $329. Yes, we still have a wish list a mile long for additional functionality and features we'd like to see in the Apple TV, but the updated version transforms the device into a bona-fide video-on-demand box with a lot more potential than the original version.
Features: What it can do
The Apple TV is probably best described to the uninitiated as "a networked video iPod for your living room." The small set-top attaches to your TV and streams all manner of media--video, music, and photos--over your wireless or wired home network. The specifics:
Movies: Any movie available from the iTunes Store can be viewed on Apple TV. Movies are available only for rent: $2.99 for older titles, $3.99 for new releases, and a buck more each for the HD versions. Some of the high-def versions also offer full Dolby Digital 5.1 surround soundtracks. Apple has secured contracts with all the major movie studios, and the company is pledging to have 1,000 movie rentals available by the end of February 2008, with as many as a tenth of them having HD versions available. Rentals come with expiration dates, however: they must be viewed within 30 days of download and there's a 24-hour time limit once viewing begins.
TV shows: TV shows can be purchased from the iTunes Store for $1.99 an episode, or a whole season for a bulk price. Most current TV shows can be purchased, though NBC/Universal shows are a notable holdout at the time of this writing. Shows are not yet available in HD, but the bitrate on the standard-definition video quality has been revved up, so they now look better on big-screen TVs.
Other iTunes videos: Unlike many digital media adapters, the Apple TV can't stream many common video file formats--including DivX, Xvid, AVI, WMV, and MPEG--directly from the hard drive. These files must first be manually converted and imported into the iTunes software. (There are a variety of ways to convert third-party videos, but ones that users have already optimized for the iPod or iPhone will note that the video quality will suffer when it's blown up for the big screen.) In addition to imported videos, the Apple TV can also stream computer-based videos that have been purchased or rented from the iTunes Store.
YouTube: Over the past several months, YouTube has been converting the bulk of its video content to h.264 versions that are optimized for the iPhone and Apple TV. The videos are directly accessible through the Apple TV's main menu, under sensible submenus such as "featured," "most viewed," "top rated," and the like. You can also log in to your YouTube accounts and access your favorites.
Music: The Apple TV can be used to buy music directly through the iTunes Store and to stream songs already in the library on your networked computer. (Audiobooks can't be purchased through the on-screen interface, but they can be streamed from networked computers to the Apple TV.) Annoyingly, despite being available on the iTunes desktop software, Internet radio stations are not accessible on the Apple TV.
Photos: Apple TV will automatically pull in any photos already in iPhoto (Macs) or PhotoShop Elements (Windows). Alternately, you can have the Apple TV pull photos from any folder (such as the "My Pictures" folder) on a networked computer. New to the 2008 update is the ability to access photos on the Flickr and .Mac online services--just type in the username, and you'll have access to his or her gallery (assuming it's been made public). Photos can be viewed as slide shows, complete with transition effects and the iTunes playlist of your choice as background music.
Podcasts: The same library of podcasts available via the iTunes Store is accessible on the Apple TV. As with the video and music stores, either choose from the most popular choices on the main splash screen, or search for your favorites via the onscreen keyboard. Audio and video podcasts are available--some "HD" podcasts are even optimized for the Apple TV.
AirTunes remote speaker: The Apple TV can be used as a remote speaker for any connected iTunes software. Just click the menu in the lower-right corner of the iTunes window and choose "Apple TV." Doing so will "hijack" the Apple TV into playing whatever audio you've got up and running on iTunes, including Internet radio. It's a useful feature if you want to stream music to your living room stereo without having the TV turned on.
The Apple TV itself is a tiny, silver square with rounded corners measuring 7.7 inches per side and just 1.1 inches high. That's far smaller than most standard DVD players and stereo equipment; like the similarly sized Mac Mini or Nintendo Wii, the Apple TV will fit just about anywhere. It also sports a minimalist aesthetic that's classic Apple--the front panel has only a power light and the remote sensor. There are absolutely no buttons, nor is there a front-panel display. As mentioned, it's available in two capacities: 40GB and, for $100 more, 160GB (though about 7GB on each model is dedicated to system software, and is thus off limits to the user).
Once you plug it in, it's always on. There's no cooling fan, which makes for essentially silent operation, an important feature in a home theater device. The box does get at least as hot as your average laptop, however, so be sure to give it plenty of ventilation.
The included remote will be familiar to Apple aficionados. It's the exact same gumstick-size clicker that ships with recent iMac models, featuring the same five-way navigation pad found on an iPod Shuffle (play/pause, back/forward, and the plus/minus buttons), plus a "menu" button that doubles as "back" when navigating the Apple TV menus. Unfortunately, the little remote can't be programmed to control the volume of your TV or AV receiver. Because it's a standard infrared remote, you can program a universal remote to control the Apple TV.
Apple's package includes the remote, the power cord, the instruction manual, and the unit itself. It's up to you to supply any AV or HDMI cables.
The Apple TV has a decent set of network and AV jacks crammed onto its backside, but it's by no means comprehensive. There are two video output options: component (red, green, blue) and HDMI. If you connect to a TV or an AV receiver via HDMI, that single cable will handle video and audio. Otherwise, audio can be output via analog stereo (red and white RCA jacks) or optical digital. The dearth of composite and S-Video connectors means that the Apple TV is not just HD friendly, it's pretty much HD only. (Technically it will work with 480i standard-definition TVs that have a component video input, but the image on monitors that are not wide-screen will be stretched). While we're all in favor of future-proofing, a little backward compatibility would've been nice, too.
Apple TV includes built-in support for 802.11n wireless networking, the latest--and fastest--iteration of the Wi-Fi standard. Designed to support speeds of up to 200Mbps, the 11n standard is fast enough to deliver the high bandwidth required to stream high-def video. The device will still interact with older wireless standards, but don't expect 802.11g, and especially 802.11b, networks to reliably stream video. Thankfully, an Ethernet port is present for those who prefer to bypass wireless altogether and opt for a wired connection instead.
Apple TV also includes a single USB 2.0 port on the rear, but it's currently just a service jack--meaning it lacks any consumer application for the time being. Because the Apple TV doesn't have a laptop-style external power brick, it is possible to get the device up and running with two cables--the power cable to wall outlet and an HDMI cable to the TV or AV receiver.
Once we got our Apple TV connected and powered up, it was time to go through the setup routine. On many such devices, connecting to a wireless network and interfacing with a connected computer can be a Sisyphean ordeal that taxes even the most patient and knowledgeable gadget fan. But with Apple TV, the setup process couldn't be simpler. After prompting us to choose a display language and a resolution (choices range from 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p to Euro-friendly 576p and 50Hz HD flavors), the Apple TV automatically searched for wireless networks in the area. We simply selected our Wi-Fi network of choice and entered the password on the onscreen keyboard (WEP and WPA encryption is supported).
Once the Apple TV is on the network, you have two options: you can set it up to sync with and stream content from other computers on the network (via the iTunes software running on those machines), or you can jump right into the content that's directly available online (the iTunes Store, Flickr and .Mac photos, YouTube videos, and podcasts).
Linking the Apple TV to Mac or Windows machines running iTunes is a simple affair. The latest version of the software (7.6 or later) should automatically detect the Apple TV and show it under "devices"--the same header under which you see your iPod when it's connected. Just plug in the randomly generated five-digit code shown on the Apple TV screen, and your iTunes software will immediately begin "talking" to the Apple TV. The Apple TV will be authorized to play iTunes Store content purchased on your account, and you can check off which of your media types--movies, TV shows, music (including music videos and audiobooks), podcasts, and photos--you wish to synchronize with Apple TV.
If the sync options sound familiar, that's because they're identical to the options that iTunes offers when syncing to an iPod. And as with the iPod, you can make the syncing options as general ("all TV shows") or as granular ("only unwatched episodes") as you'd like.
Once the syncing options are applied, the files begin copying over from your computer to your Apple TV. Obviously, the first sync will be the longest--it's far slower over the fastest network than syncing with your USB-connected iPod--and fat movie files will go considerably slower than TV shows and song files. However, with the exception of photos (which need to go through a bit of processing), all of the content to be synchronized is immediately available for streaming.
The process works in reverse as well: any music or TV show that you buy should sync back to the computer, where it can then be used there or uploaded to your iPod or iPhone. (The major exception is HD movie rentals, which are intended only for view on the Apple TV).
You also can stream content (but not sync) to the Apple TV from up to five additional computers. Other computers need only be "invited" to stream to the Apple TV. To do so, choose "sources" on the main menu, enter the randomly generated five-digit security code, and you'll be good to stream to the Apple TV. The process is simple enough that you can easily authorize, say, the laptop of a visiting friend, allowing playback of the latest episode of a favorite TV show--or a home movie--on the big-screen TV.
The interface on the updated Apple TV improves (for the most part) on that of the original version. That's high praise indeed, as it was already one of the most intuitive and easy-to-use consumer products out there. The new system uses a centered split-screen navigation scheme--primary selections on left, submenus on the right. Choose "music" on the left, for instance, and your right side choices are "top music," "music videos," "genres," "search," "my music," and "shared." The first three use onscreen graphics (album covers) and a modified version of the iPod-style coverflow menu to provide an overview on popular choices. Those looking for specific artists, albums, or songs can search using an onscreen keyboard. Search results automatically populate with each letter entered and are ordered by most popular, so it's pretty easy to find what you're looking for. With a few tweaks here and there, the same general options are also available for movies, TV shows, podcasts, and YouTube.
In general, it's a great interface that will be usable to anyone who's ever used the iTunes Store on a computer. But there is some room for improvement. The tiny remote can be frustrating to use when doing long searches (the addition of a dedicated backspace key would've been nice). And the graphical pages used for highlighted content and search results can be overwhelming. Choose an artist with a large song catalog, for instance, and you'll get a page full of identical icons (each song on an album represented by the same cover art). A list view or an artist "home page" (a la Rhapsody) would be an improvement here. That said, this is Apple TV, not Apple Jukebox, and the movie and TV pages are a bit easier to navigate, if only because there are fewer choices.
The onscreen display looks just like a scaled-up iPod menu, with all of the familiar choices on the main menu--movies, TV shows, music, podcasts, and photos--plus a dedicated YouTube option as well. Settings also are available for changing configuration options and connecting to new PCs. But unlike a narrow-screen iPod, the Apple TV uses the left half of the wide-screen display to show contextual graphics--album art for music, logos for podcasts, posters and cover shots for movies and TV shows, and so forth.
After a few seconds of inactivity, the system will default to a screensaver that consists of a cavalcade of your photos or cover art. Similarly, playing music or podcasts shows the relevant cover art, if available, and the system will quickly flip-flop it from one side of the screen to the other. In other words, Apple TV is careful to ensure that plasma TV owners won't find album art, titles, or photos burned into their screen.
Another nice usability touch to the system is smart resume. Apple TV remembers where you stopped watching a movie or a TV show--even if it was being watched in iTunes on your laptop. Returning to a previously watched video file gives you an option to resume from that point, or start from the beginning.
We connected the Apple TV to a Belkin N1 router, which also uses the superfast 802.11n wireless standard. Accessing the Internet-based iTunes Store content was generally very fast (though we're on a good T1 broadband connection). YouTube videos, movie trailers, and video previews all played nearly instantaneously, as did most video podcasts.
HD movies rented from the iTunes Store are, of course, the biggest challenge, but here the process remained pretty smooth. A confirmation screen will indicate that the movie download has started, and leaves you to go about your business on the menu screen. When enough of the video has buffered, a second screen will then pop up to confirm that you can start watching the movie without interruption. On our superfast corporate connection, that happened in less than a minute; on slower broadband connections, HD movies may need to queue up for several minutes. Standard-def TV shows and movies should be good to go almost instantaneously, however.
Streaming from networked computers worked very well for photos, music, and most video files.
Overall, we'd rate the streaming performance as excellent. Of course, it's always important to note that streaming performance is reliant on the vagaries of one's network. Don't expect smooth sailing if family members are simultaneously battling on Xbox Live, downloading a BitTorrent file, and making a Skype call, for instance. Likewise, don't expect to fast-forward and rewind while streaming as easily as you would on a DVD--each time you do, the file needs to rebuffer to the new location. Still, we've played with a lot of media streaming products that completely fall down when trying to rewind and fast-forward through long movie files, so the fact that the Apple TV offers usable navigation while streaming is a definite plus. As you'd expect, response time is much faster, smoother, and more DVD-like if the file has already been synchronized or downloaded to the Apple TV's internal hard drive.
Scenes from Ratatouille and Transformers demonstrated that the HD video quality is far superior to the previous low-res offerings on iTunes (which were optimized for the small screens of the iPod/iPhone portables). Foreground detail on both films was generally impressive, with (for instance) the fur of the rats in the Pixar film clearly apparent. But the compression needed to get the films into streamably small file sizes is evident: Backgrounds still exhibit blocky MPEG artifacts, and fades into and out of black show noticeable solarization. In other words: It has the same strengths and weaknesses that we've seen on downloadable videos on Vudu and Xbox 360 Marketplace.
Purists will bemoan the fact that the resolution is "only" 720p rather than 1080p, but the real problem is bitrate, not resolution. Perhaps one day we'll have a broadband infrastructure that can support reasonable download times on such fat file sizes. In the meantime, videophiles will be able to see that Apple TV high-def falls well short of the best Blu-ray movies. The large majority of less critical viewers, however, will be suitably impressed.
|Product Description||Apple TV Digital multimedia receiver|
|Product Type||Digital multimedia receiver|
|Dimensions (WxDxH)||7.8 in x 7.8 in x 1.1 in|
|Digital Player (Recorder)||None|
|Digital Storage Media||Hard disk drive - 40 GB|
|Remote Control||Remote control - Infrared|
|Manufacturer Warranty||1 year warranty|
Average User Rating: 3.5 / 5
User Rating Breakdown
5 Star: 67
4 Star: 39
3 Star: 15
2 Star: 31
1 Star: 26
No-one is even close to the proper solution yet
Rating: 3 / 5
on February 6, 2007
33 out of 41 users found this review helpful
Pros: Great concept, nice design and interface. Although not perfect - it is better than most out there right now.
Cons: Way too limited for what is supposed to be the complete solution
Summary: It still amazes me how companies like Microsoft, Apple and Sony have not even come close to developing what I and what most people want. In the industry, they call it the Holy Grail - the complete media center solution. I think the answer is pretty straight forward but these companies have not even come close - but Apple is the closest at the moment.
I, like a lot of people, have over 200 DVDs. I want to store them all onto a hard drive. You are looking at around 1TB of DVD data taking up too much physical storage space. I want all of that data to be on a hard drive.
Also, I have 100s of CDs - I want all of that data stored "LOSSLESS" on a drive too - that is another 200-300gb of data. Not to mention all of my photos, videos and future HD content that I want to store.
Bottom line - I need 2TB of storage to feel future proof.
OK, so lets say I buy the hard drive. Now, I want to hook it up to a good quality DAC (Digital Analog Converter) that has good software to organize my media and has a pleasant interface.
So lets take the Apple. It doesn't handle all of the formats necessary - so an instant failure. It ONLY talks to iTunes. It doesn't support 1080p and I doubt whether it is capable of pumping out good quality 5.1 surround sound.
What I also find annoying is that you cannot stream a DVD which is playing on your PC to the AppleTv. Which still means you need to have a DVD player/recorder and tuner.
I like the idea of the media streaming from your desktop or laptop. I could use my laptop to organize my media and then use the remote to navigate through it on the TV.
I recently bought a PS3 and am very dissapointed with its claims of being a "media center". PS3 and Xbox360 are not comprehensive enough to really work as media centers.
If Apple was smart, they should have designed a device that can handle streamed data in every media format AND from your laptop's DVD player. They should have included a tuner.
I also don't know if you will be able to connect an external hard drive to the unit and play the media on that as well.
Bottom Line: Apple is on the right track here. BUT their first product is very dissapointing - it could have truly been the Holy Grail of home media entertainment.
Excellent for its purpose
Rating: 4.5 / 5
on February 23, 2007
40 out of 71 users found this review helpful
Pros: Great looks, quality design, decent price for features, HD output
Cons: Small Internal HD (not a decision maker) and GigE
Summary: I've been reading the reviews and I'm ashamed of PC and Mac users alike. 99.9% of the reviews of people who don't own or use the iTV. WHY ARE YOU REVIEWING??
A couple of TiVo comparisons were made by an ignorant jackass who doesn't know a DVR (TV program recorder) from a media extender type product that streams media from a computer system, just like the XBox 360, which is ALSO a media center extender and REQUIRES ZUNE to work - these are not media centers!
If a device takes direct television signals, it's a DVR - iTV only takes digital media from a computer or other storage device and displays it on a TV. Why is that so hard to understand??
Others have condemned the iTV due it's lack of Divx and support for other formats. Does Microsoft Windows Media Center Edition offer support for Divx or other formats? NO! Even PS3 owners aren't happy with the media experience, so nobody is a winner on this one. Every company seems to be sticking with their proprietary formats, so cry about all the products and review them as you will, but rate them equally.
Also, what's the big deal about the small internal hard drive? This is, as I've stated already, NOT a media center. You have to use a computer to stream the media to the iTV, so why would they put a 1TB drive in it and bump the price up to over $1,000? That's rediculous when you can attach 5 external hard disks to your computer system via USB and store the same amount of data for half the price. It's not a storage solution, people - it's a media extender that streams music, pictures and movies to your TV from your computer system(s) and attached storage devices.
I'm sick of reading reviews by people who are either against all Apple products or who are too ignorant to understand what a product does. This is why our country is a joke because the education levels are so low that people can't understand what products do and slam them without owning or using them or they're just too damn lazy to READ (maybe they can't) the tech specs.
This is a great product and for those who bought it after reading and learning about it, you will also be pleased with it's performance as I am. Have a great day.
The Apple TV is still going strong. Even though it has ran hot (passive heatsink and non-vented internal fan) it still performs like a champ. The HDMI output is very clean - purchased a cable from the Apple online store for $20.
Syncing the Apple TV with 2GB+ movies from an iMac on wirless to the wireless ATV is simple and works great although slow sometimes (expected from wirless-to-wirless). I'd like to try it in a wired environment to test the transfer speeds.
The video quality of an encoded DVD is outstanding - truly don't notice a difference @ 2,500/3,000 bitrates. Being able to stream (or sync) my most watched movies directly to the drive make selecting films extremely easy.
A sort feature was added to the TV shows, but not available for Movies. I forsee this as an addition to upcoming software updates.
No problems with the remote control - my iMac is about 30 feet from the TV and I've paired the remote with the ATV. Very easy to use (like Front Row) event though some of the operations are a little different.
Picture streaming is great - resolution is outstanding, but again depends on the quality of your shots. It won't "magically" make your bad shot look good - it will just be very large.
The HD space is small, but I truly don't plan on using it until I upgrade to a much larger internal drive.
I'm exremely pleased with the purchase and highly recommend the Apple TV to anyone interested in streaming media to their HDTV.
The perfect "Home" iPod
Rating: 4 / 5
on March 22, 2007
11 out of 16 users found this review helpful
Pros: Easy setup; Great interface; Wirelessly streams iTunes content from multiple PCs; Enjoy iTunes content and photos on your home entertainment system.
Cons: No HD content available on iTunes Music Store.
Summary: AppleTV has a lot going for itself. Apple's goal was to simply offer its millions of iTunes customers an opportunity to bring the iTunes content trapped in their iPods and PCs to their home entertainment systems. And for that I truly believe this product delivers.
Like the overall form factor, the onscreen menu is very slick and easy to navigate in typical Apple fashion. Setup was painless. I got up and running in minutes.
My biggest issue is the fact that video quality is poor, but that is an iTunes issue, not AppleTV. I'd have to expect Apple to address this issue by making HD video content available soon. In a way I feel almost misled because all of the press releases suggested video playback to be "upconverted" to 720P HD, which is probably true, but the video quality is unfortunately optimized for the little Video iPod screen. That being said, sync'd photos and album art look stunning, however.
If I could make any recommendations about the actual product itself, I would increase the harddrive capacity (I'd even pay extra for that) and/or allow for exandability with the USB port. Also, I'd like more custom menu/display options -- colors, screensavers, how photo/album art is diplayed, etc.
The price point I think is fair if you're looking at the overall package and not just the $/megabytes. I'm sure they'll make some improvements in future models, but this version is worth checking out. Especially when you can download HD content on iTunes.
Are they kidding?
Rating: 2.5 / 5
on February 1, 2007
15 out of 28 users found this review helpful
Pros: Attractive design and interface. Apple quality.
Cons: Overpriced with limited features
Summary: A very small market (Mac users only) should even consider the Apple TV. The crippled features is almost appalling when compared to SlingMedia's upcoming SlingCatcher. With Apple TV you can only stream video through iTunes? Yikes, that's weak. When in comparison, the SlingCatcher allows you to stream any content from your computer (or another TV or whatever) to your TV. You can also stream popular flash videos (like the free videos on popular sites like YouTube, etc). So, the SlingCatcher does everything the Apple TV does, and more. Plus, it is $200 instead of Apple TV's $300. SlingPlayer has won so many awards for their previous products that I am sure the quality will be just as high with their new SlingCathcer. I am not sure how the Mac support is from SlingMedia though, so there might be a concern there for Mac users. For the rest of us, do yourself a favor a watch this CNET video...
I'm sure the Apple TV will be a rock solid solution for what it does. But, it seems to be very limited in features compared to the competition, and it costs more. That why I am giving it an average rating (5/10). Of course I don't feel it is fair to rate something before it comes out, but it just seems with this product they are aspiring for mediocrity.
I never said it was for a small market. If you read the review you would see I said only a small market should consider the product, because there is a better solution for most of us. Obviously iTunes is on the Windows platform, but when you have a cheaper solution that does the same thing and more, I would consider that the better option. That's all I am trying to say here. Many people haven't heard of SlingCatcher because SlingMedia doesn't have the advertising resources that Apple does, I was trying to let people that might not be as tech-savvy know about this cool upcoming product. I thought this was a good place to compare the two products since they will be rivaling each other in the years to come.
[Edited by: admin]
Why can't any one get it right?
Rating: 2.5 / 5
on April 5, 2007
7 out of 9 users found this review helpful
Pros: Small and looks pretty
Cons: codec support? device support? all crap
Summary: First let me state, I am not a republican, I am not a democrat. I vote for who has the best ideas to fit the situation. I do not like Microsoft, I do not like Apple, I buy from whoever makes the best product (and who doesn't try to rip the consumer off in the process.)
Now then. The Apple Tv. Well, its another solution from another company to sell THEIR line of products. When it comes to hardware, the world needs a standard. That is, we need a standard video format, we need a standard streaming solution, we need a standard ability to choose our source of content. WE DONT need a new microsoft trying to sell us their wma over mp3, WE DONT need another non removable internet explorer, and we certainly DONT need someone forcing us to stick to their one solution for video.
In order for the home to truly become a digital media fortress, we are going to need vast amounts of storage. We are going to need a central server that can be accessed from the TV, from the Desktop, from the laptop, heck, even from the phone (one day maybe). The solution you ask? NAS - network area storage. A little box that holds a few terrabytes of data, and is fully redundant- so you dont have to worry about losing your collection. Maybe I wanna rip my DVDs to a NAS and watch them on my tv. Maybe my CDs. Who knows, maybe even pay apple or Micro$oft for a season of 24.
But IN ANY EVENT, hardware manufacturers need to stay in their lane. When I buy a mouse, I expect that mouse to work on my PC as is, to work on Windows, OSX, and Red Hat. I DONT expect logitec to sell me a special card to install into my box because they decided to change the mouse plug. Someone needs to come up with a product that just accepts the video. They need to come up with a product that accepts the STANDARD video formats. And they need, DAG NABBIT, to make it work on ALL SYSTEMS. Can it really be that hard?
If you're looking for a REAL media player for the house try out the helios x5000: