It’s no surprise at all that Apple took a bite out of the internet TV box industry and came up with its own set-top box, the Apple TV. For those who don’t know it yet, Apple TV is a streaming media player that allows you to access TV shows and movies from iTunes as well as video content from Netflix, Vimeo, and YouTube.
Watching online videos isn’t the only thing you can do with Apple TV. It ties together all the audio and photo content stored in your Mac, iPad, iPod, and iPhone devices—basically the entire Apple family. This means you can access and see content in your Apple devices on your TV screen. It’s like a pint-sized media player to show off your movies, TV shows, music, and photos. Apple TV streams and displays content up to 1080p HD.
Apple TV features app-style TV channels including channels like Netflix, YouTube, Vimeo, SkyNews, and Wall Street Journal. You’ll get full access to the iTunes store lineup of movies and TV programs.
As with most Apple products, it’s well-built and easy to use. User interface is simple and intuitive, as expected from Apple. iPad and iPhone users will surely find the bright and bold iOS design familiar. Navigating setup menus and inputing Wi-Fi network and password is made easier with the use of the Apple TV remote control or via your iPhone Remote app.
Apple products are always known for their sleek and stylish design, and the Apple TV never fails to live up to this standard. It’s a stylish little black box that could look like a Mac mini. The body is a shiny black, while the top is a matte black finish stamped with a shiny Apple symbol and the word “TV”.
However, despite the cool design, the Apple TV lags behind other smart TV boxes when it comes to content. While it does provide one unlimited access to iTunes, it offers limited access to other types and sources of content unlike rivals Roku 3 and Google Chromecast. It’s known to be picky when it comes to video formats. This can be remedied with the use of a video converter to convert videos into Apple TV’s preferred format and resolution. Also, some of its features work better with other Apple products. If you already have one or two (or more) Apple devices in your entertainment repertoire, Apple TV would be a welcome addition to your lot.
- Stylish, sleek design
- Integrated with Apple environment and products
- Limited range of content access
- No universal search capability
- Better with other Apple products
Apple TV has all the lovely trimmings, but lacks in content when compared to Roku 3. It does have the potential for improvement, which can be worth the wait.
Software updates include new helpful features like accessing Apple’s wireless keyboard in conjunction with Apple TV use via Bluetooth hardware. This simplifies using the search function to browse the iTunes store or channel apps, and entering network passwords. The technology isn’t without imperfections and glitches, but one thing is for sure. There is room for improvement in Apple TV that Apple is highly likely and capable to address very soon.