I posted a couple of months ago about the new Apple TV release, which totally changed the way the device works and made it much more affordable and cost effective. I’ve since gone ahead and purchased it, and I have to say, it’s ABSOLUTELY FREAKIN’ AWESOME.
But then, you probably expected me to say that. Still, I’ve gotten a few emails from people in the last week asking me what I thought, so here goes.
The new Apple TV is incredibly small, only costs $99, and lets you wirelessly stream media from your computer’s iTunes library, your Netflix account with its huge library of available television shows and movies to watch from free, YouTube videos, photos from your computer, and of course rented television shows and movies.
The Netflix functionality is what sold me on it, and admittedly it’s still my favorite thing about the Apple TV… The interface is REALLY pretty, as you might imagine, and it’s easy to use. It’s much better in both display and in ease of use than the Xbox Live interface for Netflix streaming.
I have to admit, having my iTunes library available is pretty sweet also. I don’t have a TON of video in my iTunes library — mostly a few favorite television series that I’d purchased season passes for (like Modern Family and South Park) to watch while traveling — but it’s certainly convenient to have now that I can watch on my television. (Of course, I did start buying a few more $5 movies and cheap television season passes when I got my new 27″ iMac, so that’s helped beef up the library a bit.)
Here’s a great video summarizing the Apple TV functionality:
All in all, it’s ABSOLUTELY worth the $99 (plus another few bucks to buy the HDMI cable if you don’t have one) to own an Apple TV. For Netflix users and iTunes users alike, it’s incredibly simple and a pleasure to use. And yes, I’m already trying to mentally justify purchasing a second one to go in the living room, since my Apple TV is currently hooked up to the bedroom television.