Video:Apple TV Reviewwith Don Schechter
Is the Apple TV a must-have gadget? Find out what makes the Apple TV different, which features work well (and which ones don't), and whether it's right for you and your beloved television.See Transcript
Transcript:Apple TV ReviewHi, I'm Don Schechter with About.com Gadgets. Today I'll show you how the Apple TV works and help you decide if it's the right gadget for you.
Apple TV FeaturesThe concept behind the Apple TV is simple enough. Connect your television screen to your computer in order to play movies, music, and share photos. Since this is an Apple product, you have to use iTunes and iPhoto. A recent addition is the ability to watch YouTube on your TV. But we'll get into that a little later.
Equipment Needed to Use Apple TVAccording to Apple, you must use a widescreen TV with an HDMI, DVI, or component video input. However, there are reports of it working somewhat on 4 x 3 screens. You'll also need some kind of internet network in your house, whether it's wired or wireless, in order to properly use the Apple TV. Also be aware that the Apple TV doesn't come with any HDMI or other video input cables. Be sure to pick those up as well and keep in mind that, depending upon where you buy them, this can add to the total cost.
Setting Up Apple TVIt's easy enough to set up, just plug in the power cord and the video cables into your TV. There's a very simple setup process as it detects your network and syncs with your computer.
You get the standard Apple remote that comes with any Apple laptop. The remote works well with the interface, but I'm always afraid I'll lose it on my coffee table.
Watching iTunes Movies on Apple TVOnce you sync you Apple TV to your Apple Desktop or laptop on your network, any movies and television shows you download from iTunes can be watched right in your living room. The idea is great, however the quality is not. Same goes for YouTube and other online videos.
Just because your television is high definition does not mean what you downloaded is high definition. Since videos on the web are compressed, when they are viewed on your TV screen they will very likely look pixilated or fuzzy. Instead of buying your favorite TV shows on iTunes, you may as well watch them when they air or get a HD DVR.
Once you can download high definition movies, this machine will be a great addition to your home theater setup. Sacrificing the quality for the convenience just isn't a good enough reason for me to use the Apple TV for television shows or movies.
Listening to iTunes on Apple TVWhat I do like is the ability to play my music through my television's speakers. Since I have surround sound, playing music is a whole other experience, and I have access to my entire iTunes library. Also, the screensaver option provides a great visual aesthetic by allowing album art or pictures from my computer to swirl around on the screen. It's great for parties.
Viewing Pictures With Apple TVIf you want to share pictures with your whole family or lots of friends, the slideshow feature works well enough. You can also watch trailers if you are patient enough for them to download.
Apple TV Review AnalysisThe Apple TV is clearly a gadget made for people who like gadgets. It's a first step that's not so useful now, but might develop down the road.
Thanks for watching. For more information, visit us online at gadgets.about.com.
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