On Wednesday the brand new Apple TV was announced with a lukewarm reception. Some avid Apple users were excited; others said it was just a ploy for Apple TV to try, yet again, to get into the TV home entertainment business. The Apple TV has been around a while but never really took off; one big reason was the lack of catalog. There wasn’t all that much to be able to download movie-wise. The other was the price. It started at $229. But both those issues have been addressed with the brand spanking new model. So should you log on to Apple’s site and pre-order one right now? And will it meet your family’s entertainment needs? Here’s a list of pros and cons to help you decide.
Netflix – Apple TV has partnered with Netflix to have their film streamed directly to your TV. Netflix is no stranger to this kind of service, having partnered with SonyPlaystation and Wii systems (among others) to download content to the comfort of your own living room. Netflix has a catalog of about thirty or so family choices for viewing there are some goodies, like Pixar’s UP, but most are more of the D-list family titles variety.
Size – It’s small. The last version was a whole lot larger and its stark white exterior was hard to ignore. This one is a fraction of the size.
HD – Via the Apple TV interface you can download movies (starting at $3.99) and TV shows (starting at .99 cents an episode) all in HD. Some of the more current titles include the new Alice in Wonderland, Wall-E and some old favorites like The Aristocats and Pocahontas, but again, it’s a limited collection.
It works as a media center. You can stream video and music from your computer to the AppleTV and enjoy from your television.
It’s cheaper. It was $229, but now is available for pre-order for $99.
Netflix films aren’t delivered in HD yet. You’ll need to pay extra via the Apple TV interface to rent the HD versions of the films you want to see.
If you have a system like On Demand via your cable provider, you’re getting a similar streaming service, just without the other Apple TV capabilities and providers like On Demand have the hot new kid’s films.
No full menu of content. It’s all about the content! Many TV stations like NBC, CBS, ABC aren’t playing ball so their shows aren’t offered via the Apple TV ordering system. And the first-run films aren’t any different then what you can pick up from Blockbuster or Netflix. And again, it’s limited.
The Remote – Now I’m not sure if they fixed this issue yet or if there is a way bypass it, but with the old AppleTV, if you used the little Apple remote you might also be controlling your laptop at the same time with unwanted AppleTV screens popping up. And if you’re little one likes to push buttons, they’ll find some trouble with this itty bitty remote.
And even though it’s now just $99, is it really worth it?
Check out more about the Apple TV right here.