The great thing about working in the tech sector is getting to play with cool new toys.Â I was looking forward to seeing the new Apple TV.Â I took it, not necessarily as the end all be all that some of the magazines have been hyping it to be, but at the very least a step up in coolness over Windows Media Center in a sleek looking box.
About all Apple got right in this first release was the sleek looking box, and that is only if you are comparing it to the ancient WebTV.Â The product is obviously rushed, and the combination of abilities along with requirements are to say the least puzzling.Â It appears that Apple decided, in an effort to avoid being compared Microsoft for being late and constantly pushing back deadlines, shoved this out the door sort of as page marker.
At $300,Â it comes across more as an oversized iPod.Â With a 40 GB hard drive, it would not be hard for many folks to pack it with just their music downloaded from iTunes alone.Â Of course, that is all you may really want to use it for.Â It only handles videos from iTunes as well, and the lossy video format does not make the jump well from the small iPod screen up to a Wide Screen TV.Â Yes, it MUST be a Widescreen HDTV which is unfortunate to say the least since it only supports 640 by 480 video, so it requires HDTV to give less than standard video quality.
The dumbed down remote which looks like it explains what Apple did with all the old cases from the first generation Shuffles, is beyond “simplified” to “too basic.”Â Finally the last nail in the coffin of this DOA arrival is that in order to buy iTunes content for your Apple TV, you must buy it on your PC (yes or MAC for you 5 percenters), and transfer it over. Â You would think that they would at least allow you to buy and download directly from the iTunes store, but that is simply not the case.
Sort and simple, if you want a “converging” device such as this, wait until the next generation.Â I don’t think you will have to wait too long, since this one is destined to die out as soon as the initial hype wears off.