First Look: Apple TV, Hands-On (with Photos)

First Look: Apple TV, Hands-On (with Photos)

We're fond of English - oh, and sorry about the glare; the TV is in a corner meeting room, all windows.



Making a WiFi connection.





+ Add a Comment




Hi: Much as i am a Mac enthusiast, i must say i think they misssed the KISS principle on this one.

When i heard of Apple TV, I expected some sort of box that would connect to my cable or antenna and via WiFi allow me to get/record TV channels (either HD or conventional) on my computer and as a plus enable video content from my computer to be connected to the TV (either HD or conventional). Maybe even a unit intgrated with the Studio Display.

Long ago there was the Mac TV; neither a very good TV or computer but for its time somewhat interesting. I still have one i use for monitoring my VCRs, etc.

Then there were the TV enabled Macs beginning with the 6100/60AV, and on to the 6400/6500, 8100, and later series with built in tuners or at least input/output connections (Apple provided "gotchas" though by not providing them with off the shelf video memory to completely utilize their capability. The latter, if i remember correctly, could record quick time movies and also accept VCRs composite/S-video output. TV for Macs disappeared somewhere around the time of the iMAC.

This thing apparently requires (can you spell $$$:):

1. You have an HDTV receiver.

I don't intend to get one until the advertising/sales ambiguity, misrepresentation, jargon, and the unavailability of much HD material locally is cleared up.

2. A Latest and Greatest System Mac and a subscription to .MAC (minimal offerings of TV content) via iTUNES.

3. One of the fastest high speed connections.

All of this amounts to only the best equipped need apply.

As it stands now iTV does not interest me at all. Maybe a MAC Mini or 24 inch iMAC with TV receive capability, that is an updated MAC TV without the shortcomings of the original.




Mine's on order and I expect no problems at all. I'm a reasonably adept TV geek - been using DirecTV goodies for 13 years + beta test group, nowadays, for HD.

I've read several set-ups and tests, now, and nothing appears to be especially out of line. Still trying to avoid getting an HDMI switch - with only 1 HDMI port on my TV; but, I'll probably use an HDMI to DVI cable left over from earlier tests with D*. Unplug the DVI-in I've been using for my DVD player and switch that to component.

Everything audio already goes through a digital Toslink switch and I bought the switch I use [audio authority] because it has 4 in/1 out and that left 1 port ready for the Apple TV - for my set-up.

Seriously, the menu system looks Apple-simple and most recorded material should travel well with 80211.g. I've ordered the new Extreme Airport because I expect HD to show up online more and more - and upgrades from Apple to handle it. And 80211.n will be more often a requirement.



The folks at Something Awful have already hacked the AppleTV to be able to open movies with other codecs, such as the free and much-superior-to-DivX Xvid codec.

Sorry, I can't find it now, but in a related post on another site, one fellow said he's bought a wireless 5-port HDMI switch for $80., from a reputable online retailer.



Your demo is very clear and the photos really help. However, I doubt that anyone who already has a television with a gazillion other things already hooked up to it in varying configurations will have as easy a time as you seem to have had. I know that every time I add or upgrade an accessory to my TV, it's like starting from scratch all over again getting it to all work. If I decide to get an Apple TV, installation will be "interesting". ;-)



SO are people rushing out to get one or taking a wait and see?

Log in to Mac|Life directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.