TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Kool Tools: AppleTV

Volume Number: 26
Issue Number: 10
Column Tag: KoolTools

Kool Tools: AppleTV

Good, but no replacement for cable

by Dennis Sellers


The new Apple TV is a solid update to Apple's "hobby," but it's not a "cable killer" as I hoped it would be (sorry, Comcast -- well, no, I'm not). Of course, that would be expecting a lot from an US$99 device. For a device that streams content from my Mac AND lets me access Netflix, it's a good upgrade for folks like myself.

Set-up is easy -- far easier than with its predecessor as there's no need to enter a numeric code in iTunes on your Mac to sync the Apple TV. You connect the Apple device to an HDTV via a HDMI cable (not included) and follow some on-screen prompts, and you're good to go. Also, the new Apple TV is small -- surprisingly so -- that it doesn't take up much space among your TV set-up, which, if it's like mine, has various devices attached.

You can set up the Apple TV with more than one computer on your home sharing network to stream to the TV, allowing for convenient access to video, photos, and music you've got stored on your Mac or PC. Strangely, you turn on Home Sharing in iTunes, not via the Networks option in Mac OS X.

You can only rent movies and TV shows via the new Apple TV, not buy them as before as the new incarnation has no built-in storage. You can still buy videos via your Mac, however, and stream them to the Apple TV. As for the rental prices, they're reasonable: HD movies start at $3.99 and HD TV shows go for 99 cents; rented movies stream crisply with few artifacts.

One of the killer features of the new Apple TV is AirPlay, which allows content to be streamed from an iPad or other iOS device directly to your TV. This means you can watch part of a movie on your iPad, then begin streaming the movie to your television when you wish. AirPlay works seamlessly and is very, very cool.

Another nice touch: if you have an iDevice, you can download Apple's free Remote app from the Apple App Store, and use the device as a remote control for the Apple TV.

Though I like the Apple TV overall, there's plenty of room for improvement. To wit:

  • You can download shows from Netflix, but you can't use Hulu Plus or Vimeo. You can look at pics on Flickr, but not Facebook. Among TV broadcasters, only ABC, Fox, Disney and the BBC have joined the Apple TV party so far.

  • Though I like the HDMI connection, if you need component or composite outputs, you're out of luck.

  • There's also no Apple TV App Store as some expected. But I imagine that's coming sooner than later. After all, the Google TV is looming and it will come with a store that sells, among other things, games that users will be able to play on Google TV. I think an Apple store will be announced before the holidays -- and make the Apple TV a not-inconsiderable gaming device.

  • Most movies are in HD (720p), but serious movie buffs are going to want 1080p.

The Apple TV is a big improvement from "Take Two" of the device. And it has a lot of untapped potential. In addition to gaming, hopefully we'll see multiple app-like options for accessing video and audio content from a variety of third-party sources, rather than forcing everything to be bought or rented through the iTunes Store.

...Then the Apple TV might begin evolving into a real cable/satellite TV competitor.


Dennis Sellers is a long time journalist. He started in the newspaper business, but has been in the online journalism business for the past 15 years. He's the editor/publisher of Macsimum News (http://www.macsimumnews.com)

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Pinegrow 6.23 - Mockup and design web pa...
Pinegrow (was Pinegrow Web Designer) is desktop app that lets you mockup and design webpages faster with multi-page editing, CSS and LESS styling, and smart components for Bootstrap, Foundation,... Read more
WhatsApp 2.2149.4 - Desktop client for W...
WhatsApp is the desktop client for WhatsApp Messenger, a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp Messenger is available for... Read more
Microsoft Remote Desktop 10.7.4 - Connec...
Microsoft Remote Desktop for Mac is an application that allows connecting to virtual apps or another PC remotely. Discover the power of Windows with Remote Desktop designed to help you manage your... Read more
ffWorks 2.6.7 - Convert multimedia files...
ffWorks, focused on simplicity, brings a fresh approach to the use of FFmpeg, allowing you to create ultra-high-quality movies without the need to write a single line of code on the command-line.... Read more
Opera 82.0.4227.58 - High-performance We...
Opera is a fast and secure browser trusted by millions of users. With the intuitive interface, Speed Dial and visual bookmarks for organizing favorite sites, news feature with fresh, relevant content... Read more
Day One 6.15 - Maintain a daily journal.
Day One is an easy, great-looking way to use a journal / diary / text-logging application. Day One is well designed and extremely focused to encourage you to write more through quick Menu Bar entry,... Read more
Default Folder X 5.6.3 - Enhances Open a...
Default Folder X attaches a toolbar to the right side of the Open and Save dialogs in any OS X-native application. The toolbar gives you fast access to various folders and commands. You just click on... Read more
OmniOutliner Pro 5.9.2 - Pro version of...
OmniOutliner Pro is a flexible program for creating, collecting, and organizing information. Give your creativity a kick start by using an application that's actually designed to help you think. It's... Read more
OmniOutliner Essentials 5.9.2 - Organize...
OmniOutliner Essentials (was OmniOutliner) is a flexible program for creating, collecting, and organizing information. Give your creativity a kick start by using an application that's actually... Read more
QuickBooks 19.0.11.984 - Financial manag...
QuickBooks helps you manage your business easily and efficiently. Organize your finances all in one place, track money going in and out of your business, and spot areas where you can save. Built for... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

The Best Wordle Clone in Town – The Touc...
In this week’s episode of The TouchArcade Show we dig into the drama of the moment which is the cloning and subsequent gloating about the cloning of the lovely little free word game Wordle. This leads into some additional drama about how PUGB Mobile... | Read more »
TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘Cards Inf...
There’s nothing I love more than a perfect mobile game. What do I mean by that? Well, no game is actually perfect, but there’s something special about a game you know you can just whip out at a moment’s notice and dive into, and you know it will... | Read more »
‘Micro RPG’ Bringing Streamlined RPG Goo...
Originally announced on our forums more than 3 years ago, Micro RPG is an upcoming mobile game from a two-person studio that goes by the name JoliYeti Games and, as the title implies, it looks to offer all the fun of an RPG but in a more condensed... | Read more »
SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘Kensei: The Seco...
Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for January 14th, 2022. Yesterday was a big day, but today shows that we’re still warming up the engines for this year. There are a handful of new releases, but nothing nearly as... | Read more »
Mobile MMORPG Shooter ‘Avatar: Reckoning...
Archosaur Games, Tencent, Lightstorm Entertainment, and Disney have just revealed a mobile MMORPG shooter Avatar: Reckoning. Avatar: Reckoning will be published by Level Infinite when it hits iOS and Android. It is an official Avatar game developed... | Read more »
‘Crashlands+’ Is Out Now on Apple Arcade...
The brilliant Crashlands from Butterscotch Shenanigans was confirmed to arrive on Apple Arcade as an App Store Great in the form of Crashlands+ () a little while ago and it has just released worldwide. If it isn’t live yet, it should roll out in... | Read more »
SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘Eschatos’, ‘To B...
Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for January 13th, 2022. It’s a Thursday, and we’ve got a pretty hefty bag of new releases to dig into. There are always some fun surprises, and this week that came in the form of SNK Vs... | Read more »
‘Crush the Castle Legacy Collection’ Lau...
Ever since Angry Birds broke into the mainstream and became a household name more than a decade ago, there’s always been a small niche of people on the sidelines who would pipe up to remind everybody that “Crush the Castle did it first!" Indeed, the... | Read more »
Non-Violent Stealth Game ‘El Hijo – A Wi...
Over a year ago, Handy Games brought the non-violent stealth game El Hijo – A Wild West Tale to Switch, PS4, Xbox, PC, and Stadia. El Hijo – A Wild West Tale has been developed by Honig Studios and Quantumfrog. You play as El Hijo, a six year old,... | Read more »
‘ZED BLADE’ from SNK and Hamster Is Out...
After a bit of a break likely due to the holiday season, we’ve gotten a new title in the ACA NeoGeo series on iOS and Android. SNK and Hamster originally brought the series to mobile with Samurai Shodown IV, Alpha Mission II, and Metal Slug 5.... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Get an Apple Watch Series 7 for $50 off MSRP,...
Amazon has Apple Watch Series 7 models on sale for $50 off MSRP including free shipping. Their prices are the lowest available for Apple Watch Series 7 models today: – 41mm Apple Watch Series 7 GPS... Read more
Here are the details of Apple’s 2022 Educatio...
Need a new Apple Mac or iPad for school? Whether you’re a student, teacher, or staff member, you can use your .edu email address when ordering at Apple Education to take up to $400 off the price of a... Read more
Amazon is blowing out 2020 21″ iMacs for only...
Amazon has clearance 2020 21″ iMacs (2.3GHz Dual-Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) on sale right now for $599.99 including free shipping. Original MSRP for this model was $1099. Amazon expects delivery in... Read more
Find the best deal on an Apple MacBook using...
In the market for a new 13″ MacBook Air, 13″ MacBook Pro, 14″ MacBook Pro, or 16″ MacBook Pro with M1, M1 Pro, or M1 Max Apple Silicon? Use our Apple award-winning and exclusive price trackers to... Read more
Red Pocket Mobile is offering the Apple iPhon...
Switch to Red Pocket Mobile and get an Apple iPhone 13 Pro for $50 off MSRP, plus get free 6 months of Unlimited nationwide 5G service with the purchase of any iPhone 13. Red Pocket Mobile is a... Read more
24″ M1 iMacs on sale for $1249, $50 off Apple...
Amazon has base 24″ M1 iMacs (8-Core CPU/7-Core GPU/8GB RAM/256GB SSD) on sale today for $1249 shipped. Their price is $50 off Apple’s MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for a new 24″ M1 iMac... Read more
Open-Box 16″ M1 Pro MacBook Pros available fo...
QuickShip Electronics has open-box return 16″ M1 Pro MacBook Pros in stock and on sale for $200-$300 off MSRP on their eBay store right now with free express delivery. According to QuickShip, “The... Read more
Stock Alert! Order a new 16″ M1 Pro MacBook P...
New 16″ MacBook Pros with Apple’s M1 Pro and M1 Max CPUs have been very hard to find, largely due to current global supply constraints. However, B&H Photo is reporting stock of Space Gray... Read more
Apple has maxed-out 13″ M1 MacBook Airs (16GB...
Save $250 on maxed-out 13″ M1 MacBook Airs today at Apple (16GB RAM/1TB SSD) with Certified Refurbished models available for $1399 in Space Gray and Gold colors. Regular price for this configuration... Read more
New promo at Xfinity Mobile: $400 off any App...
Xfinity Mobile is offering any new Apple iPhone for $400 off MSRP for new customers. This includes the iPhone 13. Price for the phone, including the discount, is spread monthly over a 24 month term... Read more

Jobs Board

Registered Nurse (RN) Employee Health PSJH -...
…is calling for a Registered Nurse (RN) Employee Health PSJH to our location in Apple Valley, CA.** We are seeking a Registered Nurse (RN) Employee Health PSJH to be Read more
Systems Administrator - Pearson (United State...
…and troubleshoot Windows operating systems (workstation and server), laptop computers, Apple iPads, Chromebooks and printers** + **Administer and troubleshoot all Read more
IT Assistant Level 1- IT Desktop Support Anal...
…providing tier-1 or better IT help desk support in a large Windows and Apple environment * Experience using IT Service Desk Management Software * Knowledge of IT Read more
Human Resources Business Partner PSJH - Provi...
…**is calling a** **Human Resources Business Partner, PSJH** **to our location in Apple Valley, CA.** **Applicants that meet qualifications will receive a text with Read more
Manager Community Health Investment Programs...
…is calling a Manager Community Health Investment Programs PSJH to our location in Apple Valley, CA.** **Qualified candidates will be invited to do a self-paced video Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.