Apple TV 3 1080p is for me part 2: a review
Apple TV 3 1080p is for me part 2: a review
Apple TV 1080p is for me, part 2: a review. Last month we talked about the pre-order of the new Apple TV 1080p version and now we are back to review the unit. Apple TV has been around, you may find it’s more convenient then you thought. The days of building an HTPC (Home Theater PC) are heading out as quickly as it started up and with the increase in internet speeds, wireless speeds, cloud storage and decrease in hardware costs, many of us are watching contenton our devices and our PCs instead of cable tv. The Apple TV brings the convenience of wireless, and the brilliance of High Definition graphics and video to your PC and HDTV experience. Get rid of that huge 8-guage HDMI cable running across your living room to your LCD/LED HDTV and hook up an Apple TV 3.
If you bought one the first or second time around, you have already been experiencing the world that is Apple TV. The third one coming from Apple, the Apple TV 3, is a 1080p version, introducing the new A5 processor, a single core version of the A5x chipset, 512mb of ram compared to 256mb of the previous ones, 8 GB of internal flash drive storage, along with a totally redesigned easy to use interface and of course it outputs in Full HD 1080p resolution! The updated UI is also available for upgrade for owners of previous models.
Like the iPhone 4s, Apple did not find it necessary to update the case, the already popular black box style Apple TV is small, discreet and convenient to place on a flat surface. It included the same slick silver remote with Pause, Play, Menu buttons, and a donut layout for select and directional keys.
Input and Output ports include; HDMI, 10/100 ethernet, optical audio output, micro USB (for store use), WiFi a/b/g/n radio unit. As we mentioned earlier, the previous A4 in Apple TV has been replaced with a single-core version of the A5 for downloading and playing 1080p HD content, which iTunes and iCloud now support as well.
We tested over a typical home internet line at 10-15mbps along with a d-link wireless router over a 802.11n connection and the unit was responsive, devoid of any choppiness and easy to use. The UI is extremely easy and intuitive to use and Apple has done a great job at making the navigation more convenient with less clicks to get to your desired destination. Downloading movies from iTunes is a snap and can utilize services like YouTube, Flickr, Vimeo, Netflix. Streaming photos is fun and easy to use for someone not so internet savvy, you know who I’m talking about. Just plug it in, change the input on your HDTV, connect to your iTunes over your network and off you go! You can stream content from your iPhone 4s, iPad 3 or PC/Mac.
In addition to your PC, if you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, you can use your device to stream HD content out to your Apple TV 3 and out to your HDTV with Airplay. Airplay is a proprietary protocol created by Apple allows to wirelessly stream photos, video and audio to your HDTV or other HD display. All your movies, music, photos can now be sent out wirelessly throughout your HDTV anywhere your Apple TV is hooked up as well as mirroring your iPad, iPhone or iPod devices apps.
In our testing at Pinstripe Magazine, we experienced some oddity with mirroring from our iPhone 4s, the orientation will change unexpectedly if you tilt too far, even though the iPhone doesn’t display this, the Apple TV still did. Orientation Lock unfortunately only locks you in portrait mode, but if your playing a game in landscape mode, the mirrored display may flip flop from portrait to landscape, even if the iPhone is not. I’m sure this will be corrected with a software update from Apple. Otherwise mirroring was easy to setup and use, great feature!
Small and convenient enough for you to take with you on trips, watch movies, use it for a presentations, play games, show family pictures or just use it as a way to increase your real estate while using your iPad 3 or iPhone 4s. If you’re a previous owner, you may not NEED the increase in resolution, but with the prices of LCD/LED HDTVs today, most people own multiple. At $99, you may consider owning multiple Apple TVs to compliment your AV networking setup in your home.
The Menu system is indeed very easy and intuitive to use, click what you see and use the directional keys and select button to get you there. To go back up a level, simply hit the Menu button the remote to bring you to the previous screens. YouTube and Vimeo are sure to be crowd pleasers. MLB, NBA, NHL and WSJ Live for news, some require monthly subscriptions. Photo Stream, Mobile Me and Flickr allow for synchronization of your own content.
Want a movie, just click on the movie button to bring up tons of popular movies by category or search for your favorites. Both paid as well as free TV shows are available. Apple TV 3 also includes a Radio app for endless amounts of internet radio stations for any genre of music at your finger tips. It’s easy and fun to use, not to mention super convenient. A great gadget for the single guy or Father’s Day gift.
Available through Apple.com for $99.00