Apple TV – first impressions

I’ve had my Apple TV for 10 days now and overall I’m impressed. As a hardcore Apple fan the ability to access content from my MacBook Pro on the TV is great. Streaming music, viewing photos, YouTube on the TV, more movie choice, is all simple and a worthwhile addition to the usual TV experience.

Apple TV – Apple design at its best

The Apple TV device is beautifully designed and small enough to sit anywhere in your home TV setup. The slim, chrome remote works surprisingly well considering how few buttons it has. However the Remote app for the iPhone and iPad is an excellent enhancement, creating an even better user interface. The iPhone becomes a trackpad with a qwerty keypad for the Apple TV – brilliant!

The big omission from Apple TV in the UK is the ability to stream movies from a LoveFilm account. In the US your Netflix account is available via Apple TV, so no more streaming movies to your PC – they’re on your TV. Apple needs to do a similar deal with LoveFilm in the UK. The big advantage of streaming movies via Netflix, rather than from iTunes, is that you can access as many as you want for a fixed monthly charge (LoveFilm does the same in the UK).

One point to note; the only cable in the box is a power cable. You’ll need a HDMI cable to connect to your TV (as a minimum) and ideally an Optical Audio cable to connect to your surround sound system. I bought an Amazon Basics HDMI cable which works fine.

My verdict – for £99 Apple TV is good value and enhances my home TV lineup. However 2011 is the year for Apple to up the content stakes and allow access to more web content, as well as do a deal on movie streaming with LoveFilm.

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