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2,119 of 2,215 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Video Review: Apple TV, so much for so little
Customer Video Review     Length:: 4:33 Mins
This is an amazing compliment to your home theater.
So many features, yet so simple to use.
My 7 year old son has it all figured out.

I hope you enjoy the video.
Let me know what you think.
Published on October 10, 2010 by D. Bowman

versus
443 of 494 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unrealized Potential (so far)
PROS
*Low Power (less than 6 watts)
*Compact
*Good-looking UI
*Netflix support (unlike previous generation AppleTV)
*Remote App for iPad/iPhone/iPod touch
*Airplay (though basically we just have Airtunes functionality until iOS 4.2 comes out for iPad/iPhone/iPod touch).
*Closed Captions (Content dependent)

CONS
*Lots of...
Published on October 2, 2010 by ShutterBug


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2,119 of 2,215 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Video Review: Apple TV, so much for so little, October 10, 2010
This review is from: Apple TV MC572LL/A (2nd Generation) (Old Version) (Electronics)
Length:: 4:33 Mins

This is an amazing compliment to your home theater.
So many features, yet so simple to use.
My 7 year old son has it all figured out.

I hope you enjoy the video.
Let me know what you think.
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688 of 739 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Apple TV - Good Now, Potential to be Great, October 15, 2010
By 
This review is from: Apple TV MC572LL/A (2nd Generation) (Old Version) (Electronics)
I am not an Apple Afficianodo. I don't wear jeans and black turtlenecks in reverence to Steve Jobs. I don't hang out at the Apple Store and covet becoming a "genius"; however, I have to give credit where credit is due. The last few products Apple has brought out - the iPod, iPhone, iPad - have been incredible and changed the consumer electronics and media / software landscape. Apple TV is now positioned to do the same, but it will take some more time to fully realize the potential of this device.

Apple TV effectively allows you to stream whatever is on your iTunes to your TV and home theater system. Moreover, it has built in support for Netflix, You Tube and a few other internet based media content providers. The picture quality and performance for these services are worth the price of admission. There is significant potential to advance the platform - just give it some time.

System Overview: My Apple TV is plugged into a 60 inch Samsung 1080p LED HDTV via HDMI (video) and a Yamaha Home Theater Receiver via Toslink optical cable (audio). I have AT&T Uverse with their 802.11g Residential Gateway (combination of DSL modem and wireless router) with their Elite DSL service (6 MB per second). iTunes runs on a Dell Desktop with 4GB of memory, Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 500 GB Hard Drive operating on Windows Vista (64 bit) and secured with Norton 360 (firewall, antivirus, etc.). The network handles the Desktop, 2 iPhones, a Blackberry, an iPad, the Apple TV, 4 Laptops, a wireless Printer and a networked wired printer. The Computer / Residential Gateway are in the Den and the TV / Home Theater / Apple TV are in the family room. The two rooms are about 100 feet apart and are separated by five walls.

Set Up: Easy as pie. It took five minutes to plug in the HDMI cable, the optical cable, the power outlet and then adding it to the wireless network. Sharing iTunes from my desktop to Apple TV took another 20 minutes, since I had to download the new version of iTunes and restart my computer and Apple TV. Apple really makes it easy - I didn't have to make any adjustments to my firewall settings to share iTunes on the desktop with Apple TV. I also downloaded the Apple Remote on my iPhone and iPad, which took another 5 minutes.

User Interface: Apple's secret sauce is the simplicity of their products. Apple TV is no different. The menu is very simple - Movies, TV, Internet, Computer and Settings. Movies and TV are for renting content directly from iTunes within Apple TV. Internet gives you access to Netflix, You Tube, etc. Computer gives you access to iTunes on your computer. Settings allows you to change the various Apple TV options. The remote control is Apple's usual model of minimalist efficiency, with a menu button, a play / pause button and an iPod like controller. The supplied remote works well with Apple TV, but is a bit cumbersome when one has to enter data (e.g., e-mail addresses, search on YouTube or Netflix). A much better solution is downloading Apple Remote on your iPhone or iPad. It basically turns the iPhone or iPad into a big touch pad that allows you to use gestures to control the Apple TV (e.g., swipe left, swipe right, double click, etc.). Moreover, it automatically provides a keyboard when one is asked for text input (e.g., for search). Apple remote is free on the App Store.

Netflix Streaming / Video Quality: Setting up Netflix was quick - basically just enter your e-mail address / password and you're ready to go. I watched some TV from BBC, a foreign flick and Iron Man. Each program loaded quickly - less than 30 seconds. Picture quality was good to great, depending on the source material. Picture quality was comparable to DVD for SD material(perhaps slightly better), but slightly less sharp than upconverted DVD or blue-ray. HD Programming looked like the HD on-demand programming through uVerse. There was enough of a buffer that there was no jittering, pixelation or stuttering on the streaming to the TV. Sound quality on the stream was good - I don't think they stream in 5.1, so the video stream doesn't leverage the subwoofer. Considering that I'm running a heavily taxed wireless system on 802.11g with a 100 foot distance between Apple TV and the Gateway, the picture quality and streaming performance are impressive. Having this quality of Netflix compatibility is worth the price of admission by itself.

iTunes Streaming: I streamed some music from my Playlists from the Computer. Sound quality is good, but not great. My Yamaha CD Player sounds better, but it can only hold 5 cds. Having access to my entire library is very useful, so you lose sound quality but gain convenience. iTunes streams not only the music, but also the cover art. After a few minutes, Apple TV switches into screensaver mode and starts transmitting pictures to the TV along with the music. I also streamed some videos from my computer and the streaming was again flawless. One of the issues with Apple TV is that it only supports the Apple video standards, i.e., MP4. I had some DIVX files that I converted over to MP4 by using DVD Fab and imported them into iTunes. So if you have a library of AVI, Divx, Xvid, etc., this will require conversion of those files in order to stream from your computer.

iTunes from within Apple TV: There is access to an iTunes store within Apple TV as well. They have a different pricing structure, in that TV shows and movies are available for rent only. They have a limited number of titles at this point - primarily BBC, ABC (since Steve Jobs sits on their Board) and Fox. CBS and NBC are not on Apple TV. Movie selection is decent - they have all the latest movies. The Apple TV selection can be easily increased by just downloading the content you want from iTunes on your desktop and then streaming it to Apple TV.

YouTube Streaming: Surprisingly good. The HQ / HD You Tube pieces look remarkably crisp on the TV. The older content that was meant to watch on a small window on your computer looked a little pixelated, but acceptable.

Apple has built a great platform with a lot of potential. With what is available right now - Apple TV is a pretty impressive value at $99. It is worth it just for the Netflix streaming and integration with iTunes. Since Apple TV is actually built on the same hardware (at least the processing chip) as the iPhone and iPad and has the same operating system, I wouldn't be surprised if there are "apps" that will eventually make it to Apple TV to further enhance Apple TV (e.g., ABC Streaming, Games, Amazon on Demand, etc.). There is supposed to be an upgrade to the operating system with a new version of Airplay that comes out in November, 2010. This will allow you to stream from an iPad or iPod to the Apple TV as well.

I looked at other streaming devices (e.g., Roku, using my Panasonic Blue Ray for Netflix, etc.) and none of them had the simplicity and reliabilty that the Apple TV offers. The Wi Fi "stick" for my Blue Ray player is $80 anyway and the Netflix integration isn't anywhere nearly as robust as Apple TV. UVerse also has music and picture streaming built in using Microsoft Media Center - however, it required some network configuration and it crashes quite often. I didn't purchase a Roku, but a friend of mine has had a number of issues with streaming performance. At under $100, the Apple TV is competitively priced with other streaming options. Now just bring on the "apps".

Update on 4/1/11:

I've had the Apple TV for a few months now and I still really like it. Apple has introduced Airplay, which is worth mentioning as it has potential to be a gamechanger technology. Moreover, there has been significant activity on the "jailbreaking" front for the Apple TV.

Airplay is Apple's system of transmitting video / audio wirelessly between compatible devices. Apple TV, the iPhone and iPad are all Airplay compatible. This has proven to be particularly useful feature as I can stream videos from my iPad to the Apple TV and have them appear on my TV. For example, I may have a digital copy of a movie on my iPad (perhaps purchased through iTunes or came with a DVD purchase). Through Airplay, I can transmit the movie directly from my iPad to the Apple TV and watch the movie on my TV. Similarly, if a friend has an iPhone and we want to listen to their latest music selection, we can stream their music from their iPhone directly to my stereo system through Airplay. The real gamechanger for Airplay is streaming video from websites onto my Apple TV so I can watch them on my TV. For example, I could be on the TED website and they have a video from a TED conference. I can stream the video directly to my Apple TV and watch the video on my TV's 60 inch screen instead of the iPad's 10 inch screen. Several websites have already incorporated Airplay compatibility into their videos, such as CNN and TED. I think Airplay is going to have an interesting adoption cycle - traditional media companies (e.g., TV Networks) probably won't endorse Airplay since it goes against their business model. Other websites that rely on video for traffic (e.g., adult sites, news sites, blogs, etc.) will probably adopt Airplay to gain more traction with consumers.

According to Wikipedia, jailbreaking refers to "a process that allows devices running Apple's iOS operating system to gain full access to unlock all features of the said operating system, thereby removing limitations imposed by Apple". Once jailbroken, iOS users are able to load and run applications that are not available on the App Store. Jailbreaking a device is not illegal, much to Apple's chagrin; however, it could void one's warranty. I'm not going into how to jailbreak and Apple TV - just google "jailbreak Apple TV" for instructions. Since the Apple TV has been jailbroken, there have been some applications that have been launched to provide more robust usage of Apple TV. The Couch Surfer application is basically a web browser for Apple TV. Additionally, there are applications that allow Apple TV to play formats other than Apple approved formats, such as DIVX and others. I haven't jailbroken my Apple TV; however, one should be aware of what options are available for this device.
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104 of 112 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a great box for getting media from point A, B and C to your TV, October 2, 2010
This review is from: Apple TV MC572LL/A (2nd Generation) (Old Version) (Electronics)
I was looking forward to this product since it was announced early last month. I'm glad I pulled the trigger and bought it when it became available. For $99 it provides most of the functionality I was paying microsoft $50 a year for. I've become less dependent on the XBOX as a game machine, and more as a Netflix/Media Streamer since my family has grown, and not having to pay for XBOX Live was one of the driving reasons behind this purchase. The reason I say "most of the functionality" is due to it not having the codec support that the XBOX360 comes with out of the box. I've had no issues with playback of mp4 or m4v files, and I'm happy with that, but it lacks support for WMV and AVI (as far as I've experienced). This isn't exactly a deal breaker since I can re-encode any content to supported codecs with handbrake and use iTunes to take care of my video library.

The UI is slick, the setup was somewhat easy (but would have been easier with keyboard support) and the ability to control music from my laptop and desktop is fantastic (through iTunes via the currently limited "airplay" functionality).

I'm really happy with the YouTube, Flickr and Netflix support. They are by far the best I've seen from a media center, but I can see certain aspects being a pain if you use the included remote (there is no keyboard to speak of, and scrolling through letter to spell things out is a hassle). The remote app on iOS devices more than makes up for the lack of a keyboard since it provides added functionality (such as alpha numeric input, quick seeking and library browsing). I look forward to video support with airplay and will update this review once I get to play with that (in November?).

One last thing - it's quiet. The thing barely makes a peep.
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443 of 494 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unrealized Potential (so far), October 2, 2010
By 
ShutterBug (Oklahoma, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Apple TV MC572LL/A (2nd Generation) (Old Version) (Electronics)
PROS
*Low Power (less than 6 watts)
*Compact
*Good-looking UI
*Netflix support (unlike previous generation AppleTV)
*Remote App for iPad/iPhone/iPod touch
*Airplay (though basically we just have Airtunes functionality until iOS 4.2 comes out for iPad/iPhone/iPod touch).
*Closed Captions (Content dependent)

CONS
*Lots of "Loading..." screens
*No Local Storage! (must stream over Internet or via iTunes on PC/Mac using Home Sharing. I know you were trying to cut costs Apple, but why not at least allow local USB storage? I know, I know: DRM.)
*IR Sensor inferior to previous generation AppleTV (requires more direct line of sight)
*Lag before videos and podcasts start playing (even when located on a local computer)
*Netflix controls are not as good as Roku. Infrequent keyframes makes it hard to rewind to an exact spot. Roku does much better (and even PS3 Netflix controls are better).
*Podcast controls sometimes get confused (screen indicates reversing at maximum speed, but video is actually reversing at 1x)
*Doesn't precache artwork icons (Scrolling down through a list of podcasts or Netflix movies, it loads the screen with empty icons then slowly downloads them. This happens no matter how long you wait before scrolling down. Sometimes, it never gets around to downloading certain icons. Hey Apple, how about displaying the name of the movie while you are retrieving the artwork so we can start using the interface even if all of the artwork isn't there?) [Update: there may be some precaching going on, but just not in a very intelligent manner. I have about 170 movies in my Netflix instant queue and a 1.5 Mbps DSL connection so that may contribute to the slowness displaying artwork. If you have a very fast internet connection, you will probably have minimal delay.]
*No Pandora
*No App support (Yet? Come on Apple, enable App support. It won't take long before we have lots of useful 3rd party apps. I'm sure Pandora would be one of the first and then NPR and local weather forecast.)
*No 1080p - 720P only (Yes, most people don't have the bandwidth to support 1080p streaming over the internet, but someday we will. Also, it would be nice to be able to show your 1080p video you shot with your new camcorder or high-end DSLR.)
*Rotten Tomatoes movie reviews are not available for Netflix movies.
*Remote app could display the actual menus for faster selections.
*Home Sharing must be activated for a specific single account. (Result: If both you and your spouse have an iTunes account you will have to choose one or the other and will only have access to media in that person's iTunes account.)

UPDATE:
Removed from Cons:
"*Can't add internet radio stations to a favorites list (and there are hundreds if not thousands to scroll through)." Someone commented that you can add a radio station to your favorites by holding the center button down. I tried this and it works. Not sure how you're supposed to know this as it's not mentioned in the brief instruction book.
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!, October 22, 2010
By 
Eric C. Erickson "AxelDC" (Washington, DC United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Apple TV MC572LL/A (2nd Generation) (Old Version) (Electronics)
I got my Apple TV two weeks ago and I love it. It took me all of 10 minutes to set up, but I had purchased HDMI and Ethernet cables before hand. I logged onto Netflix and Youtube within minutes, and was watching streamed TV within 20 minutes.

The design is typical Apple elegance. It's tiny and sleek. The remote is almost too small and I'm afraid of losing it. The streaming is flawless and fast.

The only downside is the Apple content is not worth buying the device for. Pair it with Netflix and you have a large enough library to cancel your premium cable channels. The radio stations are also a nice bonus.

Not only has it expanded my TV viewing options and allowed me to watch commercial free what I want, when I want, it has saved me a lot of money because Netflix is much cheaper than HBO, Showtime, Starz, Epix, Cinemax, etc.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Media Player, October 11, 2010
This review is from: Apple TV MC572LL/A (2nd Generation) (Old Version) (Electronics)
I got this little box on last Friday and I could setup everything in 30 min. It's typical apple product which gives you very intuitive usage model with limitation.

It requires only 3 connections. Power and HDMI cable. Optical cable is optional if you are fine with your TV's speakers. Since Video connection is HDMI, video quality is superb. I really like the clean and well refined UI screen. It's not fixed screen. It changes depending on your contents. Whenever I browse through menu, upper section of screen shows snapshot of what I can choose and it updates very quickly when you add new contents.

It has built in wireless LAN so, you don't need internet cable though it has port if you want. The wireless seems better than mobile device since it could play Youtube pretty smoothly where iPad couldn't play very well. It detects available AP automatically and detects what type of security is used. Just type in password then you are good to go.

This device comes with following features.

1. Playing Movie and TV shows you can purchase or rent from iTune store
2. Playing Netflix, Youtube and Flicker
3. Playing your own contents
4. Playing internet radio
5. Playing photo slide shows

#1 is very easy if your wallet is ready. Just click and browse movies then click to play.

#2 is also very easy if you have netflix account. Just type ID and password then you have full access.

#3 is super easy if you are familiar with iTune on desktop. Apple doesn't find all movies automatically. It doesn't make UI super complicated to support everything. Apple TV uses Home Sharing feature and grab whatever you have in your iTune library. So the only supported video format is Mpeg4/h.264. If you have videos purchased from iTune store, those are already mp4. so you don't need to do anything. If you have lots of videos in other format, you will need to convert the format. There are some tools available on the market so it won't be very difficult. Once you add your contents, it appears on apple TV instantly. Though all movies are seen on same screen in iTune SW, it's possible to define category. Then Apple TV shows category such as Comedy, Drama and so on. When you scroll through categories, left screen shows snapshot of movies you have.

#4 it plays audio pretty well as well though there's one annoying bug. If you have songs and didn't mark in iTune, you can't play using Apple TV. You need to mark songs to play. I hope this is fixed in software update soon.

#5 I like photo slide show very much. You can define the style of slide shows and you can decide if you want to add background music or not. If you have your friends or relatives coming, this feature is very nice to share your great moments.

What I like about this device is typical Apple's intuitive UI. It's super easy to use. No complicated long list of hierarchy. I haven't read manual at all. And also, it supports most of the video contents you will need such as netflix and youtube. I use AT&T Uverse so I know how IPTV works but Apple TV works much better. In the first day of use, I changed my plan from U200 to U-family to save some bucks and pay for Netflix.

Video quality is also very nice. I have lots of low quality video with lots of artifact. Those are still visible but post processing smoothes out those. For high quality video, screen is super crisp and bright.

Also box is so small that it's hardly seen. I put close to my Harman Kardon receiver and apple TV fits very well. And it's also very easy to move around the rooms. I bought several HDMI cables so that I can move between living room, master bed rooms and others. Power consumption is so little that you don't need to bother to turn off all the time. It actually doesn't have power button.

There's some possibility of upgrade. This device has built in strong processor, A4 to handle video decoding. Everything is implemented using software meaning, it can be easily expanded. I am not sure what's Apple's strategy but this device might have great potential. This device is too strong for the media player.

The catch of all above feature is very good internet connection and faster desktop. If you have good internet connections, you won't notice much lags. When you play movies that are stored in your desktop, the lag depends on how fast your PC is. So, Apple TV is not standalone device. It smartly uses infra structure that are common in many of household these days. In my case, I upgraded internet speed since Netflix uses about 1.5Mbps.

Though what Apple TV provides is nothing new and all can be done by PC or similar boxes, it just makes perfect with $99. I think it's great addition to your media system.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect XBMC streamer, March 28, 2011
By 
Thomas Simpson "gameraboy" (Scenic Woodbridge, New Jersey) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Apple TV MC572LL/A (2nd Generation) (Old Version) (Electronics)
I'm an owner of 2 original Apple TV's. I hacked both of those to put XBMC ([...]) on them. XBMC lets you stream any video file imaginable to your TV directly from a fileserver. You don't have to have a computer running iTunes to do so.

The new Apple TV 2 can be jailbroken with greenpois0n ([...]). Do not update the Apple TV 2 software before jailbreaking though. Once you jailbreak it, you can install XBMC on it. The process is to jailbrake (you need a microusb cable for this, like those that charge android or blackberry phones), then it adds a "greenpois0n" item to the ATV menu. Choose that menu, choose "inject software", and it installs NitoTV. Update NitoTV, then install the no updates program to disable ATV's update checking, then install XBMC.

This is a huge improvement. Instead of just playing what's on your computer with iTunes, you can play anything at all on your network. You can use software like Handbrake ([...]) to rip your own dvd's, put them on your network, and be able to watch them from any TV in the house with an Apple TV.

The new model only outputs in 720p, but can decode up to 1080p source material. The original Apple TV would only handle 544 lines of resolution, although the display would output at 1080p. So it's a big improvement on the visuals, even though it only lists as 720p output.

The device itself is tiny! Just 1/4th the size of my original Apple TVs. It also runs much cooler than the original. The remote has a much better feel to it than the original plastic remotes.

For a fanless HTPC solution you can't go wrong with this. It's small, light, uses just a little power, doesn't run hot, and with XBMC running on it you can play back anything at all. You can quit XBMC at any time too if you want to use Airplay or other features.

I've used a lot of different streamers, (WDTV, full HTPC Zotac machine, ATV1) and the combination of ATV2 + XBMC is fantastic.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Try it for yourself!.... And ignore reviews from non-owners., October 5, 2010
This review is from: Apple TV MC572LL/A (2nd Generation) (Old Version) (Electronics)
Got my own Apple TV (ATV) yesterday, spent a few minutes installing, then a few hours enjoying the features. Bottom line, I think that it's a GREAT device at a good price that will fully satisfy many but not ALL users.

1) Setup - this is simple. Took less than 10 minutes.

2) Netflix - don't know how anyone could complain. On my 50" high-end plasma, the picture quality is very good. As good or better than standard DVD. Sure, some blu-rays are better, but I can't watch those without buying, or renting and waiting. The Roku? Give me a break, mine stuttered and skipped. When it worked.

3) iTunes library - Played songs, albums and playlists from my iTunes library of about 400 albums instantly, with no drop-outs and good sound. This alone is worth $99, since other music streaming solutions cost well over $200, and don't have nearly as usable of an interface.

4) Photos - Streamed 12mP photos easily, and they looked great. Even in 720p. Honestly, the limit in resolution for most images is not going to be the 720p of the ATV. Think about your computer monitor - unless you've got a professional graphics monitor, photos are going to look as good or better on your home theater monitor than through your computer screen. Sure you could burn them to a disk, watch them off a thumb drive or something (which I've done). But it's not nearly as easy or convenient.

No, it's not perfect. I would have liked to see Hulu, Picassa and maybe internet browsing just as much as the other guy. But for $99 the ATV does a GREAT job of STREAMING music, pictures and video from your iTunes library to your home theater. And the Netflix service and interface are excellent.

I think that some of the negative reviewers really don't get that the main point of the Apple TV is to STREAM content from your iTUNES library to your TV. The fact that it lets you stream from Netlix is an excellent additional feature, one that I think will make it pretty popular.....

BUT - it's not supposed to be a web browser, a picassa viewer, or an email portal. That's what COMPUTERS are for. If you want to use your home theater display as a computer monitor, then go ahead and connect your computer DIRECTLY to your home theater. This is not rocket science.

On the other hand if you have a computer with a substantial iTUNES library that's NOT NEAR your main television montitor, then this is a great and reasonably priced way to easily enjoy that content in your theater. The netflix streaming is great (at least for me), in fact I'm sure that Netflix could offer some version of the ATV along with a basic streaming-only subscription nad have a lot of happy customers watching instead of renting and waiting......
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bought It For Netflix But After Getting It, Use It More For iTunes, November 15, 2010
By 
This review is from: Apple TV MC572LL/A (2nd Generation) (Old Version) (Electronics)
I'm a PC person but when it comes to MP3 players Apple is the standard--period. Using iTunes and iPods daily, I was curious to see how Apple TV would integrate into iTunes in addition to being able to add additional Netflix streaming capability to my house--which was my main objective in getting one.

First off hooking into your music or video library is very seamless--once you enable Home Sharing. I use an Airport Express to stream to a 7.1 surround set up (using optical digital-out) and the Apple TV through HDMI sounds virtually the same for stereo music. But where it shines is the ability to pass through 5.1 surround (along with 720P resolution). The on-screen display is nothing short of ergonomic bliss and wonderful eye candy. While playing music you get a nice sized picture of your album art and the standard progress bar which alternates between the left and right sides of your screen (I'm assuming for people worried about image burn-in).

The interface and ease of use with iTunes is so cool that I've done something I hadn't contemplated doing with iTunes, and that is turn it into a digital media server for video. It has been a hobby of mine to record OTA broadcasts of Late Night Musical Guests in 1080i 5.1 surround on my TiVo and burn them to DVD for repeated viewing. However, the technical specs of the Apple TV are such that with a little compression I can create very good copies of the TiVo source MPGs and organize them using iTunes. So with the Apple TV interface and iTunes you can watch ad hoc videos instantly on-demand or pre-assembled movie/video playlists. Of course your photos are at your beck and call as well if you like doing slide shows etc.

The remote is very intuitive but if you have the Remote App for iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad, it's much easier to use insofar as typing in searches. There is one other feature gained with the Remote App over the ATV remote and that is a 10-second rewind. You simply flick two fingers to the left on the iPod screen and you go back 10 seconds a pop. Very nice feature for video.

The Netflix interface was a very pleasant surprise compared to my TiVo which is all but useless except for viewing movies that are already stacked in the Instant Queue using my PC on the Netflix website. You can search every which way you can think of, but the only bummer is you must click on a movie's thumbnail to get the synopsis. I did encounter one glitch on Netflix that didn't affect my TiVo. There was at least one Netflix title that would not stream giving me a 112 network error. For the heck of it I also tried the title on my iPod Touch and got the same error. Not sure why it only affected the Apple hardware and not the TiVo, but I'm assuming Apple and Netflix will continue to upgrade their software to make them more integrated. Otherwise the image and sound from the Apple TV have been excellent with Netflix. Very few stutters once the stream gets under way.

[UPDATE to 112 error-12/5/10: I called Netflix support regarding the 112 error and within a few days I could stream those titles that had the error on both iPod and Apple TV. Since that time there was also an online Apple firmware upgrade to the ATV as well.]

Since the Apple TV is so small and compact it makes it very easy to move from room to room, which is what I do now since using it to stream iTunes to my main media room.

I'd give the Apple TV 5 stars except that it only puts out 720P and not 1080P like some of its competitors. But that notwithstanding 720P never looked or sounded so good--nor has my iTunes.
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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Get Roku XDS at same price instead or Roku XD for $20 cheaper, November 28, 2010
By 
Mo (SEATTLE, WA, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Apple TV MC572LL/A (2nd Generation) (Old Version) (Electronics)
I have purchased both Apple TV as well as Roku XDS. Both are the same price and both are quite easy to use and provide access to some great content.

However, once we purchased Roku, my girlfriend and I no longer have use for Apple TV. Why? Here are the key reasons for us:
1. Roku provides Hulu Plus, Apple TV does not. With Hulu Plus, you get access to lots of shows that Netlflix doesn't have available for online viewing.
2. Roku provides Pandora, Apple TV does not. Although Apple TV does provide the AirPlay (streaming your iTunes library), Pandora is a preferable alternative for us as we are not interested in maintaining an iTunes library, and don't like to have to keep a computer on to have to access to music of interest.
3. Roku has a brighter user interface than Apple TV: This might sound like minute issue, but both my girlfriend and I found the black background and overall darker colors in use in Apple TV to place one in a less cheerful mood. The brighter colors in Roku make it a more enjoyable experience to navigate through its menus.

The above points are specific to my girlfriend and I. However, there are other reasons for going with Roku that we don't care much for but other may. Here are a few:
1. Roku provides 1080p resolution support whereas Apple TV maxes out at 720p
2. Roku arguably provides access to more pay-per-view content and for a better price through Amazon Video on Demand than Apple's more limited content selection available for rental.
3. For sports fans, Apple TV doesn't provide access to any sports games, whereas Roku gives you access to MLB.TV, UFC and soon NHL GameCenter.
4. Roku may not support Apple TV's AirPlay but does provide you with a way to access your iTunes library through MP3Tunes app. MP3Tunes has the added advantage of letting you store your iTunes content online and so you don't need to have your computer on to play your iTunes content. However, beyond 2GB you need to pay for MP3Tunes.
5. If you don't care much for dualband wirless technology, wider range of video/audio outputs or playing content via USB, then you could get a Roku XD for $79.99 and all of the above-mentioned Roku advantages still apply.

Having said all of the above, some people may still prefer Apple TV because of the Apple brand, the AirPlay feature, or iPhone remote control app. However, for us, these were not features we cared for.
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