56 of 71 people found the following review helpful
Nice Gadget for the new iPad and Netflix,
This review is from: Apple TV MD199LL/A (Current Version) (Electronics)
When I preordered my new iPad from Apple, I also got this to test the AirPlay. I read most of the reviews beforehand, and I was aware about all the shortcomings of ATV. My original thought was, even if I didn't like it, I can always jailbreak and install third party software on it.
Connectivity and Netflix:
It did not have any surprises, and the whole installation finished in 10-15 minutes--including wireless setup. I have a long WPA2 password, and that alone took an extra 5 minutes. It connects to both 2 GHz and 5GHz channels on my Linksys E-4200 router without any problem. I immediately tested Netflix, and I was blown away by the interface, 1080P quality, and streaming speed of 8-12Mbps. I have a Sony BDP-S580 Blu-ray player that I used for streaming from Netflix, but Apple TV simply puts it into shame both in ease of use and speed. For this reason alone, I will keep this Apple TV. They really have thought about the user interface.
I could not use the Apple TV to stream from my Synology DS212 NAS. It simply doesn't see the NAS. Synology has a music app that you can use to stream your music on Apple TV, but it doesn't support iTunes Home Sharing. I still could not find a decent way to stream movies from the Synology.
Dual Screen (AirPlay) and Photo Stream:
The dual screen or AirPlay is not too impressive for me. I like the share feature that you can send any YouTube or other videos to Apple TV, but the dual display is not that useful. Simply because the new iPad has an amazing Retina display that no LCD can come close to it. In addition, the dual display mode only works in 4/3 aspect ratio and not 16/9. Photo Stream works very well between Apple TV, iPhone 4s and the new iPad. I really enjoy this feature, and it uses your own photos as the screen saver.
Problems: Only One!
I have noticed that this new Apple TV does not support HDMI Control or CEC! I researched and found out that it has been a common problem in all Apple TV generations. Apparently, Apple doesn't like to support this mandatory standard.
Considering the price, I will keep this new Apple TV. It is the best device for Netflix, and does a few more extra things. It is reassuring that you can always jailbreak and install third party software on it. At the moment, it doesn't do much with my current home network setup, but I am a satisfied customer. Thank you for reading this mini review.
UPDATE (August 2013):
It has been about 18 months since I got this ATV 3, and now even my TV has Netflix app. I rarely use this ATV, and since there is no jailbreak for version 3 so it can play XviD or DivX files, I wonder if Apple can keep up with the competition in the long run.