Written by Jericho.
The iPhone is a runaway success, as is the iPad, but Apple’s influence in the television market has seen to have been weak in recent times. Television is probably considered as the last industry Apple needs to take over to fully assert its control over the tech industry. The release of the original Apple TV in 2007 saw Apple making cautious steps towards embracing the television market, but it wasn’t until the release of the 2nd generation Apple TV in 2010 that they started to lay down ambitious plans to take it over. The third generation Apple TV was released in March 2012 and it is, without a doubt, the best one yet. In this article I will provide a quick review of the Apple TV’s many pros and and a few of its cons.
The third generation Apple TV, or ATV3 for short, is a small piece of equipment that is about the size of a hockey puck. It is a remarkably small and attractive piece of equipment that wouldn’t look out of place on a new TV stand.
There are only a few ports on the back of the ATV3; a power socket, an HDMI port, a micro usb port, an optical audio/spdif connector and an ethernet port.
The HDMI port is used to send video to a television using an HDMI cable while the optical audio/spdif connector is used to transmit audio via an optical cable. The micro USB port can be used to connect the ATV3 to a computer while the ethernet port can be used to hook the ATV3 up to a router.
The ATV3 also contains a wifi chip inside that is capable of connecting to a router wirelessly, too. It also comes with a very simple but sturdy remote made out of aluminium.
The ATV3 is capable of streaming video from a Mac or Windows PC running Apple’s iTunes software. The video content will need to be converted to be compatible with the ATV3, however. Unfortunately, this process can take quite some time on older computers.
It is also capable of accessing a number of different streaming services, including Netflix, YouTube, Lovefilm, and many more. Apple has created special users interfaces for these streaming services ensuring that they are easy to use with the ATV3’s remote. Movies can either be bought and or rented for a period of up to 48 hours. The cost to rent/buy the movie will vary depending on the specific movie.
The ATV3 supports up to 1080p Full HD video and 5.1 surround sound.
The Apple TV unfortunately lacks some functionality that many users would find useful.
Since the ATV3 lacks a DVD drive — it is unable to play DVDs or CDs. The selection of movies on offer through iTunes service can be a little barebones in places, too. Also, the ATV3 is only compatible with televisions that contain an HDMI port.
In a bid to keep the unit small, Apple chose not to include component ports or RCA ports meaning the ATV3 will only work with modern HD televisions.
The 3rd generation Apple TV is an impressive piece of hardware; it’s incredibly small, well-built and stylish. It is a great buy for users looking to stream movies through the internet using NetFlix, LoveFilm, YouTube or the iTunes movie service. Users looking to watch DVDs or stream movies from their computers may have to look elsewhere.
Jericho works with Tesco, which is the world’s third-largest retailer in the world. Tesco offers new TV stands and grocery products in the UK.