We know you’ve been waiting for our Apple TV review, and we’ve been playing with Apple’s second try at a home theater set top box for about ten days now, and figured it was time to report back with our thoughts. The thing is, it really is a lot of the same in terms of usability and interface. There aren’t many changes (yet!) to that side of things, despite things being very different under the hood. The new Apple TV is a lot smaller, and runs iOS 4, and is priced at just $99. It’s centered around a focus on renting movies and TV shows rather than purchasing them. It’s also got Netflix integration and the new AirPlay functionality that allows you to fling video and audio content from your iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch right to the Apple TV with ease.
Rather than go into this as a full review, we figured we’d focus instead on five aspects of the new Apple TV that we like, and five things about the Apple TV that we hate. So let’s jump into five things we like about the Apple TV:
We’ve already given you the first portion of our Apple TV review when we gave you five things we like about the Apple TV. Now it’s time we dig into the things that we straight up hate about Apple’s second try at a living room set top box. There are some things that were omitted or ignored that we kind of can’t stand, and other decisions for sub-optimal experiences that were seemingly made just because Apple felt like they could get away with it. Read on for our list of five things that we hate about the second generation Apple TV.
Looks like Eric Sadun over at TUAW has found that the new Apple TV is definitely hackable, as the device is instantly recognizable by PhoneView (an OS X app that let’s you browse the disk of your iOS devices.) Since the Apple TV runs iOS and has been found to pack 8GB of storage, aside from the fact that the Apple TV version os iOS has already been hacked by the iOS Dev-Team using their SHAtter jailbreak, it’s a no-brainer that we will be seeing third-party apps on this thing at some point in the very near future.
Read More | TUAW
We’ve got the new, second revision of the Apple TV, and we figured before we hit you with a review video, that we’d unbox it and give you an up-close look at the device. The new Apple TV is very tiny, and includes the newer Apple remote control…but if you’ve got an iOS device, you should just download the Apple Remote app and use that instead. You can pick up the new Apple TV for $99
If you’re ready to cut the cable cord, it looks like Hulu Plus may be just the thing to facilitate that. Already available in beta on the PS3, as well as on the iPad and iOS devices, it was just announced that the service is coming to Roku‘s line of set top boxes, and that it’ll also be added to the TiVo Premiere as a service. Hulu Plus will also be made available to the general public on the Xbox 360 in 2011 as well. Depending on which shows you watch, the $10 Hulu Plus monthly fee may very well allow you to ditch your cable TV package, especially if paired with Netflix. Get ready for a shift in the way television gets consumed.
The only thing we are wondering now is if the new Apple TV will also be picking up Hulu Plus at some point, or if Apple plans on just going with Netflix plus $.99 TV rentals.
Did you order one of those new $99 Apple TV units that Apple announced at their fall music event? If so, you may wanna keep an eye on your inbox, because the company has been sending notices to some customers letting them know that their orders have been delayed by 2-3 weeks:
“Our records indicate that when you placed your order you paid for upgraded shipping,” Apple wrote in the emails. “Due to a delay, we may have not been able to meet our delivery commitment.”
We’re guessing that this is a case where more people were interested in picking up the $99 box than Apple had expected to be able to send out before September finishes out. However, if you go to the Apple TV page on the Apple Store, it still shows that the device will ship within this month.
Read More | Apple Insider
When we got a look at the Syabas Popbox back at CES, the company said the 1080p-streaming set top box would start shipping by the end of March. Well, they missed that goal by about four months, but you can now purchase the Popbox for $129 from sites like Amazon. The Popbox is like a smaller Popcorn Hour that supports 100Mbps 1080p streaming, and has what essentially amount to an App Store, letting you choose different sites and services to integrate into your device. You know, things like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and the like. They call them “Popapps.” One glaring omission? Netflix. Hopefully that one comes back sooner rather than later though. We’ve got a video of the Popbox for you after the break, but just ignore the Netflix integration that was present when we recorded, okay?
Now, where’s that Boxee Box?
At CES 2010 we were able to get a look at the very awesome Boxee Box, a set top box that runs the Boxee software, allowing you to pull in audio, video, and photo content from your home network, attached USB drives, as well as from the Internet, from hundreds of different locations. It even has a built-in Mozilla web browser, so you can pull up content like Hulu as well. We also got the news that the Boxee Box remote is two-sided, featuring a full QWERTY keyboard on the back, which eliminates the frustrating on-screen keyboard experience. For a better look at the Boxee Box, check out this episode!
A big thank you to Bing for sponsoring Gear Live’s CES 2010 coverage.
The Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player allows you to attach any external hard drive or USB flash drive to the device, which lets you watch videos, listen to music, or even create your own slideshows from your photos, right on your television. The WD TV HD Media Player can accept up to two external drives at once, and supports Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 sound, making it ideal to play movies stored on those devices in glorious 1080p. They typically sell for $129, but Amazon has them for $99.
Read More | Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player