Media Streamer

Second-Generation Apple TV Media Streamer



I had considered an Apple TV for nearly three years and now that I have one I’m glad I waited. The early versions were not as slick as the current unit and more expensive to boot. For a mere $99, Apple delivers a high-quality media player that makes a vast library of content available at a whim. Not only is the iTunes selection comprehensive, the addition of Netflix and other Internet feeds make this a serious contender to replace cable or satellite service. If you don’t watch sports, the Apple TV will provide a goodly chunk of what you currently get from the big providers. While I’m on that soapbox: It would be nice if more TV shows were available. Two major networks out of four is a bummer and even the included feeds are not complete. I don’t claim to understand the intricacies of the broadcast biz but c’mon guys, give us the shows. We’re willing to pay and everything! I’m just sayin’.

While I have every intention of holding on to my optical media (it will be pried from my cold, dead fingers), digital players like the Apple TV are now a necessary part of my AV lifestyle. The convenience of simply picking what I want to watch or listen to from an on-screen menu or from my iPhone has to be experienced to be understood. I’m now listening to music in a whole new way. No longer am I tied to a single 72-minute disc. I can cue up any mix imaginable and play media for hours at a time, hands-off. The gaps in rental content selection are not a deal-breaker for me, especially for only ninety-nine bucks. I don’t know if we’ll ever have true a la carte media as long as there are cable and satellite providers but if the Apple TV is a glimpse of the future, I am at least hopeful. Highly recommended.