For those of you unfamiliar with the Apple TV, it is not a "TV" in the sense that it has a screen and you watch it. Rather, it is a small box that hooks up to your TV and does wondrous things. Primarily streaming. Exclusively streaming. But it's still wondrous!
Here are a few of the things that the Apple TV streams:
- Hulu Plus
- Select sporting events
- Content from the iTunes store
But that's not all!
It also links to your computer and allows you to stream content wirelessly from said computer to your television. This is great if, like me, you have lots of movies loaded onto your hard drive that you would like to watch without having to connect your computer directly to your TV. And it doesn't just stream your movies. It can access your iTunes library and, if you've activated Photo Stream in the Cloud, your photos.
Plus, using AirPlay, it can play things from your phone or mirror whatever is on your phone's screen, which is nice if you want to show someone something you were looking at from Twitter or something. I don't know what you look at on your phone.
Ok, so it streams lots of things. Why is that so great?
- First of all, I would much rather take in all this media on my big living room TV than on my laptop.
- Second, and perhaps more importantly, it's very easy to use, which means that for the first time, my mom is accessing Netflix on a regular basis.
Reasons you might not want to get an Apple TV:
- If you have a Roku box
- The Roku box, as I understand it, does most of the same things as the Apple TV, making a new device redundant.
- If you have an Xbox
- The same could be said for the Xbox, except that it works with Windows Media Player. If you have a Mac, the Apple TV is probably going to be easier to set up and use out of the box for streaming stuff from your computer. But as Xbox users know, it will stream Netflix and Hulu Plus and the like, so if you're like me, you might want to keep the Xbox hooked up where you play most of your games and hook up an Apple TV where you watch most of your media, if they're different places.
- If you don't own any other Apple products
- Apple TV works with iTunes and at least one of the benefits involves linking it to your iPhone. If you don't use iTunes and/or don't have an iDevice to link it to, then you won't get the most out of the Apple TV.
Apple, give me a cut of every one of these you sell from now on.