I want AppleTV, but not yet. Why? I’m waiting for the right wide screen TV to show up. Am I in a rush?
Yes, and no. I’d like AppleTV and a big Sony or Sharp HDTV. Today. But next month or the month after is OK. Why?
I need a little more time to make another decision. No, it’s not a decision about whether or not to get AppleTV. I’ll get it.
The real decision for me now is the television. AppleTV will be a monumental hit over the next few years, so my purchase can wait a few months while I line up the right screen to view AppleTV.
What I need to do is put some effort into selecting the appropriate wide screen HDTV. Prices are reasonable these days and will continue to fall. Should I go Sony, or Sharp, or something else?
Why not just get the AppleTV and plug it in to my aging Sony Wega television? It’ll work OK. It’s not wide screen, but better than nothing, right? No.
Last night I hit the mall and checked out AppleTV in the Apple Store. If there’s a store near you, Apple, Best Buy, CompUSA, or whatever, truck down and walk through AppleTV. This will be a big hit.
Why? It’s simple. If you’ve tried the Apple Remote and Front Row on your new Mac, then you’ve tried AppleTV minus a handful of very nifty features, and a lot more potential.
Apple is showing remarkable discipline with AppleTV. For all intents and purposes, AppleTV is a wireless iPod for your TV. Just as your Mac or PC syncs your iPod via iTunes, so goes the sync with AppleTV.
For the most part, whatever you can view or hear in iTunes, will synchronize or stream to AppleTV, and the Apple Remote takes care of the navigation. It’s so simple, Windows users will fall in love with Apple all over again.
Remember, the are over 100-million iPod users, mostly owners of Windows PCs, and they’re familiar with iTunes already. They don’t need to be familiar with AppleTV’s FrontRow-like interface.
AppleTV is just too simple. No, that’s not right. AppleTV is a pleasure to use. By now you’ve ready every other review on AppleTV details, so I won’t bore you with anything more than an initial experience. It’s all positive.
My first iPod experience, back in late 2001, was exactly the same. The iPod felt good, easy to hold, easier to use. iTunes was a breeze to set up, and synchronization of music, Mac style, could not be easier.
So it is with AppleTV. It truly is a wireless iPod for your television. Whatever’s running on your Mac or PCs iTunes will show up in the menu for AppleTV. Onscreen selections are quick to walk through. Movies and music and slideshows arrive onscreen quickly, though not blindingly fast.
Why am I not in a hurry to latch on to AppleTV? The viewing experience in the Apple Store is remarkable. I don’t want to screw it up by attaching AppleTV to my creaky old Sony behemoth TV and ruin the experience.
For our nearby Apple Store, AppleTV is hooked up to a couple of 40-inch Sony Bravia flat screen LCD HDTV’s via the HDMI interface. An even larger model graces the store’s front window. The setup is impressive.
Most of the mid-week crowd was hanging around iPods and MacBooks, but a number of other late evening shoppers were parked right in front of the Sony screens and working the Apple Remote.
Just like holding the iPod and using it gets you hooked, you’ll see the same experience with AppleTV in the Apple Store display. After 10 minutes of selecting the menus, walking through TV shows and movies, listening to music while album cover art flip flops on screen, you’ll simply agree to yourself to get an AppleTV.
When and with which televsion is the only real question. AppleTV has a version of Mac OS X inside, so future upgrades will be promising. The only obvious feature that’s missing is a digital video recorder, a DVR. Or, an easy way to move DVR videos to a Mac or PC.
I have no doubt that those features will be available at some point in the future, though not until we’ve developed a good buying habit for TV shows and movies from the iTunes Store.
It took the iPod a few years to really catch on with the masses. So it will be with AppleTV. The number of users will just continue to grow, becoming an organic success story. It’s attractive, it’s affordable, it works very, very well. There’s more to come.
OK, back to the future. Which television should I choose? My preference is LCD HDTV over plasma or projection screens (small living room). I like the Sony Bravia model and the Sharp Aquos, but will consider others. Both feature HDMI, component video, good reputations.
I like the Sharp’s dual HDMI connectors; one for AppleTV, and one for a DVD player, or potentially, a newer DVR. Suggestions? Recommendations? Share your thought in the Comment section below.