Key line in the lengthy AppleTV Review over on Engadget: “Simply put, if anyone is thinking about buying this to watch HD movies and videos: don’t.”
I already have a Media Center (running Vista) and an Xbox 360, so I wasn’t going to rely on it for HD stuff, but I have found the Apple TV to be pretty unsatisfying if you are trying to watch any of the shows off of ABC TV’s hot new video player (which, by the way, works just as well on MacOSX as it does on XP — a Vista version is coming soon).
Also, the hot new video thing is Joost. That can’t play on Apple TV either. Neither can my old show over on Microsoft’s Channel 9 (Apple TV can’t play WMV).
That said, for what the Apple TV does do it does pretty well. Works great with most of the stuff over on Blip.TV and my current show works pretty well on it (although it’s definitely not HD and on my big screen is about as blurry as standard TV albeit my stuff is in widescreen so is better than most of the standard TV stuff, which I find mostly unwatchable on my big screen).
The Apple TV is definitely putting pressure on videobloggers to deliver a higher resolution version of our shows, which will prove troubling to deliver for a variety of reasons (I record my shows on tape in HD, which looks glorious, but don’t currently capture those tapes into the Mac in a high res format cause I just can’t deal with the file sizes and, mostly, compression times). Thanks to my Seagate partnership I’m working on some HD tests, though, just to see if we can make the workflow work for, maybe, a show a week (most of my stuff really doesn’t need HD, but there definitely is some that would be fun to do).
Anyway, is the Apple TV a good purchase? Yeah, I’m happy with it. But that just might be the Steve Jobs’ distortion field!
The Engadget review is a must read for anyone who still hasn’t bought one and there’s definitely more media tests ahead in my house!