The one bright spot in my self-pitying holidays has been the Apple TV Nat and I bought for ourselves this year. A little black box, connected to any television, that allows you to view (stream via Wi-Fi) anything you want from iTunes or the Internet on your computer to the television set sitting in your living/family room. With the hustle and bustle of Christmas now over (except for New Year’s which has never been a holiday to me) it was now time to play with our little toy. I suppose I should say it’s “my” little toy, as I’m the one that talked Nat into going along with this idea of mine!! After all he didn’t even know this little black box existed until I started to extol its virtues.
I had heard from tech podcasts it was easy to set up, and they were right. It took all of 30 seconds to plug in the electrical and then hook up the HDMI cable to the TV and the Apple TV. I then ran into the office and turned on the home sharing in iTunes, returned to the living room and immediately began the set-up to receive the Wi-Fi stream from our computer. After entering in your Apple ID and password the rest was a no brainer. The only time-consuming part in this whole process was scrolling through the alphabetical letters and numbers to actually enter in your ID, as there was no keyboard to use. What the hell, if that was worst part, we were laughing. But along with the included remote control, I’ve also got the App “Remote” for my iPad.
Within ten minutes I was razzle-dazzling Nat with everything we could watch or listen to whenever we wanted. We could now: buy or rent Movies – buy TV shows or watch what freebies are available – listen to or watch any audio or video podcast we chose to download – listen to or watch the podcasts I’ve already downloaded – watch home videos and photos from iPhoto – listen to Nat’s Playlists – listen to my Playlists or any song we wanted – listen to our music while watching our home photos go streaming by – listen to a gazillion radio stations – watch as much YouTube as we can take – sign up and watch NetFlicks – or view upcoming movie previews – all on the 40″ screen TV in our living room. I’m sure there’s so much more, but I’ve not had a chance to check everything out yet, but give me time! The upcoming movie previews was a real bonus and I had no idea that extra feature was available. It was soon after completing the set-up and discovering this little goodie, that Nat and I sat and watched a bunch of those Previews. We both felt this was a great feature and would now have a good idea of what was playing in the theatres and would probably soon be available on iTunes. The other bonus was, we can view all of our home photos and videos on the living room TV. A great feature should anyone ask “So, how was your vacation?” Be forewarned people!!!
I’m a huge Apple fan – the iMac in the office, the iPad that never leaves my side, the iPod Classic I listen to while cycling, and Nat is even enjoying my old iPod Nano. The Wi-Fi streaming works like a charm (through Airport Express), any service I’ve required has been great and so far I’ve never had a problem with any of these products (except the odd freezing of the iPod, but I’m not alone in that department). I’d recommend any of these products should anyone ask and I’m looking forward to any new product that Apple releases and hoping like hell it’s something I can use and afford!!