I like a nice look around the local Apple Store just as much as the next person. Normally I will go in to see if there is anything that iNeed (see what I did there?), and nine times out of ten there is nothing I need. Except for one day about two weeks ago. Everyone has movies on their iPhones or iPads or whatever other iDevice you may have, and normally when your watching a movie by yourself the screen is more than big enough to cater to your needs. But then again there’s times where you and a group of others just couldn’t all crowd round your iPhone to watch a film. You need to put it on the TV, you know that thing that sits in the corner of your living room, but how I hear you ask. Well it’s simple – you can get a few wires that go into a HDMI port on your TV and hey presto! iPhone movie on the TV.
This was something I used for probably about a year, when I had my iPhone 4S. But when I upgraded to the ‘5’ with its much talked about lighting connector my iPhone to TV cables were of no use now. Fast forward to about two weeks ago and I was given an iPad mini for my Birthday (apparently I had been a good 21 year old), again with the lightning connector. It was at this point that I realised it was time to upgrade my TV viewing experience. So off to the Apple Store, the plan was to just get the ’30-pin to lightning connector’ attachment. I was told that this would only work for audio and not video, which I think we can all agree is of no use when all you want to do is watch films from your phone on the TV.
The guy in the store suggested Apple TV, He explained the ins and outs and showed me how simple it really was, and in all honesty the amount of Apple devices that we have collectively in the house it made sense. The top and bottom of it is that it all works over your homes WiFi. Once the Apple TV box is connected to the WiFi, and any of your devices are too, you’re ready to rock!… Or watch in this case, but rock for effect.
Within the small box that this new equipment came in was the Apple TV box which measures very small at just 23mmX98mmX98mm and weighing only 0.27kg; The Apple remote, which I might add is such a cool remote; Power Lead and lastly the instructions and other paper work. The Apple TV does not come with the a HDMI cable but we all know you can pick one up relatively cheap. Setting up was a doddle too! Once the power is on and the HDMI is connected all you really need to do is join your homes WiFi network. From there you can explore pages and pages of Movies and TV.
Now comes the fun part, AirPlay. From your device you can now take control of what’s on your TV. You can watch all those movies you have in your library on the big screen in the comfort of your living room! Or you could share your most recent holiday snaps in a slideshow? Or even just play your favourite games…super size! Apple TV even comes with apps pre-installed: Netflix; Vinemo; YouTube; Flickr and more!
Link your iTunes account so that your purchased movies that you may not have on your device can be shown too. You are also able to stream your music too, including your favourite playlists and newest purchases! Making the need for docking stations/speakers next to nil. You can now have all the party music just being streamed through the Apple TV, something I’ve done and trust me it’s just as good!
When it comes to parties you can set up a private network through the WiFi where guests can connect to when they arrive and if they have an Apple device the can vote for the next track to play from your set up playlist and can also add songs into the mix aswell. Adding to the party atmosphere and it’s just another neat trick that the Apple TV does.
Apple TV can show most things in 1080p HD and when you use AirPlay from your device you loose nothing in quality, the screen stays in resolution and on the right TV will look visually stunning! The Apple TV also makes use of the iCloud, so when you make a purchase on the Apple TV, don’t worry you can have it everywhere else. Those of you with a Mac can also use AirPlay, and all you need is OS X MountainLion. This addition adds yet another reason why this is possibly the ultimate home entertainment system.
My whole experience with Apple TV has been nothing less than brilliant, from purchase to playback it was super simple and is a thoroughly efficient bit of kit! At £99, I personally thought it was a fair asking price and expected it to be a lot more. But as a home entertainment system that you could easily move around the house it’s a big bang for your buck(or pound)!
Do you have Apple TV, if so what do you think of it? And if you don’t have it, have you considered getting it? What has stopped you so far? As always let me know in the comments below.