By Rishabh Prasad:
After pioneering in various fields, Apple has now decided to play with television. First of all, let me make it clear. Apple TV is not a TV set. It is a device that allows consumers to use an HDTV set to view photos, play music and watch videos that originate from an Internet media service or a local network. It is a digital media receiver that we can connect to our TV sets by a single HDMI cable. It shows a computer-like interface on the TV screen, which we can navigate using a remote. It is a network appliance designed to play IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) digital content originating from the iTunes Store, Netflix, YouTube, Flickr, MobileMe or any Mac OS X or Windows computer running iTunes onto an enhanced-definition or a high-definition widescreen television.
In 2006, Apple came out with the concept of Apple TV and started its shipping in 2007. But unfortunately, due to the cost and the bulky size, it didn’t turn out to be a success. But on September 1, 2010, the second-generation Apple TV was unveiled during an Apple press conference. Apple CEO Steve Jobs said, “Apple TV was designed to be an accessory for iTunes and your computer. It was not what people wanted. We learned what people wanted was movies, movies, movies.” The sleek new Apple TV has been completely retuned for entertainment. It has been redesigned to be small in size but big on entertainment.
It is 80 percent smaller (0.9 x 3.9 x 3.9 inches) than the previous generation – even with a built-in power supply. Unlike the initial version, it doesn’t have any hard disk. It is designed to play video as it streams from the Internet rather than storing them. It has an Apple A4 chip embedded, of which Apple claims that it streams everything effortlessly, without frozen screens or stutters.
With Apple TV, we get instant access to the all time favorite Hollywood flicks and new releases. We can search by top movies, title, or genre. Even a quick movie review, trailer, and the latest ratings from Rotten Tomatoes are available. SD rentals start at $2.99, and HD rentals start at $3.99. There is a 24 hour movie lifespan. TV shows are also there on rent. Their lifespan is of 48 hours. Apple TV provides one more option for watching movies. It allows the users to access their Netflix account which allows them to watch as many movies as they want with a small compromise with the video quality. Apart from movies, Apple TV also allows the users to access YouTube videos, Flickr photos and MobileMe galleries. If there is a computer running iTunes, the Apple TV can connect to it to play the movies, TV shows and music from the hard drive, including purchases from the iTunes Store.
Apple TV can also be controlled by iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. For this, the user has to download the Remote app for free from the App Store. Remote uses the same easy-to-use interface that we already use to browse music and video on our Multi-Touch devices. By the help of a feature, called AirPlay, the users also get to stream photos, audio and video to the TV through the Apple TV from their handheld gadgets, using Wi-Fi.
So, let the home theaters and the widescreens rejoice for this 99$ deal.
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