The Apple TV is a device I have been looking forward to since the iTV prototype was announced. Why would I want this rather than a Mac Mini? Well…. my question is still unanswered. But these were my surprises and questions:

  • Question: Ethernet and Wifi, does this device work like an Airport Extreme as well? :-) The ethernet plug, is that gigabit ethernet or 100 mbit like the Airport Extreme? (why they didn’t go for gigabit there beats me)
  • No DVD, No Blueray, No HD-DVD. Seriously, guys, I don’t want to have to run to another room to load my DVD. And if I had a computer in my livingroom, I’d be using it instead of the Apple TV
  • 40 GB HDD is small. My 200GB disk with my iPhoto libraries and iTunes library is full and needs an upgrade. Add movies to this, and 40 GB is too small. On 40 GB you could squeeze in a single HDD quality movie (30GB) and a normal DVD quality movie (8 GB). Two movies and your system is full. One movie only in best quality. Why would I want this?
  • How is DivX support for this device coming along?
  • How do they intend to work out 5.1 surround with two analog sound outputs?
  • PVR - having a built in tuner and recording TV shows and storing it in iTunes, possibly syncing it with my mobile phone (iPhone perhaps some day) or iPod Video. A decent PVR system is really what I’m in the market for these days, and that’s not the Apple TV.

My take so far is that the best Apple TV around so far is the Mac Mini. But I’m sure the concept is great, so I’m looking forward to future revisions. Having said that: the Apple TV has an USB slot. I wonder what they’ll expect us to hook up there. Looks like an USB HUB, a 500GB HDD, an audio interface and a TV receiver so far. That’ll become one expensive Apple TV with a lot of spaghetti cabling. Same with the Mini, though, but that’s after all an entire computer

Categories: Technology