Apple reinvents the TV
by Angela York | October 28, 2010
In the last couple of years we have been experiencing a more and more obvious merge between Internet and television, and if at first Internet television was a small niche, now new gadgets are developed to make the most out of the two areas. What’s even more important is that now we can access an Internet page on our wide TV screen, and even benefit from both TV and Internet simultaneously. I would say that we are living interesting times and information is more than ever within our reach, the only problem now is how fast we can get to it.
Launched last month at the Apple Special Event which took part in San Francisco, the new and improved version of Apple TV has impressed the audience with a stylish design and entertaining features. Apple TV opens a new door for television: personalized content. You can now keep track of the programs you want to watch and have access to a wide range of TV shows and movies, completely commercial free.
With a minimalist design which matches the big Apple Family, Apple TV is easy to use and install: you just need to connect the gadget to your TV by using a HDMI cable (needs to be bought separately), and then plug the power cord into a power source. In comparison to Google TV which uses the iPhone or an Android phone as a remote, Apple TV comes with an aluminum remote control which allows you to play/pause and access the menu; in addition to this it also has four other buttons and a center button used for navigation.
Update: The company has just released an update for the Remote app, which allows iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch owners to control the Apple TV via their gadgets. This is definitely a plus!
Smaller than the previous generation with 85% (0.9 x 3.9 x 3.9 inches), the new Apple TV comes with a “built-in power supply”, an A4 chip processor and with the possibility to stream the multimedia content from your iPhone/iPod/iPod Touch to the Apple TV and on your wide TV, thanks to the AirPlay feature. Also, thanks to the Wi-Fi connectivity, from your TV you can access YouTube videos, Flickr photos, or the MobileMe galleries.
Once you buy the Apple TV for $99, you can start renting TV shows and movies: for $0.99 per pisode you can rent for 30 days the latest TV shows (once you press “Start” you have 48 hours to see it); also, for 30 days it let's you rent the latest HD movies for $3.99 (this time, you have only 24 to see the movie once it has started).
Compared to Google TV which gives you the possibility to subscribe to Netflix ($8.99 a month) and access movies and TV shows whenever you want, Apple's offer may seem a little shabby. The same thing can be said about the channel selection: Apple TV has partnered so far only with BBC, ABC, FOX and Disney, so the fruity company needs to seriously improve its offer in this area.
Although this is a growing market, and competition in this area is still thin - the other two major combatants being Roku and Google TV, Apple needs to adjust its policy regarding content and allow users to buy a TV show/movie, not only to rent it, in order to impose itself on the market.
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