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Five Little Things We Don't Like About Apple TV

Illustration for article titled Five Little Things We Dont Like About Apple TV

1. The waiting period when you first boot it up is torturous. Staring at a white progress bar for over two minutes is too long. I want to start watching TV on my TV now, damnit!

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2. Syncing over a wireless G network is slower than you would expect. Not really Apple TV's fault, though. Draft-N FTW. Oh, and pick a short password for your wireless network unless you want to take a half hour punching it in with the onscreen keyboard.

3. Speaking of syncing, it's all you can do regarding content on the Apple TV hard drive - you can't manually manage it. That is, on an iPod, you can add and delete songs as you wish, one at a time in iTunes, but you can only re-sync your Apple TV to change what's on the disk.

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4. If you have ugly or tiny album art, browsing through your music collection sucks because of how prominent the art is in the interface.

5. Trailers have to be completely buffered before you can play them if you stream them from the iTunes store, and fast forwarding is a bit wonky on streamed videos.

Hands-On Impressions: What You Don't Already Know About AppleTV [Gizmodo]

Apple TV [Gizmodo]

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DISCUSSION

A few things.

I've never had an AV component come with anything better than composite cables. Has any major product (Xbox 360 maybe? I don't know) included component DVI or HDMI cables? Included cables are usually trash in my opinion anyway. While I don't buy into the Monster Cable BS, I do like to have the proper length cable for my setup to keep things neat and tidy. I think this is an absurd reason not to buy something you would otherwise want.

My biggest complaints with the Apple TV as I see it now are:

Sound

From my understanding, the device only supports stereo. For a device that is targeted to HDTV owners, and seemingly Home theater owners this is a big deal. Surround sound caught on much sooner and is implemented in far more households than HDTV.

Content

The device supports 720p. There is no way to get 720p content on your Apple TV. As far as I know the primary *legal* sources of HD content for consumers are

1) Cable/satellite/OTA. This device is looking to replace these providers, therefore is not a good source of content.

2) HD-DVD/Blu-Ray. Both require a reader to rip in the first place, so why wouldn't you just play them in whatever reader you have?

3) High Def Video Games. Not really relevant in this discussion.

Now I'm sure Apple will eventually provide content via iTMS but until that happens this system is irrelevant to me.

Once the content issue is resolved I may very well cancel my cable, in place of this. The sound issue I may be able to live with considering the cost savings vs Cable TV.

Cable is costing me $70 a month for the minimum package I can get that supports HD. Thats $840 a year. With iTunes I would only be paying $353 for all the shows I really watch.

Lost $35/year

Heroes $43/year

Studio 60 $35/year (may be canceled anyway)

The Daily Show $120/year

The Colbert Report $120/year

Thats a savings of nearly $500 a year! Granted I would be at least a day behind the rest of the world, but I would actually OWN the show and I wouldn't have to watch (or fast forward for you DVRers) any commercials. It puts me in the position of power with the television networks as well. It makes me the consumer, instead of the product (Selling eyeballs to advertisers).

The long and short of it is, I find it very exciting product, but it's not quite ready for me. Though I do foresee myself getting one eventually.