Apple TV (2012, 1080p model) [Wired UK]
I’ve long said Apple deliberately plays down the importance of Apple TV. My review for Wired UK points out how Apple TV is the glue which holds the Apple universe together.
Wired Rating 8/10
Wired: Stylish hardware, refined software, 1080p playback and seamless audio and video AirPlay integration with existing Apple products
Tired: Apple TV remains little more than a TV conduit for more capable devices and without them it flounders
Is it better to be a jack of all trades or a master of one? In today’s ruthless technology jungle the former seems to be true. Convergence crushes single purpose products and we buy by ticking off an ever longer checklist of features and minimum requirements. Against this background the Apple TV is a little odd. All it does is interact with other Apple products and services, but it does so brilliantly.
The modest, but intense focus is reflected in the Apple TV itself. Now in its third generation and its fifth year Apple’s so-called “hobby” has no time for a distracting redesign. It still looks like a small, square tin of the world’s most expensive hardboiled sweets, it still measures 98 x 98 x 23mm and it still weighs exactly 270g. In fact the only way to tell the difference from the previous Apple TV is to look at the box which has “1080p” written on a single side.
This references arguably the biggest feature of the new Apple TV: the jump from 720p HD video support to “Full HD” 1080p. To achieve this there are further subtle tweaks under the hood. The processor has been upgraded from an Apple A4 chip, as seen in the iPhone 4, to a single-core version of the previously dual-core Apple A5 fitted inside the iPhone 4S and iPad 2. Elsewhere Apple has decided not to mess with a simple formula. There is HDMI, Ethernet and WiFi (802.11b/g/n) connectivity, a port for optical audio output and a power cord.
As such the Apple TV sticks squarely to the Cupertino company’s tried and tested formula. The most compelling reason to buy it is the software and the fact it gets considerably better the more Apple products you own. Read the rest of the review on Wired UK
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