Apple TV – A promise fulfilled?

After waiting a few months for this pup , APPLE TV arrived .We took it out of the slickly, designed box and set it up in no time.

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OK, first had to get some cables. (component and an HDMI for testing) . Once that was done, set-up was a breeze. And some needed explanations on some stuff, proved that Apple tech support was up to snuff.

The good news?

This is exactly what we have been waiting for. A set-top box that will stream downloaded material from the internet to a TV.

We know that the future of content will be based on a search engine, where you find your specific content, downloading to a hard drive, DVR, or server ( that is not far down the road), the transmitting and sharing it on whatever device you want: TV, sound system , portable unit. And this will be for your music, TV shows, movies, and of course, your photographs.

What you want, when you want it. The customer is in control.

Now this box is the first step for us in that revolution. I know, some of you are saying that the Xbox is a media center too. True, true. But it was marketed as a gamer device and the media center aspect was a bit more of a “trojan horse”

APPLE TV
makes no bones about what it is there for. And it does the job beautifully.

The pros:
We were able to set up multiple computers ITunes to the Apple TV, meaning a group, a family, an office , can share media through the box.
It’s slim, clean design fits in very easily to the other media players (dvd,tivo) stack.
The small remote control included performs the simple functions you need. You can sync it with your main TV remote also.
Music will play with the album artwork on the screen.
Podcasts can now be viewed on a larger screen ( more on this in a bit). And as we said, multiple computers can be linked the the unit so sharing becomes even better.
Of course movies and TV shows that are stored in ITUNES play fine.We prefer an HD broadcast or DVD but this works great.
One other very cool thing: watching movie trailers from ITUNES store was a blast. Fast, easy and our choice.

Easy, small, as advertised.

The cons:
Photographs ( and this means us) HAVE to be downloaded to the unit to play
. They tout a 40gig drive but in reality you only have 33gigs. Bummer. Wish they could stream.
Choose any material downloaded to the unit carefully due to size.
The file folders or IPHOTO albums that are downloaded , can be chosen in the settings, and the images become your APPLE TV screen saver in a continual dimensional rotation of multiple images.
You can’t choose a music track for the screen saver, which would have been cool to listen to music by choice with the cascading images.
If you create a slide show with music or soundtrack, that should do it. Ok, not terribly hard but still……
And there were no connection cables included. We had ordered it online, so there was no helpful person to tell us we had to make a another trip to the store.
All content ( other than photographs, thankfully) have to go through ITUNES (PC or MAC) . That is where you access the device.

So wrapping up:
Cool new tool for the early adopters
Only available for wide screen or TV’s that have HDMI or component inputs
Meager hard drive.
Works like a dream.
1st Generation, so knowing Apple, there will be upgrades within a year.

Should you buy?
Have 300 clams to shell out PLUS connector costs? Then YES absolutely!
We feel this is the beginning of a new way of watching content.
AND you can easily show you photographs on a wide screen TV.
Critical ? no.
Incredibly cool ? yes.

And we will be giving one away for free so read on……

You may have a question here: Why the heck are you talking about this thing on a photography site?

Honestly , its about another screen for you to share you work, and the ability to download the videos we will be providing you all about photography. So you can easily watch them on TV. Or on your IPOD. You can already watch them on you computer. To further aid this we will be starting a series of photoinduced podcasts this week.
We’ll let you know as they become available.

What you want, when you want. And if it’s photography you’re after, this is place to start. Hopefully the first stop in your photographic life.

If you’ve read this far you can tell how excited we are.

And why the APPLE TV will be the grand prize in the photo contest we are announcing this week.
Think media presentations. And check out Magnum in Motion for example of what we are talking about. Hopefully you will be inspired to create something wonderful.

It’s things like this that will be enhanced by APPLE TV.

There you have it. New technology helping to share the work in a whole new way.
And isn’t that a bit of what it’s about? Communicating?

And if you have comments and questions about this , lets go to the FORUM and continue the dialog.

We’ll be letting you know shortly about lots more new stuff coming to the site.
Stay tuned.

Cheers!
Damon Webster

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