My new Apple TV is scheduled to arrive at my house before the end of the month. It promises Netflix streaming, 99 cent TV shows, and $4.99 HD films. It also allows me to play music by streaming tracks to the device. When I first heard about the new set-top box, I thought for sure that it would replace my current Apple TV.
But, over the past three weeks, I’ve decided that I won’t be replacing my old Apple TV with the new one. In fact, I’m going to keep them both connected to my television and use them as I need them.
Now, I know you’re probably thinking it makes little sense to buy a product that’s supposed to replace an older device and keep them both running, but hear me out.
Right now, my old Apple TV allows me to surf through iTunes content and buy songs whenever I’d like. Upon doing so, all those tracks are then stored on the device for future listening. I don’t need to worry about a Web connection once they’re on there. I simply need to fire up my Apple TV and enjoy my content. It’s a convenient process that has helped Apple make a lot of money off me these past few years.
In the new Apple TV, I can’t do that. In fact, the only way I’ll be able to listen to any new songs is if I buy them on my iPhone or computer and start streaming them to my new set-top box. But what if my sometimes-spotty Web connection is down? When that happens, my Apple TV is little more than a decorative ornament in my entertainment center.
I’ll also freely admit that I’m a film and television junkie. I like storing my favorite shows and movies on my current Apple TV for easy access to them later on.
With my old Apple TV, I can sift through several new shows and movies, buy them, and keep them on the device for when I want to watch them. But on the new Apple TV, I’m forced to either rent a relatively underwhelming number of shows and films or access content on Netflix. That’s unfortunate.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m excited to get my hands on the new Apple TV and start enjoying content on it. But a further review of my purchase has revealed that my initial expectations won’t be met. The product looks cool and it’s nice that it’s smaller, but I’ve come to realize that I really need and desire that storage.
The old Apple TV was perfect for me. It allowed me to buy songs, movies, and television shows, and store them all in a place where I could quickly (and easily) access them. And it’s a product that I have so enjoyed using that I simply don’t want to put it away because something that’s supposed to be better is supposed to replace it.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs said at the event announcing the Apple TV that customers don’t really want storage, and they want to be able to stream content.
That might be true. But it’s also possible that once consumers get their hands on that set-top box, they’ll be wishing they had a hard drive.
Sorry, but after further inspection, it’s clear now that the new Apple TV just won’t be able to replace my older model.
Don Reisinger is a technology and video game columnist. You can see what he's up to each day on Twitter by following him @donreisinger.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of SlashGear