Fresh onto the street and already Apple’s new media streamer has been sized up, stripped down and generally analysed to death. The unboxingwas nothing in comparison; Engadget have voided their warranty and opened it up – discovering a dinky Intel processor and a removable WiFi chip that uses the case itself as an antenna – while Gizmodo pitted AppleTV against XBox 360 in a one-on-one brawl of media centres. They decided that while Apple’s solution was more elegant, the greater array of options and better value meant the Xbox (when used with Vista) was a better home entertainment solution.
So who’s buying it? Well, Scoble is being his usual fence-sitting self, declaring “this is a winner… I take back anything I wrote about it before” and prompting a general scurrying through his archives to see if there’s anything hindsight allows us to use to whack him over the head with. Julie Hughes, on the other hand, remains sceptical– she’s already using a Mac Mini hooked up to her TV, and thinks the soon-to-be-reviewed MVIXUSA MZ-760HD wireless media centre is a better option.
PCMag don’t seem entirely convinced either; rather than looking at it through purely gadget-lust goggles they’re wondering whether the average adult will really pay per film on the iTunes store when “to load ten flicks that may only be watched once onto Apple TV is going to set you back well over $100.” Good point, and compounded – as they point out – by the fact that adding pirated or converted content will require no small amount of Quicktime fiddling. They still give it four out of five, however.
It seems all very dependent on how you’ve already got your media stored: if you’re a dedicated iTunes user then the Apple TV will probably serve you well, whereas anything else and you might be better off with a third-party solution. One thing is clear, if Apple were hoping to “revolutionise” the home entertainment market they might be a little disappointed.