Apple TV review

As the AppleTV’s are being received around the country, there’s a number of reviews popping up on the internet. The consensus seems to be the same–good quality picture, slick UI interface, ridiculously limited as far as playback functionality goes. For now, I’d still much prefer a Roku box, but who knows what will be capable from this $99 box when it’s finally hacked. 

So what’s missing? Quite a bit actually. In terms of channel selection for TV content, right now Apple is limited to partners ABC, Disney, Fox, and the BBC. The company has alluded to more partners in the offing, but right now the pickings are slim. Okay, but maybe you want to play a bunch of your downloaded or ripped content? Well, it better be an M4V, MP4, or MOV file, because you’re not getting anything else onto the Apple TV. AVI, DivX, MKV, and a slew of other popular formats are obviously out — so you’ll have to wait for a decent jailbreak solution if you want to watch those files. And of course, you can’t sideload any content or playback from a standalone hard drive. We might be crazy, but an option to connect to something like a Time Machine (or any networked drive) seems like it would be killer in conjunction with the ATV. If you’re thinking you can use a network drive that does iTunes sharing, you’ll be depressed to know that that won’t fly with the Apple TV. You’ve got to use Home Sharing within iTunes, and that’s not possible on third party drives, obviously.