My bright and shiny new Apple TV arrived today. I’ve been looking at them ever since they came out, and decided I wanted one after the Take 2 software was released. Finally the day came to actually purchase one. I have to say that initially pairing it with a computer can get a bit wonky. Right off the bat it wanted to suddenly synch all my media files via iTunes. I had to cancel that and dig throuhg a few menus to eventually figure out what I wanted. The synching is quite like it is for my iPod Touch. After clicking through a few menus I was able to synch only what I wanted, and keep it from displaying the items that I didn’t synch (it does this in case you want to stream files from your computer directly from your computer). If you’re going to be syncing via a laptop I suggest you have both the laptop and the Apple TV plugged directly in to your router rather than using wifi as the wireless connection can be slow if sync’ing an entire media library.
Once I had some shows on it, it ran like a champ. Denise and I watched National Treasure 2 which I purchased through the iTunes store on my laptop while we were in Maui. It ran smoothly and both the picture and audio were great. I didn’t get the lagginess some people say they experienced during action scenes in movies. There was no pixelization either, just clear DVD-looking quality video. Now we’re watching an episode of Torchwood that I converted with a great program called VisualHub.
My initial reaction to it are pretty positive. The biggest cons I’ve found is the limited selection of video formats that it can play (this can be fixed by hacking the machine.. something I’ll be looking in to), and the fact that you can’t simply plug in a big external hard drive for additional storage (again, something that can be accomplished with a little hacking). I’ll follow up more after I’ve played with it more.