Tieing everything together to my kickass sound system in my place is a huge thing for me. Also, having a common medium for everything to communicate across with video and audio is a big deal for me as well. After seeing that DLNA is basically a protocol only (as it only as MP2 as it’s standard video format… ugh), I went out and snagged Apple TV. It’s changed quite a bit since the original, now that the second version is out. It fits in the palm of your hand, has a black body to it, with RJ45 network connection & power on the back. That’s it. It also has 802.11b/g/n wireless built in. The price? Well, normally $99, but Fry’s electronics had it on sale for $94.
I’m not one for those whole renting movies and TV shows, even though Apple TV is a huge thing for that. The coolest thing for me is Airplay capabilities, which basically let’s me pump video and music directly to Apple TV over the network. I can also attach Apple TV as a speaker system for my iTunes application while I’m playing something through the computer.
Netflix, Youtube, podcasts, flickr, and internet radio are all available through it. Netflix is quite nice actually, and for those that have no other devices for netflix streaming, Apple TV would make the most perfect one. Given the fact that it’s wireless-N, you could tag this littl handheld device on top of your tv (or beside it, or whatever) and not worry about wires.
There is also the ability to jailbreak the Apple TV, which opens up SSH capabilities into the appliance and that’s when the real fun begins. (for us geeks) Basically imagine opening it up to streaming video & audio of any for you wish. Airplay of course stays with it. I haven’t put a jailbreak on mine, but I will in order to put XBMC media center onto it.
I have yet to really find any flaws in it, really. What it says it does, it just does. Airplay was the one thing that wasn’t talked about too much other than showing you how to configure it. The processor is the same kind that’s in the iPhone 4, and there is 8Gb of memory inside specifically used by the OS and buffering. It uses iOS 4.2.1, the same operating system used on the iPhone 4.