Apple TV review
Works brilliantly and smoothly with online movies and TV programmes, while AirPlay makes it at home on an Apple network. The limited file support and lack of UPnP support is still a little disappointing, though
Review Date: 28 Mar 2012
Price when reviewed: £99
Reviewed By: David Ludlow
Although the previous Apple TV was pretty slick to use, its lowly 720p output counted against it. For the 2012 new Apple TV, things have changed and it's now a Full HD 1080p video streamer.
What hasn't changed is the Apple TV's incredibly small dimensions. Measuring just under 100mm square and 23mm high, it's tiny. The rather attractive box will fit pretty much anywhere in your home.
Its rear is refreshingly simple with just 10/100Mbits Ethernet (802.11n Wi-Fi is also built-in), HDMI and an optical S/PDIF output. There's also a micro USB port, although this is for service and support.
The new Apple TV retains the old one's simple aluminium remote control. It has just four buttons: Menu, Play/Pause, Select and a four-way cursor pad. It's comfortable to hold and the clicky buttons give plenty of feedback, so you know that you've definitely hit a key. There's not even a power button, as the Apple TV shuts itself down when not being used and is powered up by tapping the Menu key on the remote.
Powering the Apple TV on for the first time, you're taken through a very quick setup wizard that helps you configure your networking and input your Apple ID. After that you're ready to start.
Although the previous Apple TV was pretty easy to use, this model has had a major interface overhaul. Large icons make it easy to select the type of content that you want to view, while a top window shows you the latest highlights.
As this is an Apple product, the interface is incredibly smooth, thanks to the single-core Apple A5 processor, and works just like an iPod: tap the Menu button to go back, use the cursor keys and select to choose items and hit Play/Pause as you need. There's absolutely no slowdown or lag when trying to do anything, which is how a media streamer should really be.
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