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Wi-Fi and Networking Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Apple TV review (2012)


Manufacturer: Apple

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

At £99, the third-generation Apple TV is still ace for linking PC/Mac and iPhone/iPad with your television, and adds 1080p HDTV compatibility but not much more.

Apple TV, Photo Stream and your computer

Downloading movies and TV shows from the Internet isn’t exclusive to Apple TV, but access to your computer-based media is. You click the Computers icon to stream photos, home videos and even your music collection from your PC or Mac.

Apple TV lets you wirelessly access your content from iCloud too.

Apple TV’s photo functions are excellent. Click Photo Stream to see your iCloud Photo Stream on your widescreen TV, and you can use those photos as onscreen slideshow wallpaper or screen saver.

The iCloud-based Photo Stream is a great Apple TV feature, but remember you need to switch on this option on your iPhone or iPad .

You can show off all your iPhoto snaps via Apple TV, too.  And there’s the usual lovely Apple slideshow options to choose from.

First you need to go into the Advanced options in iTunes to allow for Home Sharing of your photos.

Apple TV Photo Stream photos

To play music via Apple TV’s Music icon you need to be an iTunes Match subscriber (£25 a year), although you can stream direct from your computer.

Apple TV and AirPlay

Apple’s AirPlay lets you wirelessly stream what’s on your iPhone or iPad straight to your HDTV via the Apple TV. Or you can mirror exactly what’s on your mobile display to the big screen (a lot of fun with your iOS games). Both your iOS device and Apple TV need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network for the AirPlay icon to appear.

Apple TV AirPlay Mirroring games iPad

Giving family or friends control by passing the iPad around but displaying on a widescreen TV is a more natural way of showing stuff off to large groups than just viewing on the device itself. With Apple TV even the iPad looks a little cramped.

You can do something similar with Apple’s £35 Apple Digital AV Adapter, but this wired option isn’t as impressive as AirPlay’s wireless convenience.

Apple TV: How to use AirPlay

Apple TV: How to use AirPlay Mirroring

Apple TV (2012) Third generation Expert Verdict »

Apple TV (3rd Generation, 2012) Scores 8.6 out of 10 based on 452 reviews
A5 processor
iTunes account required
Optical audio
Video Formats: H.264 video up to 1080p, MPEG-4, Motion JPEG
Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound pass-through
Apple remote included
23 x 98 x 98mm, 27g
  • Build Quality: We give this item 9 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 6 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 6 of 10 for value for money
  • Performance: We give this item 8 of 10 for performance
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

Apple TV is a sexy little box that sits unobtrusively next to your television, giving you easy access to a wide range of (albeit expensive) iTunes movie and TV series downloads. You can stream your photos, videos and music from your computer, iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. Setup and navigation are simple, as you’d expect from an Apple product. There’s much you can do with an Apple TV (your photos on a widescreen TV might be worth the price alone), but there’s also a lot missing (most specifically iPlayer, 4oD, etc) that we could generously call ‘future opportunities’ for this £99 device.

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