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Digital Home Reviews
15,609 Reviews

Apple TV Take Two

£199 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Apple

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

Lately we've promoted the notion of an updated Apple TV as one of this young year's most significant products. Apple has reduced the price and added functionality to its home-entertainment device.

Lately we've promoted the notion of an updated Apple TV as one of this young year's most significant products. But we can understand how those who'd never used the thing might have been less than enamoured of the device. After all, it apparently didn't support 5.1 audio, its storage space was limited, there was the general (and incorrect) perception that it couldn't play HD content, and, most confounding of all, it depended on a computer for its care and feeding. See also: Apple TV review, January 2009.

How things have changed.

Should Steve Jobs' presentation have blotted the functionality of the 'original' Apple TV from your memory, allow me to compare and contrast that original device with the 'Take Two' update announced during Jobs’ address.

Price: Okay, easily done. The 40GB Apple TV sold for $299; yesterday Apple slashed the price tag to $229 (about £115). The 160GB Apple TV, which those of us who preferred to stream our content thought bore more storage than necessary, moved from $399 to $329 (£165); another $70 price drop. (People who invested in the early days of the Apple TV will be rewarded not by a $70 rebate but by receiving the new 'Take Two' software update as a free download in two weeks.)

Content: For the most part, you had to move content to the original Apple TV from your computer (streaming YouTube videos and previews from the iTunes Store being the exception). So, if you wanted to play music in your iTunes library, you either copied or streamed it from a computer on the network. Likewise with TV shows and movies purchased from the iTunes Store.

Speaking of content, the selection of movies you could purchase from the iTunes Store was pretty slim. The major studios simply didn't take to the iTunes Store the way Apple had hoped. Rentals, on the other hand, are another matter. The iTunes Store will have films for rent from all the major motion picture companies, a refreshing change after a year of offerings largely from Disney and its subsidiaries.

The unnecessary umbilical: With the updated Apple TV and enhanced iTunes Store, Apple has cut the cord. In a couple of week you will be able to sit on your couch and, with Apple remote control in hand, rent a movie or purchase a TV episode or hunk of music from the iTunes Store.

Apple TV Take Two Expert Verdict »
Intel processor
40GB hard drive
HDMI (video and audio)
Component video
Optical audio
Analogue RCA stereo audio
10/100BASE-T ethernet
USB 2.0
802.11n wireless networking
IR receiver
197x197x28mm
1kg
  • Build Quality: We give this item 9 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

Those with strong opinions about the Apple TV fell into two categories - those who had one and loved it, and those who had never laid hands on the thing and didn't understand its appeal. The Take Two Apple TV, with its ability to obtain great-looking and -sounding content from the comfort of the sofa, is likely to draw many of those from the latter group into the former.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
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