Apple TV Meta-Review: 1080p and a Whole Lot of Convenience

By Andrew Tarantola on at

Preliminary reviews of the 3rd-gen, 1080p Apple TV are here. The Geekosphere has spoken and deemed it a phenomenal device but may be worth waiting on if you already own last year's model.



Is HD worth £99 to you, asks Macworld?

At £99, the third-generation Apple TV continues to be as excellent a value as the previous model -- and now it supports higher-quality video too. That's a good thing. For those with the previous generation, however, the decision to upgrade comes down to whether the difference in quality between two high-definition formats is important (and noticeable) enough to you.


The Verge:

A lack of content still raises questions about the Apple TV's future.

This year's Apple TV is a strange little device. Nearly everything it did before, it now does better -- it streams 1080p content, is easier than ever to navigate, and remains one of the simplest devices to set up and use that we've seen. But when I reviewed the 2010 Apple TV, my biggest concerns were all about the content: the available content on a device like the Boxee Box or the Roku positively dwarfed the Apple TV. That's still true, though the iTunes integration with Netflix is a solid sign that Apple's thinking the right way.


The Loop:

No lag, and iCloud works perfectly, says The Loop.

Having 1080p video on my 60-inch HDTV is magnificent. I've been watching movies and trailers all week and the experience of watching a movie in 1080p that you are streaming from Apple is incredible.

On my network, the movie starts almost instantly, so I don't have any lag time to download. I walk in, choose a video and watch it.

The Apple TV is the epitome of convenience. With iCloud, I have access to all of my iTunes Match music and videos, so I don't need to connect to a computer anymore. I can purchase movies, TV shows and I can watch content from Netflix. That's perfect.



Could Blu-ray's death knell be ringing?

The good news is that the Apple TV software update also works on the last iteration of the Apple TV. So unless you really want access to 1080p content, there’s not a huge incentive to buy a new one. (Even with the new software, the older Apple TV is limited to 720p.)

And because Apple has moved all of their TV catalog and much of their movie catalog to iCloud (some studio deals are still being negotiated, but sound close to being done), all applicable HD content can be automatically upgraded to 1080p from 720p (SD content will remain SD).

So no, Apple didn’t give a huge incentive for current Apple TV owners to upgrade to the newer box. But they gave a huge incentive to millions of people without an Apple TV to get one. And that’s bad news for Blu-ray.