Not a lot of people managed to get their hands on an Apple TV to review, but the folks at PC Mag did, and the verdict? It’s good – really good, especially if streaming media is your thing. That’s not to say that the device doesn’t have issues that Apple really could address if they wanted to, but it’s better in person than a lot of the feature roundups have proclaimed, and it was streamlined and polished enough to earn the Editor’s Choice award from PC Mag and a total of 4/5 stars.
Of it’s highlight features, it looks dead simple to set up and get running, is controllable from a variety of remote control apps (and comes with its own,) streams video and music and photos from a computer on the same network, and brings the thunder with Web video, including YouTube, Netflix Instant, and tons of rent-able TV shows and content from partner networks. If you have another iOS device like an iPad or iPhone, it can even stream what you have there to your television.
That’s all great, but it also doesn’t change the fact that the Apple TV doesn’t have a hard drive, can’t connect directly to storage, and all of your media consumption using the device will be rental and temporary in nature; you can’t keep anything on your Apple TV. But if the bulk of your streaming video is Netflix and Web video, you just can’t go wrong with this tiny little $99 box.
That is, at least until Roku’s new offerings come out for half the price, and then the Boxee Box hits the market for twice the price. Apple’s new gadget will be interestingly positioned both feature and price-wise, but we’ll have to see if it can go the distance.