Back in September, one of the presents that my husband received for Father's Day was an Apple TV. Yes, yes... Not quite the gift that a 7-yr-old boy and a 4-yr-old girl would usually buy. But hey, other than the handmade laminated paper tie and a card that they made, I'm pretty sure that the hubby wouldn't have received much else (not that my husband really cares, to be honest; it's the kids who would be a bit disappointed if they couldn't give their dad a nice present).
Well, actually, if our son had his way, I would've had to organise purchasing a Microsoft Xbox Kinect instead. Nice try, right? 😉
Anyway, ever since seeing this gadget in action in the home of one of our acquaintances, hubby and I knew that having an Apple TV would be pretty cool. And, after having it in our home for about 3 months now, we're still quite pleased with it.
So, what's the big deal with Apple TV?
1. Air Play / Air Display - The fact that just about anything on the iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch can now be easily displayed on a connected television is such a treat. A connected MacBook or iMac can also show its iTunes contents. So yeah, we can now easily watch a missed TV show, for example, using the ABC iView app. We can easily view photos and videos we took. And yes, even play music. This feature alone makes Apple TV quite useful for us.
2. No more rental woes! - Yes, it would still be cheaper for us to rent movies from our local Blockbuster most of the time (unless we're getting one of iTunes' cheap rental specials). But, the fact that we can have a family movie night any time now without having to rush out to the DVD shop is a bit of a bonus for us. Especially since we no longer have to worry about overdue fees and such (a common problem for us two very busy working professionals with 2 young kids who are both doing postgrad degrees!).
3. It's not tied to just one device - or one platform. - Since we're quite a "mixed" household (in more ways than one!), it's really good that Apple TV can play different things from a variety of devices and platforms. The boy can play movies he made from his iTouch - or from within iTunes in the Windows computer he uses. We can listen to music from any of our home computers or devices that are connected to the home WiFi.
So yes, our family is definitely enjoying the Apple TV.
Of course, it's not perfect. I wish Apple would open it up a bit more and not charge so much for the movie rentals and such. And, I wish we can also purchase movies and TV shows from within Apple TV (this may be done through iTunes only, as far as I know).
But, for its price, we still think it's worth it.
Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.