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Home » Archives » March 2007 » AppleTV. Would I buy it? [Previous entry: "Today I Pushed Out a New Baby..."] [Next entry: "Still in the Top 20..."] 03/27/2007: "AppleTV. Would I buy it?" feeling: I have to poop.

In a word, No. In three or four words? No, not right now.

What's that? Jon? Critical of an Apple product? See, here's the thing, I don't think it's done. I think it's got a lot of potential to be awesome, but I don't think it's there yet, so I'm gonna wait for a second-gen system and see what comes up. In the end, I am loyal to great products, not the people who make them.

What do I think is half-baked?
1. I think it's insane that you can't buy and download content directly from the iTunes Store. (Insane!)
2. I think it's NUTS that it requires a High-Def TV. Especially since it does broadcast High-Def content.
3. I think it's ca-ca-crazy that you can't hook up an iPod to it via the built-in USB port and play content from it.
4. I think it's a little ill-conceived that it not have an optical drive. Am I wrong to want to play DVDs in it? Perhaps. CDs? Hmmm. Maybe less so.

So, what would I buy?
Well, if you want to play DVDs and CDs and have iTunes and maybe Surf the Web on my Lo-Def 50" TV, then it'd have to be a Mac Mini. A refurb'd one to be sure, but it'd be awesome. And more expensive, absolutely.

I'd add on a wireless keyboard and mouse, and I'd use the video adapter to S-Video or composite video to my 50" bohemoth. It makes me curious whether or not I can use it in variable resolutions, and what the highest practical resolution for use on a TV is, but that's how I'd do it. Then, I could use my Picture in picture to surf the web while I watch TV, or I could use it to watch TV while I do a little work on my bigscreen.

If, however, I want to do the things that Apple TV does do, I would just get a video cradle for my iPod. Apple makes one, although I understand that it does not have on-screen controls. Boo. Griffin makes one which boasts on-screen display, but in fact, it seems that none of the iPod docks out there do something that I would think to be simple and awesome, display your iPod's F'ing Screen on a TV.

So, for roughly half the money you can do the stuff that the AppleTV does, essentially. Although it ain't sexy, and of course, that assumes that you have a $300 iPod.
For roughly twice as much money you can do everything the Apple TV does, and a whole lot more, and you can annoy your spouse by designing web sites on your TV instead of playing Greg Hasting Tournament Paintball...when you are supposed to be doing laundry.

Tough call. wink