New Apple TV (2012): Full Review – A bump to 1080p resolution support – Part 3

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 8:03:01 by

Apple’s ecosystem is the major motivation for those who are interested in a set-top box. The device is little useful for web surfing and Netflix. However, when you have other iOS device(s) and iCloud access, then it is a different story to tell.

The iCloud plays a big role in making the device look attractive two fold. Now you can purchase any movie, song, TV show or anything and can still play it on other iOS devices. These purchases can be streamed to the likes of iPad and can be loaded on them for offline use. The purchased items can be played over and over as many times as the user wants.

TV shows are $3 for HD, $2 for SD (although it’s increasingly rare to find the SD option); movies are $5 to rent in HD, and anywhere from between $10 to $20 to purchase. The selection of content is excellent, including some sources that don’t show on competitors like Amazon Instant.

Getting your digital music collection to your living room somehow still manages to be a pain in 2012, outside of pricey (but excellent) options like a Sonos player. iTunes Match gets rid of most of the frustrations, letting you store a copy of your digital music in the cloud and stream directly to the Apple TV, iOS devices, and iTunes on a PC. No dealing with hard-drive management or complex network settings. The downside is the service costs $25 a year, which stings a little considering that’s a fee to listen to music you already own. (Plus Google and Amazon offer their own music storage options for free.) It can also take some work to set up, but the interface on the Apple TV is a pretty slick way to listen to your digital music if you’re willing to pay.

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