New Apple TV (2012): Full Review – A bump to 1080p resolution support – Part 4

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 8:02:48 by

The 1080p bump in the resolution support on the new device looks impressive on paper. But repeated observation reveals a little difference between 720p and 1080p formats on 2011 and 2012 devices.

The 1080p Apple TV’s picture may have been very slightly sharper and richer, but there wasn’t a single moment I could pick out where the 1080p Apple TV’s picture was demonstrably better. It’s worth mentioning, though, that the image quality on both boxes was excellent; only the pickiest videophiles will be disappointed at typical screen sizes.

Apple however, always has a trick up its sleeve and in this case, it is AirPlay. Though the device itself lacks a number of content sources, it has tried to compensate that with AirPlay. However, it only adds up to the prejudice that Apple TV is good for those who are already on Apple’s ecosystems, which means owning other Apple products.

The idea is you can stream photos, music, and videos straight from another iOS device to the Apple TV. That includes many third-party apps, so while the Apple TV doesn’t have a Pandora app, your iPhone does and can stream Pandora to your Apple TV using AirPlay. Notice we said many third-party apps, because not all of them support it, including Hulu Plus and HBO Go. So while AirPlay can substitute for some apps, it’s not a panacea.

Only the iPhone 4S, iPad 2, and the new iPad support mirroring so far, but Apple is including mirroring in its upcoming Mountain Lion operating system, due out later this summer. That should let you display anything you can play on your computer–possibly even regular–on your Apple TV.

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