Apple TV: More Than Just a Black Box
published onDecember 28, 2011

Are you contemplating Apple TV? Hearing the name, a lot of people think Apple TV is just another version of DirecTV satellite television or even another way to view cable TV without paying the local cable provider. And it’s true that you can watch first-run television shows and sporting events through Apple TV, live or on-demand.

Other people may think it’s the slimmest, sexiest media server ever — and that’s about half right, too. Apple TV can be used as a media server to house all the digital copies of your movies and MP3s — either burned from CDs that you own or downloaded from iTunes or other places you can purchase MP3s. But there’s a lot more to it than that.

First of all, Apple TV stores your files “in the cloud” (that is, on the Internet) in your iTunes account rather than locally. This means you have an automatic level of protection against power surges, local fires, floods and anything else that could damage a hard drive on a traditional media server.

Also, by downloading the free app, Remote, you can turn your iPhone, iTouch or iPad into the remote control for your Apple TV and your HDTV.

We recently worked with a Staten Island home theater customer who was so sold on the benefits of Apple TV, she wanted two boxes — one for her living room and one for her family room home theater. This way, she could watch different programming on either TV through its own Apple TV unit.

We were actually impressed by the way she’s using the Apple TV. While the unit is flexible enough that it can do practically anything, many people don’t bother to upload their digital movie collection. Instead, they limit themselves to streaming Netflix movies or maybe catching a TV show on Apple TV.

This family maximized the capabilities of their Apple TV units by putting all their digital copy DVDs on their iTunes account and syncing it with Apple TV. Most DVDs today come with a “digital copy” disc that is legal to upload to your PC, Mac, iPod, Apple TV, anywhere you want to watch the movie. After all, you purchased the movie. You should be allowed to watch it in private viewings anywhere you like without worrying about copyright infringement. That’s what digital copies allow you to do, and Apple TV is a perfect fit.

Now, instead of having a collection of (literally) hundreds of DVDs littering their family room or needing to find streamlined storage solutions, every movie the family owns is available at the touch of a few buttons on Apple TV. No more Blu-Rays out of their cases. No more scratched DVDs. Just easy viewing whenever anyone wants.

Are you ready for Apple TV? Give us a call to find out more.