The New Apple TV – Best $99 I've Spent this Year

I've been an Apple TV fan from the very beginning.... I've often talk about how much I like it and even have a few blog posts on it (1, 2, 3).

Here's my short review of the new one. It's awesome.

Okay, now I'll tell you why I love it so much.

  • It's cheap – $99 is a steal. Sure they got the price down by removing an internal drive... but things change. I no longer need a hard drive to store movies. I've been using a Drobo FS as my home media server with iTunes and before that a regular Drobo hooked up directly to our home's iMac.
  • Netflix support is built in. There are thousands of on demand movies for free. Some of my favorite things include the extensive selection of documentaries, as well as TV shows that I miss episodes while traveling. Plus, we have two kids who just adore the extensive selection of kids programming (including classic Bugs Bunny fare and multiple PBS shows). At $9 a month... it's a steal.
  • The new Remote App is killer – With an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad you can take complete control. I love using the Apple TV through the home stereo. I have an extensive music collection. I love being able to DJ right from my device. Great when hosting get togethers or for changing music up based on the mood at hand.
  • TV Rentals are now reasonable – Miss an episode, catch it for 99¢. I must admit I've used this feature more than a few times.
  • Easier connection to multiple devices – Apple simplified sharing media. Right now I can access media off any of the computers in our household that share the same Apple ID. Mind you we have an iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and a Mac Mini. My understanding is that we'll soon be able to stream from our iPads and iPhones too. For those of you counting, that's ten devices sharing media seamlessly throughout the whole house... (yes... we are a terribly geeky family of four).
  • Streaming Photos and Video is easy – Whether you use MobileMe, iLife, Aperture, YouTube, or Flickr it's a piece of cake to send stuff to your TV in HD.

It's $99... I must say I know what I'll be putting in several people's stockings this year.