One of the problems I’ve always had is that I have a tendency to buy a lot of TV shows on iTunes, yet that has always forced me to have to watch television shows on my computer, and that’s just not what I want to do. When I buy an entire series, or even a couple of shows, I want to sit down in my living room and watch it on my 72 inch television (okay, it’s a 32 inch, but one can dream, right?). Unfortunately, that’s always been difficult for me.
The solutions in the past have been simplistic. I can buy a dvd (or a bluray) and watch it on my television, but like I said, I buy a lot of stuff when it comes out on iTunes, and I kind of like that. The other solution has been to put the stuff on my iPad and then hook that up to my television, but honestly, I’ve never been comfortable wanting to do that.
And then I read an article about Apple TV and thought to myself, you know maybe that might be the solution. For those who don’t know much about Apple TV, what it is amounts to a small box that hooks up to your television that can either receive signals through an ethernet or through wifi. Fortunately for me, my computer system is set up with wifi, so I went with that option.
Almost immediately, I was able to access my iTunes library through Apple TV, so anything I bought in the past was there for me to watch. This helped when I was catching up on a few of the shows that I hadn’t finished watching on my computer. It was so nice to watch them on my main television set.
And then I found out you can access your iTunes library that’s on any of your computers by turning on Home Sharing. Well, kind of. My MacBook Pro, which receives signals through wifi, worked fine. My PC’s iTunes, which connects through ethernet, couldn’t be seen by my Apple TV no matter what I did, so the majority of my collection that’s on my main computer (where I store practically everything) was completely not accessible. So with that feature, I was very disappointed in Apple TV.
The other problem I ran into with it was that when the last episode of Breaking Bad aired and I went to watch it on my television, it wouldn’t download. It kept saying it couldn’t receive a list or something ridiculous like that. It could access anything else in my iTunes, but the one show I really wanted to watch wouldn’t show up. I ended up having to go back to my main computer and watch it there, which basically made me feel like my Apple TV was a dysfunctional step-child that obviously doesn’t work as intended. I didn’t contact Apple because my experience with customer service concerning Apple is a lot like pissing in a fan and wondering why you’re now covered in piss.
The cost of Apple TV was $99, plus an HDMI cord, which cost me about $14. So, plus tax it ended up costing me about $135 or something like that.
The jury is still out for me on whether or not it was worth the money. If you don’t use iTunes, it’s completely worthless, unless you’re desperate for some way to access your Netflix or Hulu Plus accounts (which it does as well). There are a bunch of other channels that you can access as long as you have an Internet connection, but they felt a lot like cable selections, in that you choose one you watch and the rest serve as noise that you have to forward through to get to shows you actually want to watch. But if you use iTunes a lot, like I do, then it’s a great little thing. If only they’d fix its inherent Apple-itis, which means every now and then it just does stupid stuff and Apple pretends everything is fine until enough people complain and they fix it without every acknowledging anything was wrong.