I like owning videos. I like knowing I can watch and compare the classic Maltese Falcon and first version from 1931 whenever I want. Or, on the lighter side, that I can watch Dr. Who episodes from anywhere in time and space at my convenience. That’s why I’m totally unimpressed by the new Apple TV.
I’ve been a fan of the old Apple TV since day one. Unlike a lot of people I never had much trouble with it. The only problem I think it ever had was that Job damned it by calling it a hobby. Without putting Apple’s marketing muscle behind it, the device did indeed stay a hobby and that’s a shame.
I use it to this day to bring movies from my NAS (Network Attached Storage) drives, via iTunes, to my TV over my 802.11n network. Thanks to the Apple TV I have access to my own personal collection of over a terabyte of movies and TV episodes. I’ve been buying some movies from Apple and converting my DVD collection to MP4s with Handbrake for ages now. It’s proven to be a great way to keep a video collection that I could stream anywhere I had an Apple TV without taking up yards of shelf space.
You can still do that with the new Apple TV, but it appears you’ll no longer be able to buy videos directly from Apple. This midget device is all about rentals. Oh, you can also use it to view streaming Netflix movies, but let’s get real. What’s new in the way of TV gear that doesn’t support Netflix these days? Xbox 360, Wii, PS3, Roku, HDTVs, and, in my own case, a Sony networked BDP-N460 Blu-Ray DVD player.