Customer Review

428 of 457 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars In the UK, just a trinket for now - even after update 4.4.4, 27 Dec 2010
This review is from: Apple TV (launched September 2010) (Old model) (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
This is a gorgeous looking device, absolutely tiny, and a joy to set up (plug in, connect to the TV, enter your network details & you are ready to go). But for a UK user for now, it is the content that is severely lacking, and since it is a device that lives or dies by what it can deliver, that is quite a problem.

The film download service seems reasonably priced, but compared to my Virgin Media VOD, it's a slow process. Browsing YouTube & Flickr are initially both fun, but neither has a great deal of long-term appeal to me.

The worst part is that if you have spent some time collecting all of your various iTunes libraries onto a single, central NAS that can then be shared by all of the Apple devices in our house (several laptops, a desktop & an iMac) using the iTunes sharing function on the LaCie NAS, this is simply not compatible with the Apple TV, that needs to connect to a computer running iTunes to share the media. It's a counter-intuitive step, really, requiring you to have an iTunes computer *and* the Apple TV to be running at the same time to stream - how is that good for economical power use?

To sum up, the pros are that it's tiny, looks lovely and produces good quality images and sound. However, for me the cons are pretty serious: no access to UK-based streaming media (iPlayer, 4OD etc.), no UK-equivalent to NetFlix, no NAS sharing of media, whether video, music or images. I have seen criticism that it's HD-output is only 720p, but on my television, it still looks very good, so that is not really a con for me

I said before: 'All of this, I am sure, could be, and may well be, fixed in a software update in the future. But for now, for a UK user, the Apple TV is a nice toy, but not really a useful media device'. UPDATE: I have downloaded the new OS (4.2 2060). It does nothing for UK content at all, and adds a new menu item - Major league baseball highlights! Still no UK film rentals, no BBC radio, nor any iPlayer, 4OD or similar content support. My comments still stand that this device could be more useful to UK audiences, but Apple seem unwilling to do anything about this, or acknowledge a non-US market.

UPDATE (2) - To be fair to Apple, I have now discovered BBC radio streams available - Radio 1 is under 'Top 40/Pop', Radio 2 under 'Adult Contemporary', Radio 3 under 'Classical' & Radios 4 & 5Live under 'News/Talk'. I discovered these by accident - no news (I could find) from Apple to announce this. Still no search function on the radio to look for other BBC channels...

UPDATE (3) - I have now found a 'favourites' function - hold down select on the chosen radio station, and it is added to a 'favourites' list at the top of the radio station genre list. I discovered this by accident.

UPDATE (4) - BBC content unavailable again. It seems the BBC don't like Apple, or vice-versa. All of the BBC channels available in the last update have now been removed in OS update 4.2.2. Any attempt to connect to a BBC channels results in an error, either 'An error occurred loading this content' or 'Cannot connect to Internet Radio Stations'. The commercial, US-bases stations seem unaffected. It would be nice if I can find a list anywhere to explain what content we can get, and why the BBC is unavailable again.

UPDATE (5) - Radio feeds are broken again. I managed to add the BBC channels after the last update, but tuning back into radio 4 again today, I was told 'channel unavailable'. I deleted the favourite, and tried to re-add it, only to find my 'Talk radio' channel page was completely blank - no radio stations appear at all, and there is no function (still) to search for a known radio station. Netflix has appeared in the list of menu items, but again the 'service is unavailable' - presumably there is no UK agreement yet. Why Apple sells this product in the UK is a mystery, as they don't appear to want to support it outside the US market. Still a device without a single compelling reason to purchase it.
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Tracked by 6 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 22 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 Dec 2010 10:40:15 GMT
Jo the bulb says:
And I should post a follow-up about the radio function - no BBC content at all here, either. I am not suggesting that the BBC is the be-all-and-end-all of radio, but UK-based listeners are probably going to want to listen to them at some point. Again, the absence of BBC content for a UK user makes this portion of the device pretty limited.

Also, there are neither 'favourite' nor 'search' functions for radio stations - so if you find one you like, you have to scroll through the entire menu of a particular genre to get back to it at a later date. That's a very strange omission, when iTunes is so good at arranging playlists for stored music. A similar function would really lift the radio player.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jan 2011 11:18:52 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 4 Jan 2011 11:20:31 GMT]

Posted on 7 Jan 2011 11:18:34 GMT
peter says:
Nice review.

Posted on 7 Jan 2011 12:58:21 GMT
[Deleted by Amazon on 21 Oct 2011 08:24:07 BDT]

Posted on 30 Jan 2011 12:13:12 GMT
JamesG01 says:
Thanks, I was wondering about running it off of my LaCie NAS. Looks like I will put this one off for a while.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Jan 2011 11:14:39 GMT
Jo the bulb says:
I am also using a LaCie NAS - a Network Space 2. The iTunes server function on this drive is most definitely *not* compatible with Apple TV, which needs a connection to a computer (Mac/PC) running iTunes elsewhere on the network in order to stream music/video. When I asked about this on the Apple support forums, I was flamed by a fanboy for using a 'fake iTunes solution' for my media, which seemed a bit harsh seeing that it works well with all my other Apple products in the house (2 G4 laptops, a Macbook, Quad-core Xeon, G4 iMac & so on - bit of a fanboy, myself...)

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Mar 2011 09:17:01 GMT
Foxile says:
I think it's a serious omission by Apple, by not including DLNA support on the AppleTV.
I have two of these in the house and it was a right royal pain, changing all my DVD rips to iTunes compatible format, before I could view them.
The Boxsee solution offers so much more, although that twice the price and far from perfect.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Apr 2011 10:14:08 BDT
Cheers, chum - just saved me £92.00, not buying now.

Posted on 15 Apr 2011 22:50:03 BDT
Alex says:
I was literally about to buy this until I read the review... much appreciated thanks :)

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Apr 2011 14:44:06 BDT
A. Harrison says:
There is BBC content now but you are right about not having a favourite function being a pain
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Location: London, UK

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