Early Reviews Of The New Apple TV Are In, And Not Much Has Changed

Early Reviews Of The New Apple TV Are In, And Not Much Has Changed

Apple's newest set-top box includes 1080p video and a beefier chip.

With all the attention deservedly going to the new iPad, it can be easy to forget that Apple also launched a third-gen Apple TV set-top box at its March 7th media event. The little hockey puck included 1080p HD video support and a faster processor, but that’s basically it. Not much has changed since the last Apple TV.

Apple has given early review units of the new Apple TV to certain publications to review. Here’s what they have to say:

Macworld’s Jason Snell likes the addition of 1080p, but cautions current Apple TV owners:

At $99, the third-generation Apple TV continues to be as excellent a value as the previous model—and now it supports higher-quality video too. That’s a good thing. For those with the previous generation, however, the decision to upgrade comes down to whether the difference in quality between two high-definition formats is important (and noticeable) enough to you.

Joshua Topolsky of The Verge has a good writeup with an excellent video review:

This year’s Apple TV is a strange little device. Nearly everything it did before, it now does better — it streams 1080p content, is easier than ever to navigate, and remains one of the simplest devices to set up and use that we’ve seen. But when I reviewed the 2010 Apple TV, my biggest concerns were all about the content: the available content on a device like the Boxee Box or the Roku positively dwarfed the Apple TV. That’s still true, though the iTunes integration with Netflix is a solid sign that Apple’s thinking the right way.

Early Reviews Of The New Apple TV Are In, And Not Much Has Changed

MG Siegler of TechCrunch takes a stronger stance by saying that the new Apple TV will kill off disks:

There’s no reason why every person with an iOS device (and soon a Mac) shouldn’t get an Apple TV. And that’s a problem for the makers of Blu-ray players. Again, just slightly better quality will no longer be enough. Apple’s latest Apple TV is going to continue the trend they began with the MacBook Air —the killing off of optical discs.

The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple writes a simple, experience-focused review for the average consumer:

The Apple TV is the epitome of convenience. With iCloud, I have access to all of my iTunes Match music and videos, so I don’t need to connect to a computer anymore. I can purchase movies, TV shows and I can watch content from Netflix. That’s perfect.

The new Apple TV will be available in-store alongside the new iPad this Friday. Pre-orders will also be arriving to doorsteps on March 16th. What do you think of the new Apple TV? Is it worth the upgrade? Sound off in the comments below!

  • JoshObra

    This is my first Apple TV (been wanting the last generation one since it came out) for the Airplay capability.
    But I’ve read somewhere where the resolution is not full high definition (1080p) for playing videos, games, etc, is that true? That was kind of my main buying points for waiting.

  • hausoftrinity

    The only reason I got a Roku over an apple tv is because the apple tv apparently does not support standard definition tvs.  A Roku did and it was cheaper with more features. 

  • ghostshadow

    I have  2nd gen aTV and I plan on upgrading to the new one. Reselling shouldn’t be much of an issue, the small price I’d pay for the new version is minimal after the 2nd gen is sold, so it’s a no brainer for me. 

    The entire reason why I even consider upgrading is because of the newer beefier A5 processor capabilities.  When the Apple tv is jailbroken it’s worlds better than it is stock.  I’m not sure why most people would want to keep it stock to be honest.

    The a5 will let XBMC run much smoother and transcoding on the fly will be a heck of a lot easier as well.  It’s not going to be as limited as the 2nd gen is, even though the 2nd gen isn’t really taxed out right now, the little extra legroom for performance in the 3rd gen is definitely going to be beneficial.

  • poppa1138

    it’s worth getting Apple TV for the price,it gets a lot better once you Jailbrreak the Apple TV

  • Glenn Gore

    Most of the country does not have internet speed capabilities available that justify waiting all day to download  3.5 GB 1080p movies.   But be that as it may, the ?tv’s Airplay capabilties completely justify the purchase.     

  • Kreekru

    hokEy puck … not hocky

  • MacHead

    I cant see the resale of the last generation model being that impressive. If someone wants an Apple TV they can buy the new one for just 99 bucks. I doubt many people are going to be looking to get the old model at a steal of 75! Theres not enough price differential to attract buying a used last generation apple TV. Im sure you will find some dumb sucker tho, but thats not how the vast majority of these transactions will occur like you see with last gen iPads n iPhones whos prices drop quite a bit.

  • SupaMac

    hokey? like Virginia Tech? or did you just correct a typo with another incorrectly spelled word? haha smh

  • z

    SupaMac: Virginia Tech = Hokie
    Dan L: Hockey

  • Shane Bryson

     The original Apple TV did but the Apple TV2 and 3 do not.

  • Shane Bryson

     Apple TV 2 will have that feature. Pick one up on ebay or craigslist.

  • Shane Bryson

     This must be embarrassing for you.

  • qoqo

    Actually pre-orders are arriving today (at least FedEx shows mine arriving by 3PM today).

    Ship date Destination
    Mar 14, 2012 MILPITAS, CA

    Estimated delivery Mar 15, 2012 by 3:00 PM

  • Michael Looney

    Just received my new AppleTV. Can’t wait to play around with it tonight. 

  • TechUser

    Will the AppleTV stream videos stored on my iMac that were not purchased through iTunes?  Things that care currently streamed using a DLNA compliant XBox360, files like ripped DVDs, .ftv downloads, and campcorder files without conversion?

  • SupaMac

    i guess my irony was too subtle this time around

  • Dan Drake

    Mine is on the FedEx truck to be delivered by 3:00 PM today 3/15! I have a gen 2 on a 15″ LCD at my desk. Basically a Netflix device for me but hey only $99. Putting the new one in the living room on the 52″ Samsung TV.

  • qoqo

     Yes, like others, mine just arrived. 

  • Vincent

    I am very disappointed Apple still does not allow control of it’s widget over IP.  There were way to do it on ATV1 then they locked it out on ATV2.  I like using Roomie Remote app on my iphone to control devices connected via network.  That way the app can get feedback on the device status, which you cannot get with IR control.  There is a solution to integrating ATV devices using an IR interface device but this is clunky, and we should not have to.  So meanwhile I’ll look at Roku and other devices as Apple has carried their “garden” thing much too far here and for no good reason.
     

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a senior writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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