Apple TV MD199LL/A Review

With the proliferation of on demand television services, the average television viewer has found himself spoiled with multiple choices. No longer do networks control viewers’ schedules as people feel free to watch their favorite shows whenever they wish. From Netflix to Hulu Plus, the large range of shows available on demand has led to the introduction of products such as the Apple TV.

So I’ll review / breakdown the Apple TV MD199LL/A

The Apple TV MD199LL/A is a device which will consolidate the entirety of these tv programs into a single, easily accessible interface. The device is a small black box and a small gray remote, both aesthetically bare in the style of all Apple products. The Apple TV’s size compares favorably to the clunky cable boxes and DVRs available today and it certainly adds a futuristic dimension to a home entertainment set up. However, the small size of the remote can be a significant disadvantage in a cluttered home. If the tiny clicker is misplaced, it is far more difficult to locate than a more substantial remote.

When the Apple TV MD199LL/A is fired up and utilized, the smooth and gorgeous interface will likely make your jaw drop. The background is black and grey with the various options superimposed in small boxes. The display is crystal clear and the graphics very well defined, with the sparkling highlights a true visual feast. The options include YouTube, Netflix, Hulu Plus, MLB TV, NBA TV, and various other on demand services that allow you to watch almost any show that you can think of. Of course, the Apple TV is primarily a consolidation product. The device as-is means nothing without the aforementioned subscriptions. Its functionality is severely limited without subscriptions, with only YouTube, your iTunes Library (enabled through the ‘Home Share’ feature in Itunes), and Radio providing opportunities for substantial interaction. However, even a single subscription to Netflix provides a plethora of opportunities.

The speed of your Apple TV will depend upon the strength of your Internet connection. If your wireless connection is strong enough to allow the buffering of lengthy movies and television shows, then the chance to watch your favorite movies and shows on a bigger screen television in true High Definition is not something to miss. However, the flip side of this possibility is that your Apple TV will frequently display the dreaded “An error has occurred” message, likely indicating a slow connection that will keep you frustrated. Another frustrating aspect of the Apple TV is its search function. Typing in words through its onscreen keyboard requires the user to select each letter with the tiny remote, a lengthy process that is extremely tedious. As if to purposely add to the user’s frustration, Apple seems to have introduced a slight lag between the physical pressing of the button on the remote and the graphical moving of the selection box. It is less noticeable when selecting the larger boxes denoting the subscription services, but when attempting to quickly type out a search term it can lead to easy frustration. The result is a tendency to skip over particular letters when typing and therefore frequent misspellings.

Despite the frustrating search function, the Apple TV is an excellent product for those who own Netflix, Hulu Plus, or any other subscription service. The only true issues with the product are annoying at best and easily gotten used to. I highly recommend its purchase as it will be an addition to your home entertainment set up that you’ll quickly realize as your new best friend.