Apple, $129 apple.com/au
HONEY, they shrunk the Apple TV. That large white box by the TV has become a small black box that can hide in plain sight. It is 80 per cent smaller than its forebear and significantly cheaper.
For less than the price of an iPod Nano, you can connect this box to your TV and view movie downloads, YouTube videos, trailers, photos and podcasts on the big screen. It doesn’t even need to be plugged directly into your modem— it has Wi-Fi on board.
But some things have been lost in Apple TV’s transition. It is not designed for TV and movie buys any more. It has been made for movie rentals and media streaming.
Apple has saved on space and money by removing its hard drive. The Apple TV’s memory has dropped from 160GB to 8GB, and that 8GB is used simply to record purchase information.
New Apple TV owners can only rent movies from its onscreen menus. They are then downloaded and streamed to the box.
In practice, this is a surprisingly smooth operation. Once playing, movies were delivered with few signs that they were streaming and looked crisp. Users have 48 hours to watch a film after pressing play. The new Apple TV does not save these downloads but you can still pause, rewind and fast-forward films.
As with photos and home movies, you can stream TV shows from your computer to the Apple TV. Apple iPad streaming will be possible this month.
Connecting these devices over your home network is easy.