Review: Apple TV (2015)

Review: Apple TV (2015)

Tech December 4, 2015 17:07

- The new Apple TV is in appearance not changed that much. He is somewhat higher than its predecessors, but is equally wide and long. The connection is very simple : plug in the power cord, HDMI cable into the TV and you're done.

byRemote controlOne novelty is remote. Gone is the small gray bar, now you have a small black rectangle. The upper half is touch-sensitive and works as a trackpad, so you can swipe in any direction to get so through the menus. Known course is the start / pause button. Also back from never been gone is the menu button, which acts as a "back button. A pressure on it and you go to the previous screen. New is the Home button, which allows you to the main menu directly. Also new is the Siri button, which unfortunately only serves in the Netherlands as a search button, which more later. Finally, there are two buttons to adjust the volume with the TV. In most cases (like mine) to make you do anything in this, but there is a procedure to pair it to your device if need be.The new remote control has a rechargeable battery and is charging through a lightning-cable, which is included. Also worth mentioning is that it works via bluetooth and not via infrared, so the Apple TV itself can be placed out of sight.Although the device works fine, there are some to name a few downsides. He is completely symmetrical, so you put it quickly picks wrong with the touchpad on the bottom. A minor irritation, but it is very common. Because it is easy to grab him on the side with the touch pad, sometimes it happens that he suddenly thinks you want to perform an action. It's happened to me more than once that I skipped a lot of film accidentally because I just remote 'wrong' picked. In short, a few points where Apple designers once again good to look at.InstallationInstalling the new set-top box is quite simple, as we have come to expect from Apple. Do you have an iPhone, then it's easy. Because you can hold the phone close to the Apple TV all the important settings such as Wi-Fi and Apple ID name and password so transferred. If you must do it by hand, it is a bit trickier: the digital on-screen keyboard is in fact a true crime. All letters are in a row and if you have a long password with numbers and punctuation (as it should, actually) you wipe you all a break on the remote. The rest of the procedure is also simple: you will be guided step by step through the process.UseOnce finished you will be greeted with the installation by a home screen that is very much akin to the home screen of the old Apple TVs. Top of the screen shows what's new in the currently selected app. Below that is a row of see the main applications, similar to the dock where the bottom image on an iPhone or iPad. Finally below to see the rest of the apps. The order of applications is set in the same way as on iOS devices: stand on the icon, hold the touchpad pressed and when the icons begin to shake, you can drag it to your chosen spot.Such a set-top box is of course primarily intended to watch them movies and TV series. Different apps allow you to do that in many ways, from iTunes, Netflix: the controls are virtually identical in all these programs. While playing, it is possible to search for a particular time by swiping left or right on the touchpad. You can also simply 10 seconds forward or backward by pressing the left or right. A wipe down finally shows some options like the sound.One option in this regard which I'm personally very happy, it is possible to normalize the sound of a movie. Here are loud noises, such as explosions in an action movie, made less loud and the volume of voice screwed something up. Ideal, because you do not have to constantly adjust the volume when you do not want to wake sleeping children or neighbors.Playing music- for example via Apple TV or through a connection to a PC running iTunes condition- works the same way.AppsThen the real novelty of this new set-top box: the ability to install apps. Just like on iOS devices, there is an app store available. Very useful is the ability to see which apps 'cross buy' his. These are applications where even versions for iOS are available, and the Apple TV version is free if you already own the mobile version. I myself did so in one fell swoop a number of games that I could download at no charge.The App Store is also almost the same as on iOS: you find apps, downloading is done by your Apple ID password to complete and then the app will appear on the home screen.The range of applications is currently a bit scant, as on every new platform. Key players like Netflix and YouTube are present, and rather odd choices, like Gilt webstore. You can shop from your television you so completely an accident. The easiest way I found another media applications like Plex. When Plex, you can install a program on your PC or media server and all movies and TV shows on the computer to other gadgets can be streamed. Pretty convenient for people who are already many films outside of iTunes purchased or even DVDs are ripped, especially because Plex even further is very smart and searches based on among other things the file related information, such as the DVD's cover, genre and a synopsis of the story.And then there are games. Apple seeded during the presentation of the new Apple TV fierce in this, but so far Sony and Microsoft do not have to worry that this is a real competitor for the PlayStation or Xbox. The games are for the moment mainly the cell level. Games where you just quickly play a few games, but not a whole evening doing. Crossy Road games like Canabalt and which are simple to handle. The latter should be, because all games should be able to use Apple remote like controller, so there are quite hefty down limits on how many actions you can take in a game. It is possible to link a "real" controller via bluetooth (and there are quite a few games that support it), but it is never as complex as PlayStation 4 game.Also a graphic point of Apple TV can not stand these powerhouses on, although it must be said that the built-A8 chip performs very well. You had me five years ago, failed to convince the games like Galaxy On Fire on a chip for mobile devices might run.That the Apple TV is not a direct competitor for the current generation of consoles is further not mind: there are really good games for the Apple TV available, but they're just a completely different class. I can aforementioned Crossy Road recommend fine, but also puzzle game Shadow Matic is very strong. Expect only no Call of Duty or Assassin's Creed.Missed opportunitiesAs often happens with new tech products, also contains the Apple TV features not (yet) available in the Netherlands. Chief among these is support for Siri, the voice assistant from Apple. Americans, Britons and Germans can enter voice search, where multiple services simultaneously searched. Looking for example a film, let Siri not only shows that he is available on iTunes, but also Netflix or other participating apps.Unfortunately, the resulting pressures on the Siri button on the remote control in our country only in displaying the search screen with the lousy digital keyboard. It is unfortunate that we have to wait again for this job, especially because Siri on the iPhone for some time is available in Dutch.Price and similar devicesThe new Apple TV is so much more than its predecessors, but it is also priced at that. Where previous versions cost around € 100, the 32GB version costs of the new Apple TV € 179. The 64GB version will cost € 229, though I would not know immediately why you should go for this version- the memory is only used for apps which are never more than a few hundred MB.In the Netherlands there are not that much media players name on the market. Hard drive manufacturer Western Digital has with the WD TV (€ 99) a streaming box that allows you to stream media stored on a computer to the TV. Also has some built-in apps such as Spotify, YouTube and Facebook.The cheapest solution Chromecast stays (€ 39) from Google. This makes it possible to get content from a smartphone, tablet or PC to the TV. However, the support for apps is scant.ConclusionThe new Apple TV is a great set-top box which is easy to install and simple to use. Do you really want a simple experience, then Apple's case is a good choice.In short, a great box for under the TV to watch movies and series along and occasionally a game to play, but not a complete revolution. It also does not help that features like Siri in our country are not working.

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