An Overview of Digital Media Players

Apple TV

Priced at $99, this device is small and sleek and will fit in nicely with most home theaters. If you’re used to buying or renting movies, television shows or music from your computer or iOS device (iPad, iPod, iPhone) via iTunes, Apple TV is going to be the easiest way to enjoy that media on your television. With the Airplay Mirroring feature, you can even view your apps and games from your iOS device right on your TV.

However, because Apple likes to keep its customers within its ecosystem, this device is definitely not for people looking to enjoy media that has been gathered from sources or download services that aren’t iTunes.

Pros

  • The huge media library that Apple has amassed in iTunes is instantly available on your TV.

  • Renting movies costs as little as 99 cents from iTunes.

  • Easily view pictures and videos taken on iPads, iPods, and iPhones on your TV.

  • Available services include Netflix, Youtube, Flickr, and premium sports packages from NHL, NBA, and MLB.

Cons

  • Media support is limited (It will not play many popular media types, like AVI movies.)

  • No USB port for external USB hard drives or thumb drives.

  • HD video output limited to 720p.

  • Does not support popular media servers like Amazon Instant Video or Hulu Plus.

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November 4, 2011
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