Tech Toy of the Month: Apple TV

As the Apple iPhone stole most of the headlines from last month’s Macworld expo, another new product introduction quietly slipped under the radar in the mainstream media. The “Apple TV” promises to turn your home theater system into a digital jukebox, allowing all of your pictures, music, and movies that are stored on your computer to be browsed and displayed on your living room TV.

I’m particularly excited about this product because it appears that this is the incarnation of an idea that I’ve been talking about for a few years now. I’ve been wishing for a product that would further advance the convergence of computers and home theater, and from what I’ve been reading, the Apple TV could very well accomplish that goal. Here are some of the highlights:
– At only 1.1″ tall and 7.7″ square, it should fit easily into any entertainment center or TV shelving.
– It has a variety of video and audio outputs, including HMDI and optical audio allowing integration even into high-end high definition displays and true surround sound systems.
– It can work over a wired network, or over the latest high-speed wireless technologies.
– It is a quiet machine, making almost no audible fan noise.
– At $299, it hits a price point that should not scare away the average person.
– It works with Macintosh and Windows
The Apple TV should be available for purchase this month, so we will all know more about its capabilities soon. From what information is available now, there will not be a simple way for users to digitize their DVD collection for play through the Apple TV. However, this is something I will keep a close eye on. I believe that if users can browse and play their DVD collection on a device like the Apple TV, it will sell like hotcakes.

If you would like to talk more about digital convergence, feel free to e-mail me.