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Apple TV 3rd Generation

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Mar 21, 2012 in Apple, Tech

Like many I sat and watched live streams of the iPad 3 media event on the 7th March 2012, and sat at drooled at the new shiny. In addition to the iPad 3 being launched there was the announcement of the 3rd generation Apple TV.

It’s selling features at the event was a new shiny UI and the ability to output 1080 video (instead of the 720 from the 2nd generation)

Although the 1080 did sound appealing, I spend the best part of a month encoding all my media to 720, and didn’t plan on re-encoding all the blurays to 1080.

Again the new UI looked new and shiny, granted there were no new features added, it just gave it more of a iOS feel, which was available for the 2nd generation within hours of the media event….so unfortunately I wasn’t sold and thought I’d pass on this model.

Then an opportunity arose, that meant I could potentially move one of the existing Apple TV’s into the kitchen, and replace this with a new model…so I did.

Last night it turned up, and to be honest, if it didn’t say 1080 on the side of the box, it would have been hard to tell if it was the new model of not. The same applies for the device itself, I held the 2nd and 3rd generation side by side, and honestly couldn’t tell the difference.

Plugged in the device, saw the familiar apple symbol then ran through the setup as with the other models. Once set up, I flicked through the menus, to find only one change, the vide output had the 1080 option, and that’s it. This actually made me happy, as I realised I wasn’t losing any functionality from the previous boxes.

Now I’ve seen a number of tear downs, and people are suggesting the 3rd generation has got the A5 processor, and the upgrade to 512Mb of system memory making this device as snappy as the iPad 2. There is also the suggestion that this has the same internal 8Gb storage, and the bluetooth has been upgraded to bluetooth 4.0

Being a long time user of the 2nd generation model, the upgrade to the processor and memory are noticeable, this device is a lot snappier. I’ve not given it enough to see if the hardware upgrade fixes some glitches that were present in the 2nd generation, eg the random restarts, and the occasional buffering issues, however I’m sure time will tell.

I did attempt to give the 1080 a good test, however the UK version of the store and netflix seems to be a little sparse when it comes to 1080 content. It seems a lot of the items are tagged as HD, with the occasional tagged as 1080. Based on this assumption there doesn’t seem to be any 1080 trailers and all the Netflix content I tried had only the HD tag. Now I have read that Netflix has upgraded the Apple TV steaming to support 1080, but not sure if this is in the states only. Currently the UK Netflix library is but a small subset of what’s available overseas.

I did however download a 1080 trailer from Apples site, drop it in iTunes and streamed it to the Apple TV and this did look a lot sharper.

I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what happens with future content, and hope that when the iCloud movie steaming comes to the UK, I’ll get a 1080 version of all the films I got on triple play (Digital, DVD and Bluray), but I guess only time will tell.

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Finally bought an iPad

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Nov 30, 2010 in Apple, iPad, Tech

As with most things Apple, I’ve been toying with the idea of getting an iPad since I knew of their existence, however was always put off by the lack of multi tasking, however the recent release of iOS 4.2.1 has fixed that problem.

In the recent tech news, there are already a lot of rumours flying around about the iPad 2, suggesting it will have a USB port, a front facing camera, a rear 8 Megapixel camera, carbon fibre back, etc etc. With all these reports, and the release of the new OS, the iPad is back onto my radar.

Tonight (thanks to Tony Lunn), I bought one !….now don’t start saying, “Ooo, did Tony buy you one, what a nice guy ?”, it was due to him I couldn’t resist and bought one.

So here’s how it happened, Text from Tony around 6ish “I’ve been offered a iPad for x amount, what do you recon ?”, I then spent the next 30 mins googling to see what prices they were going for……somehow ended up with one in my basket, then checked the opening times and the nearest store with stock (turned out to be the Leicester store of Comet), jump in the car, drove to Leicester, got lost, spend 20 minutes running through Leicester trying to find the place…..and finally walked out of Comet, 5 minutes before it was closing with a shiny iPad and case.

So, how is it ?…..it’s bloody lovely !

As you know, I’ve got an iPhone 4, had the iPhone 3GS before that, before that had the iPod Touch 2nd Gen….this is the next step up the evolutionary chain.

It does, (as you would expect) everything any other iOS Device does, but just on a bigger screen. To be honest, seeing the difference between the iPhone 3GS screen and the iPhone 4, I was a little worried how this screen would look in comparison to the retina display, but have to say I’m very impressed !, It’s sharp, bright, and everything you would expect from an Apple product.

The model I went for was the 16GB Wi-Fi model, as I plan on buying the next gen when it comes out. Not wanting to scratch it, I also bought the official iPad case thingy with it, which as you can imagine, fits like a glove ­čÖé

When I’ve had a good play with it, I’ll update the post, but for now, it’s play time ­čÖé

As always, unboxing photos below.

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Apple TV 2 ? Apples Games Console ?

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Sep 30, 2010 in Apple, Brain Dump, iPhone, IPod Touch, Tech

At present, I’m awaiting delivery of my Apple TV (ETA Monday 4th October 2010).

I was thinking last night of the future of the Apple TV, and how this is could be a lot more than a TV, and might be Apples version of a Games Console.

Why you may ask ?

  • Ok, I’ve read on multiple blogs, that the device runs on a version of iOS 4.1, there should be no reason why games designed for the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad shouldn’t be able to run on it.
  • Introduction of the Game Center, which is a cross device “Social Gaming platform”. Currently this only works on the iPod Touch and iPhone, but see no reason that this can’t also work on the Apple TV.
  • Rumours of a Apple TV App store, this would make it possible to download and buy your favorite games you have on your current devices, and play them on the big screen
  • The Apple TV has an internal 8Gb memory, don’t you think this is a little large just to host the Apple TV Front Row software. With the new Apple TV, all the media content is streaming only ?
  • The Apple TV has the A4 chip, and 256Mb of Ram, making it the same spec as the iPad
  • Epic Citedel. This demo looked amazing, it’s being pitched a online multiplayer experience, Could this be a launch title when the Game Center is switched on ?
  • iOS 4.2 was announced last month, this would finally bring multitasking to the iPad, over the air printing etc, I do wonder though, could these features also be coming to the Apple TV ?. I did also note, that during the keynotes on the 1st September 2010. The Apple TV was mentioned, but the only focus was on the size and price of the device, the software wasn’t touched on at all ?
  • I would assume that the controller for the Apple TV, would be any iThingy device, eg iPod Touch, ┬áiPhone or iPad, and possibly work together like Nintendo attempted with the DS and Wii. If so, the iPhone 4 and iPod Touch 4G would make an awesome motion controller with the gyroscope

Anyway, these are all purely speculations, however there’s a lot of power in that little device, and it would be a shame if Apple didn’t do more with it that “just stream media”. If I’m right, I expect another Apple press┬áconference┬ásome time before the launch of iOS4.2 in┬áNovember

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