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Review: Apple TV

Microscope contributor

When I tell people I have Apple TV the uninitiated get a gleam in their eye at the thought of a shiny white television bearing the fruity logo in simple silver in the corner of the room, writes Linda Endersby.

At first, when I assure them that while a large iMac makes a lovely TV screen with the right software, Apple are not yet competing in the television stakes the gleam dies just a little.

However, demonstrating the addition of that small black box, a quarter of the size of a Wii console, soon brings that twinkle back with the addition of an envious smile.

Apple TV is very much a product in progress, but what a fantastic beginning. Linking it to your TV and internet gives you options which transform your TV into an extra large screen for your laptop crossed with an entertainment store in your living room. Without having any other device connected, you can rent from a vast catalogue of movies, watch your favourite You Tube videos or catch up on your friends' holiday snaps on Flickr or Mobileme.

You can also sign into iTunes using your normal online account and access your iTunes libraries and listen to music or watch any purchased movies or TV shows.

All the other libraries are also available meaning you can view your photo collection or listen to an audio book.

The real magic is that with any iPad, iPod or iPhone with the latest software you can also have a remote for your Apple TV with its own keyboard and you can stream video content from your device to the TV using the patented Airplay option. Suddenly iPlayer is available on the TV so that those shows really are unmissable!

The downside? Well if your house isn't already an Apple pad then you will miss some of its features. However with new releases happening with Apple's normal enthusiasm for updates, who knows what it will do next?


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