Apple TV and my setup

I have been a Windows PC user for over 30 years now, and this included quite a few Windows mobile devices. But since moving to the Apple iPhone over 3 years ago, I have been impressed with the technology they have brought out – iPad, iMac, Mac Book Pro. But one product which did not interest me, up until now, that is ….. was the Apple TV.

Over these many years, I have accrued numerous CDs which are kept stored away, as well as DVDs, HD-DVDs and Blu-rays. But they are no longer being played as I wanted to declutter under the television and did not want to have a HD-DVD player, Sony Playstation 3 or hi-fi system sitting around (just the BT Vision box).

And as technology has advanced, music and video have moved over to digital media and access over the Cloud. Having tried a few different products before (Western Digital WD TV, Western Digital Network drive), they did not live up to my expectations as access was not refined and was in two words – very slow.

Hence when I thought about consolidating all my media into one place (work in progress to develop my own Cloud server), I decided to go with the Apple TV as it also has great connectivity with other Apple devices.

Apple TV 3rd generation
Apple TV 3rd generation
Apple TV UK version
Apple TV UK version

I bought this on Boxing Day for £69 in Argos. First impressions of the Apple TV is that it is very small but well built. It has some glossy surfaces on it, which are fingerprint and dust magnets. And being black, this will be very easily noticed.

Apple TV box with remote
Apple TV box with remote
Connections for power, HDMI, optical audio output and network connector
Connections for power, HDMI, micro USB, optical audio output and network connector

It comes with a small remote which gives the impression that the control buttons came from an iPod. I am still getting used to this remote, as I have never owned an iPod (never wanted one). But then, I could use my iPhone or iPad to control the Apple TV by downloading the Remote App.

It has an optical audio output (very important) which allows me to connect the audio separately to the Yamaha Digital Sound Projector, which is my sound system for audio and video. This will allow me to get the best audio out of the Apple TV.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Apple TV hooked up to the television through HDMI and to the Yamaha Digital Sound Projector through the optical output
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Yamaha Digital Sound Projector YSP-1100

Just a little about the Yamaha Digital Sound projector (now 9 years old and still going strong). It is a one-box solution which has 2 x 11cm woofers and 40 x 4cm speakers, each with their own amplifier. It comes with one particularly special feature – Intellibeam (link here)- this allows you to tune the system to the room you use it in.

This is done through a microphone (which you connect to the system and placed where you normally sit). This then picks up and analyses the sounds projected into the room by the system and then optimises it to bounce sounds to that position where you placed the mic. Hence my Yamaha Digital Sound Projector has been optimised to project sound (and effects) to where I normally sit.

Once the Apple TV was connected, I have to say that the sound quality coming from the Yamaha Digital Sound Projector was pretty impressive. I can’t wait to get all my CDs onto my Cloud in Apple Lossless format and start enjoying all the music I have bought over the years.

Also being able to watch the movies and music bought on iTunes on my system, is the other big reason I bought the Apple TV – I don’t think I will be buying any more DVDs or Blu-rays as times have changed. Which leaves me with just one question – why did I not buy the Apple TV sooner? As the iPhone and iPad have become essentials in our daily lives, perhaps the same can be said of the Apple TV.

Anyway, I will be working on my Cloud setup (comprising of the Synology DS214play server with 8 terabytes of storage in Raid 0 mode for speed – coming shortly) and will post about it in the new year.

Boon