I love shooting with my Fuji X-100, checking my iPad over a brew in the morning, or writing in a coffeeshop using my MacBook Air. Not to mention the numerous cameras I picked up over the past year – a Contour +, GoPro HERO 2, a Brinno for time lapse, or that SAMSUNG that’s always in my pocket. All of those are great for doing what they were made to do but they didn’t change how I did anything.
So what did? What device changed something? Made it better? What device would I hate to loose in the coming year? Looking at it like this my choice was simple: Apple TV.
I received an Apple TV as a birthday gift from my wife Krista back in May. She was on a business trip to Toronto and stopped at the Apple Store (God bless her) in the Eaton Centre to pick me up something. Last year she picked me up a Trackpad that did away with me using a mouse. This year it was an Apple TV.
The first thing it changed was how we watch movies, in particular new release rentals. Gone are the days of worrying about a late fee or having to run out and pick something up at the last minute. Now we can rent a movie on a whim anytime and the cost is pretty much identical. Just turn it on, log in to iTunes, and rent whatever we want out of the thousands of movies in the library. Or, if it’s a TV show we can purchase a season pass and watch away. Mad Men and Breaking Bad are two recent series we’ve checked out.
The best part of the season pass is if we miss an episode we’re not stuck to a networks schedule hoping we can catch the rerun later in the week. We can hit “PLAY” anytime, even if we want to watch an older episode again. Apple TV has given us all the control and none of the headaches that go with renting movies and viewing programs, and it’s all commercial free.
We owned it for less than a month when we disconnected our cable and said good-bye to all that overly produced commercialized crap that passes as entertainment these days. And not once have I thought I wished I had cable. There’s nothing we miss. The Olympics we streamed with AirPlay from my iPad onto our 42″ LG via the Apple TV. Most of the news on television is produced to make money, not to inform you, so we get it all online from various sources. I miss nothing about cable. Especially those late night commercials that pound up the volume and scare you half to death or wake up the whole house. Why stations would do that to the very people who line their pockets is beyond me but hey, there are options.
Disconnect the cable. Try this instead. I know lots of people who are going this route and you won’t regret it.
Apple TV also gives you the ability to connect and watch Netflix, YouTube, Flickr, iCloud, MLB.tv, NBA League Pass, NHL GameCenter, Vimeo, as well as stream music via online radio stations. Check out the latest trailers for upcoming or in theatre movies. You can even connect to your home computer and play your own music and videos or watch slideshows from your photo galleries.
Setting it up was a breeze and it has been problem free since May. In Canada it sells for $109. You can pick one up from any Apple Store or order it online. Note that HDMI is the only video connection available, so if you have an older TV, you’re out of luck. 🙁
How about you? Any devices that made your life better in 2012?