It's New Apple TV Day!

It's also Halloween Friday, and my costume isn't done yet.

But that just means I'm making TWO stops on the way home tonight - it's Apple TV Day!

Finally, Apple is giving us what we wanted - essentially, a more-powerful set-top box with the capacity to run games and apps.

Now, don't get me wrong - I absolutely hate that Apple is requiring all games to be playable with the Siri remote.

That's going to have a chilling effect on the type and complexity of games that can be offered on the ATV.

I fully expect Apple to ditch that requirement sooner or later.

This AppleTV is capable of being a fantastic game console - which could have a MASSIVE impact at the AAAD house.

It could, potentially, displace the XBOX and WiiU from our living room, banishing them both to the basement... and bringing their associated controllers, game discs, and thousands of Skylanders with them.

We could re-take the living room from the children!

BUT... let's talk about the new AppleTV! It's about time!

Don't You Already Have An AppleTV?

Yes. And we're keeping it.

Our existing Apple TV will be sent to the master bedroom.

And yet, it's a 3rd generation. I know that many gadget enthusiasts prefer the 2nd gen, because it can be jailbroken to play video from ANY source.

I still prefer the 3rd generation. Put simply, I'm willing to live in Apple's walled garden in order to have 1080P video.

While I recently performed a jailbreak on a 2nd Gen in order to install Kodi and Nito, that was for eBay - jailbroken devices mean more $$.

Let's Talk About the 4th Generation AppleTV

Put simply, I expect that this AppleTV will do everything that the 2nd Generation AppleTV could do when jailbroken.

For years, I've been wishing for an Apple device to allow us to create a movie library, and bring it to the living room.... so we can finally send our DVDs and Blu-Rays to the same closet shelf where we sent our CDs 5 years ago.

We're expecting the 4th Gen AppleTV, and third-party apps, to finally make that dream a reality.

Plex is coming to the AppleTV, and once Apple allows the AppleTV to play non-iTunes content, that battle is over.

We'll buy brand-new content from iTunes, watch somewhat older streaming content on Netflix and Hulu, and access the content we've purchased over the years on Plex.

All of which will be IMMEDIATELY accessible through Siri Universal Search on the AppleTV!

(Eventually, of course. Universal search doesn't even see Apple Music yet, so I can't confirm Siri will be able to see our Plex movie libraries, at launch or ever.)

This also means that we're going to need a media server - I don't want the iMac to serve that function.

I'm leaning toward a Mac Mini running OSX Server + a substantial off-the-shelf multi-drive NAS, in the basement storage area, connected to the home network via Ethernet.

I do understand that Synology makes a one-box solution for this need - I'm still leaning toward a Mac Mini

I'll have a full review up over the weekend - it's not like the world is hurting for new AppleTV reviews, though... so I'll have to find some unique angle.

What About the Rest of the Living Room?

We're also eager to update the living room home theater in general. From furniture, to electronics. We've got this spectacular built-in cabinet wall - which was a huge project on its own. It's time to finish the room off.

The 55" Sony Bravia has served us well - and it's still the most beautiful TV I've ever seen, when it's turned off.

That said, it's 4 years old. That isn't old for a TV, but it is a lifetime in electronics. The new 4K 65" Bravias now cost about the same as what we paid for our 55" TV in 2011.

Speaking of 4K - the AppleTV can't do it. That's classic Apple. Always holding something in reserve for next year's model.

  • The first iPhone had no 3G. 
  • The first iPad mini had no retina screen. 
  • The iPad mini 2 had no TouchID. 

I'm sure there are more examples.

Basically, now that Apple is committed to annual updates for its products, it has to ensure that each successive generation has at least one differentiator.

Unfortunately for us, that sometimes means that Apple holds something back in the current gen.

No matter - we'll get the next AppleTV, too.

And, while our Bose Acoustimass system has served us well, we're leaning toward replacing it with a Sonos Soundbar.

The Sonos Soundbar would serve 2 functions - it would act as the primary speaker for our TV, and it would pair with our PLAY:1 in order to create a stereo-surround feel when we're playing music.

It's a really exciting time to be a gadget enthusiast.

It doesn't always seem that way. From 2001-2010, it seemed that every year brought us another galactic advance, mostly from Apple.

Suddenly, around 2000, we all had cell phones.

Then we had MP3s, and were burning CDs to create custom playlists. No one had to play DJ at the party, swapping discs around.
Then the iPod freed us from carrying CDs around at all.
Then, the iPhone brought us the entire internet, in our pocket. AND replaced our iPod.  
Then, the iPhone replaced our cameras. And our video cameras. And our GPS devices.
Then came the iPad. And watches. And connected homes. And connected cars.

Even though the rate of revolutionary, "mind blowing" new gadgets seems to be slowing, it really isn't. It's converging.

Every gadget is expected to work with every other gadget. And that's an expectation that arose, in large part, due to the hegemony of Apple (and later Google).

Today, we're finally moving toward that perfect singularity - having all of the media content ever created, and all of the knowledge in human history, accessible immediately, at any time, wherever we are.

We can see that information on our iPhone screens, or on our iPad screen - and now, if we choose, we can default to our beautiful LED televisions.

The Apple TV 4 is the next step on this journey. It's the device I've been waiting for since I started writing this blog.

It will be nothing less than the front-end device for our entire home entertainment universe. And it's here today. I can't wait.


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