I spent a bit of time this evening trying out more of the different functions of my Apple TV. I have been using it more recently for streaming video from my iMac to my TV. Tonight though I wanted to see what else it was capable of. One thing the Apple TV will do is allow you to play video (and audio) podcasts to your TV. I tried a couple of the (high quality) MacBreak Weekly podcasts and was quite impressed by how they looked on my TV. Not sure though if I would ever actually watch a whole episode of MacBreak Weekly on the TV, at this time I prefer to listen to it in my car. Though I am sure there are people out there who would watch it.
Like a lot of these devices, the Apple TV, allows you to watch YouTube on your TV, and though quite an easy interface, entering text on the Apple TV is nigh on impossible to do easily. The Apple Remote has very few buttons and makes the PlayStation text entry simple and effective! However all is not lost, Apple’s free Remote App for the iPad (and iPhone) allows you to use that to control the Apple TV. On the iPad this makes it much easier to enter text, such as names and search terms for YouTube.
I used this way to enter text to add my Flickr account to the Apple TV. Interestingly I had to my Flickr name, not my account name. I quite liked how I could show my Flickr images on the TV. This is how I show photographs quite a bit now, since I went digital, I certainly don’t print out as many prints as I should and like.
Overall there are many features of the Apple TV I like, the interface is quite usable and certainly much better than some other similar devices I have used. It is though not perfect, I would like to be able to use it to access BBC iPlayer, 4OD and other video on demand services and not just film rentals from iTunes.