Friday, 23 March 2012

experimental replacement of the mac mini with a mac tv

For several years I've had a Mac mini connected to the big television to provide a range of services like music and iPlayer as well as big screen internet browsing.

I recently decided to swap it out for an Apple TV to compare the capabilities. Actually, I've been pleasantly surprised. The Apple TV is a very small black box and only needs power and an HDMI connection to the television. It then provides menus for music, videos, access to the iTunes library, Netflix video on demand, iCloud, flickr browsing, Youtube, and a few more.

I'd separately discovered that the ethernet connection on the back of the Sky+ HD box can provide Sky+ Anytime without needing Sky broadband, so that has given an ITV catchup player service as well as various Sky catchup services direct from Sky.

The combination of the two means that there's an insane amount of extra films and television series to watch, alongside the normal channels and music.

The gap in all of this is that iPlayer, ITV Player and 4OD are missing, presumably for commercial reasons. This is easily fixed by beaming them to the Apple TV via AirPlay. My iPad is one of the early ones and the Apple small print implied that this wouldn't work.

In practice all three of the iPad player Apps support AirPlay. Simply double click the iPad Home button to set up the routing and beam their television stream direct to the Apple TV.

Now it's all set up I suppose I should watch some television.


OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

This is ALL so fantastic...! It's truly the 21st Century and amazing stuff! I guess you have to have an HD TV to be able to access all this though, right?
Ahhhh well.....eventually, I guess.

rashbre said...

Naomi I guess so because all the little sockets on the various boxes are for HD nowadays.

Imaginography said...

Interesting. We use a PS3 and we get iPlayer, 4OD and all the others too. And it's a great bluray player. Works for us :)

rashbre said...

Imaginography Yes, our games console was 'borrowed' and is serving up iPlayer elsewhere.