It may be a “hobby,” but that hasn’t stopped the Apple TV from being a best seller among accessory TV set top boxes. Aside from the receiver you get from your cable or satellite TV service, you have a choice of loads of peripherals to add, such as a Blu-ray player and a gaming console. Roku has been pretty successful with their alternative to Apple TV, although Google TV has been a non-starter.
The advantage of the Apple TV is the seamless integration with the company’s ecosystem, including iTunes, Macs, iPhones, iPads, iCloud, and so on and so forth. While other tech companies struggle to integrate their TV accessories, Apple succeeds, which allows you to forgive some of the lapses in available content.
The third generation Apple TV, which came out on the same day as the new iPad, but was obviously upstaged, looks the same as the previous model. It’s a tiny black box that ships with a power cord and Apple’s minimalist remote. Yes, you don’t have to deal with a hefty power brick, because the power supply is internal; you just need the cord. But that’s understandable, since Apple TV uses low-power parts derived from their other mobile gadgets.