Archive for March 22, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

AnandTech Review of the Apple TV 3

Brian Klug:

If you’re squarely entrenched in the Apple ecosystem, there’s really no reason to not have an Apple TV. AirPlay mirroring (essentially WiFi Display) and AirPlay for audio (which is ALAC at around 1 Mbps) continues to be a big selling point. In addition iCloud support for all your purchased iTunes store content is an additional plus. On the other hand, if you’ve been holding out for a 1080p Netflix streamer, AirPlay endpoint, and iCloud box, the Apple TV 3 isn’t bad.

I just set mine up and found that video does indeed look a lot better than before, though not like Blu-ray.

What’s disappointing is that Apple TV still doesn’t offer a great way to view my photos. I’m not sure whether the Flickr and iTunes Home Sharing support were redesigned for 1080p, but either way the images look very JPEG-compressed. I suppose it’s possible that the higher resolution makes this more evident. But then why not download larger source images? Also, the Flickr app is still limited to displaying photos marked as public.

Using FlickStackr over AirPlay offers better quality. However, it doesn’t use the full height of the screen, and it’s a bit dodgy getting into, and staying in, AirPlay mode.

AirPlay using the iPhone’s Photos app is much faster and more reliable than FlickStackr, but the image quality is not great. It seems better than the Apple TV’s native apps. However, the photos look a bit blocky and show some compression artifacts.

Plugging a USB card reader into my Blu-ray player offers the best image quality but the least convenience.

Update (2012-04-14): Even the movie posters within the interface look heavily JPEG-compressed. There are halos of artifacts around all the text.