The Poor Man’s AppleTV
I’ve been excited about AppleTV ever since they announced it several months ago under the code name iTV. AppleTV let’s you stream content from other computers (Macs and PCs). You can listen to music, play TV shows and movies, and flip through photo albums. The only problem with AppleTV is the requirement for a modern television.
AppleTV requires a widescreen or HDTV that supports either HDMI or component video. This is a problem for many people — myself included. I’m perfectly happy with my Sony Trinitron TV that support s-video and RCA (composite video and stereo audio). Like most people, I find the picture quality to be more than adequate for my needs, and TV shows and movies look great on it. Bottomline, I don’t have a need for a new TV and I don’t want to spend the money for a new one.
Fortunately, there’s a solution for people like me. If you own a video iPod, then you can buy the $150 HomeDock Deluxe from DLO. It supports S-video and RCA inputs and let’s you browse and view content off of your iPod. It ships in March (2007) and they’re currently taking preorders.
Although I can’t stream content from any of my computers, it still seems to be the next best thing. iTunes makes syncing content effortless, and the most time I’ll lose is 5 minutes connecting it to my computer to get the latest music and videos. The HomeDock Deluxe will give me the functionality I want without having to spends hundreds of dollars on a new HDTV.
The other upside to waiting is that the first version of AppleTV will probably be somewhat buggy. It’s almost always best to wait and purchase the second or third version of a product, because they tend to be more stable and have added improvements.