We got an Apple TV last week. It’s an amazing little device that fits in the palm of your hand and sits next to the TV as classy looking as any AV component.
It has a variety of functions (and more when I can get the XBMC add-on running for it), but the core stuff is Apple-related — running media off your computer and running media from online. Works great with iPods/Pads as well, which is handy in our house now. Already we’re watching YouTube stuff on the big screen, streaming downloaded iTunes music and movies on TV, and now we’ve hired our first movie.
Ricky Gervais’ The Invention of Lying is a funny and clever comedy with a lot to say about society, some fun and odd surprises, and an extraordinary cast. The leads are fun, and Gervais is his smirky best — though with far more sweetness than I’d ever expect from him, but the cameos and small roles are just amazing! A not even complete list had us spotting Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Edward Norton, Tina Fey, Louis CK, John Hodgman, Christopher Guest and Jeffery Tambor popping up in various places. And some of them were laugh out loud funny in many ways.
Technically, the viewing experience was outstanding. I had to fix a few account things at first, but once done the movie was ready to start watching in moments, and completed without a hitch. I’ve never trusted online media streaming in the past, but whatever Apple are doing with this device they have perfected the process. I haven’t even plugged in the ethernet for the thing — wireless works perfectly already, which I really did not expect to be the case. Streaming just isn’t supposed to work this well over wireless, but Apple makes it so (of course!)
The movie does go to a few odd places (I didn’t expect it to be a treatise on the folly of religion, for instance), but that’s really only a side issue. They create a slyly absurdist world and then take it to the logical conclusion.
So, top marks to Apple TV and pretty good marks to The Invention of Lying. The first of many movies to catch up with now.