Whats noteworthy is the truly outstanding content interface, using the remote that comes with it or any of your Apple devices that can be configured to work with Apple TV. You can even stream music, photos and more from your Mac or iOS device with AirPlay, thanks to the tie-up Apple has with Hulu Plus and Netflix. Since everything streams wirelessly to Apple TV using your Wi-Fi network, you can play your purchased movies or iTunes music directly from iCloud. If youre an iTunes Match subscriber, you can even access songs youve imported from CDs. And any music you buy from the iTunes Store via Apple TV is accessible across all your Apple devices. Apple claims to have the worlds largest library of concert films and music documentaries on demand and in HD. You can watch one song performed from every concert and over 30 channels of Qello TV for free. And a Qello All-Access subscription gives you as much music as you want. From YouTube, watch the latest viral videos everyones talking about and view your favourite TV shows. For instance, if you missed the first two seasons of Homeland or Mad Men, or even an episode of Koffee with Karan, its there for instant viewing. There are movie trailers, previews of new music releases, podcasts, as well as streaming radio from all over the world. Apple launched its iTunes store in India also this year, so HD movies, Hindi or English, can be viewed for less than R500 or cheaper if its not a recent release. One of the best features, if you have widescreen HDTV, is to see your latest pictures and videos from your Photo Stream album or those shared by family and friends.
There are a couple of other offerings in the market, like the Micromax Smart Stick, which converts a TV into a smart TV and allows you to surf the Net, stream videos on YouTube and connect with your friends on social networks. It costs R6,490. Theres also the Woxi Smartpod, which has a multi-user interface, so up to eight members of a household can get a personalised Internet experience. It also allows access to social media and acts as a Wi-Fi router for the home to connect to other devices. It retails for R9,499. Then theres Amkettes Evo TV, which allows you to access videos, games and websites. The remote works as a mouse and you can video-chat using VoIP services like Skype. Finally, theres the Akai Smartbox, which also allows you to browse the Web, or use any Android application, as it includes support for Google Play. Its priced at R6,990. For sheer range of content and user interface, however, Apple TV is miles ahead of the rest.