Let's be honest. Some products just completely blow your mind.
That's what the Apple TV has done for me. To be totally honest, until I was contacted by Staples.com about hosting a review, I didn't even know what an Apple TV was. Then I did some research and tried it out for myself...and I am in LOVE!
Essentially, the Apple TV allows you to connect to your iTunes account or any other of your favorite apps (Netflix, Hulu, photos from your phone, podcasts, Vimeo, & the Wall Street Journal are just a few) and watch movies, videos, and stream music in high definition on your TV.
With the help of AirPlay, you can play any content on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch on your TV as well. You are able to use mirroring and dual screen with AirPlay as well, although I could not for the life of me figure out how to get AirPlay to work on my iPhone. I swear I did everything it told me to do...
I think one of my favorite features of the Apple TV is being able to watch podcasts on my TV. I'm currently leading a Bible study on Esther through Mark Driscoll's podcasts, and it's pretty awesome to be able to watch them on my TV instead of on my tiny iPhone screen.
I also love that you can get on pretty much any app - even random Japanese apps no one has heard of, and lesser known video sites like Vimeo - and watch it on your TV. I watched an episode of The Walking Dead on Netflix, and then an episode of New Girl on Hulu Plus. And I've streamed my music from iTunes (I'm listening to music on my Apple TV as I write this review, actually!).
You can also create a slideshow of pictures from your iPhone or Apple device or iTunes to use when the TV goes to sleep. Pretty cool to look up at my TV and see all my pictures from my recent trip to New Orleans showing up on my screen!
The TV itself is small and black, which makes it easy to hide and easily blends in with pretty much any decor.
It also comes with a cool little remote to control your TV from wherever you are. The remote also works with your MacBook, I discovered (accidentally). You can control your computer's volume and iTunes with the remote as well! You can also download the app "Remote" on your iPhone and use your phone as a remote for the TV as well!
Honestly, this is one of my new favorite gadgets that I own.
Staples.com was also really speedy with their shipping. The TV arrived within the same week I found out I would be reviewing the TV, and it arrived in good condition. Seems to me Staples.com is pretty reliable with fast and safe shipping of their products!
Overall, I'd highly recommend the Apple TV. It's a cool product to have around the house!