The Picture Quality on Apple’s new Apple TV is Not Good Enough for Me

The Outdoor Type

Yesterday I wrote a blog post entitled “10 Reasons Why the iDongle is Not for Me.” In the article I gave 10 reasons why I’m not crazy about Apple’s new Apple TV initiative.

The biggest thing for me is the picture quality of the TV that I want to watch.

The TV on my HDTV TiVo is just breathtaking so I’m kind of spoiled.

This morning I headed up to the Apple store to check out the picture quality for myself and was very disappointed. On the demo model that they had there (and I’m assuming as a demo at their store they are using the best possible TV and video content they can get) the TV picture quality was just not good enough for me. It’s not HDTV quality.

They were playing this “terra” channel thing as part of the demo and although it was “DiscoveryHD like” the picture quality is much worse. Maybe this picture quality is “good enough” for most people, but it’s not “good enough” for me when compared to the picture quality I get on my HDTV TiVo.

TV picture quality is a subjective thing of course, but I’d encourage anyone who is considering buying an Apple TV to first head down to an Apple store and see the picture quality in a best case scenario yourself and see if you think it’s good enough for you before plunking down $300 on this thing.

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  1. Evorgleb says:

    Over at Highbrid Nation we have been talking the Apple TV and how unimpressed we are with it. I just don’t believe that most people will be able to get much out of it. Too many issues to deal with.

  2. Ben says:

    If you are thinking about buying an Apple TV for HD content; DON’T.

    The Apple TV is awesome, but it is not made for HD Video.

    The reason is is great is because of the music, photos and Video Podcasts.
    Yes it is worth 300 and the perfect addition to my HD, right next to my Series3 and my Blu-ray player.

    The 720p limit is not the problem, it is the 5mbps limit that kills HD. 480p on the other hand looks fine.

  3. Greg Furry says:

    Thomas, The quality does look terrible. Unfortunately most of the world puts up with that quality when they view non-hd content on their HD TV sets. I remember getting my TV about 3 years ago. The HD stuff looked great but it was hard to come by. 3 years later it isn’t that much better.

    Remember it is about the quality of the content not the quality of the picture that keeps you tuned in. I look at the Apple TV as a device to get my music and podcasts to my bigscreen. It might also be a nice portable device for a mini van or suburban with a DVD system. It could sync when it is in the garage and you would always have your latest music and videos for the kids when you hit the road. The quality would be great on a 9″ screen. That said I think I will wait for Rev 2.

  4. William says:

    That was my plan, also. I’ll head to one of the local Apple stores this weekend to see how it looks. My guess is that I’ll still prefer using my HDTV DVR for shows, and NetFlix for movies.

    However, that doesn’t totally mean I’m dismissing the idea of getting Apple TV; I just may not get it for TV use.

    I have a nice music collection and a very nice home theatre, but the twain do not meet. The old Airport Express may get my music in there, but then I still have to run back to my office to control it. Is it worth $300 to have control of my music and deliver it through a great sound system in the rest of my house? I haven’t decided yet. I’m just checking out the options.

  5. Jon says:

    I am getting it for the photos, podcasts and music, just like Ben.
    I agree that it is not looking good for an HD like viewing experience, but I am sure Apple will have thought of that and it will be coming!

  6. Len says:

    I saw Apple TV last week, could not believe that the demo video looked so awful, looks the same as when I dl video from itunes and play it off my video ipod. Not really interested in it at this point. I do think Apple has some plans for this thing.

    I am going to wait and see, if you’re interested make sure you look at it first.