Apple TV MD199LL / A Review

We can think of reverse scenarios where major entertainment system giants like Sony, Samsung and Panasonic have pulled themselves out of the entertainment track and put themselves squarely in the high-end computer track, but Apple is the first computer company we know of that has done it the other way around with its MD199LL / A.

When you think about it, the Apple device levels the playing field. Apple has done an end-run around the opposition with this sweet little device with the very large Apple logo and has made itself central to every new home entertainment center that is in the process of being installed by providing instant access to all Apple audio and video services.

All you need is the 3.3 by 3.3 by 0.9 inch 9.6-ounce Apple MD199LL / A and you have instant access, through Apple's AirPlay, to thousands or hours of content through NetFlix, other HD streaming content, iTunes, and any other major audio or video service – Pandora, for example. It's an amazing example of how a company which began as a very small garage operation back in the 70s and then provided the first visual desktops in the 80s, has now completed the sweep in 2012.

Actually, you could see it coming when Apple went non-computer with its first iPod over a decade ago. It took a page from Sony's own playbook and it did the entertainment giant one better by putting in a just about crash-proof hard drive that could be linked only to Apple's iTunes network (through an Apple PC at the time), adding a set of earbuds and giving people truly customizable individual entertainment systems.

As screen speeds got higher, they even were able to get tiny versions of videos they wanted to see, too. This was not something that Sony had not done already and which other manufacturer's probably wished they had done first. That Apple already controlled a substantial portion of the computer market gave it instant name recognition and the rest, as they say, is history.

Apple was first to market with the smartphone and special apps that you could only purchase through their stores or through their online services and thus it became a tale of the computer company pulling the entertainment world into the computer age as Sony and Samsung, though late to the party, brought out creditable competition and made apps available to the buyers, in general, for about the same money.

Now, it's Apple's turn to finish its march to the sea, as it were, as the MD199LL / A, a simple, device provides home entertainment systems with access through AirPlay to all of not only Apple's Web streaming content (video, audio) but all of the rest, as well, (high-definition TV, 3D) just by using a small, but necessary tuning device.

It's something like the hunted becoming the hunter, would not you think? All it took was what really boils down to a very simple networked-tuner concept, using pretty much off-the-shelf parts and Apple has become a leader in the entertainment world. It's some pretty sharp marketing as is the fact that it is also controllable through Apple's on iPhone with the right app and its iPod touch nano.

Who would have thought the prey could turn on the hunter and win? Well, with this device, Apple surely has and, while doing so, it has also gained lots of new customers for its various services. One last note, take a look at what Apple has been offering to the Windows world for the last half-year or more and you'll find Apple's fingerprints there as well. Bravo, Apple, well done.