Whenever I visit The Mall Camberley one of my favourite things to do is pop into Currys.Digital and chat to my friend Geoff (the Manager) about all the latest tech of which he and I share a mutual love for. It’s almost like a tech bromance.
On a recent visit to Curry’s Geoff was excited because he had just taken delivery of some shiny new Apple TV’s and true to form we got talking about all the latest cool features.
He said “Want to take one home to play with?” “I thought you would never ask” I said. He gave me a Google Chromecast II to take home to play with too.
I have had chance to play with the Apple TV and the Google Chromecast and I love them both.
I’ll start with the Google Chromecast II. No point in going over old ground explaining what this device does as I wrote a blog about the first generation Chromecast here and to be honest the second generation device does not offer anything new in terms of features. The second generation Chromecast simply offers a more powerful device with an upgrade in the processor and antennas which are optimised for streaming. This is really noticeable as there is no longer connection issues found with the first generation device.
The price is the same at £30 and included are Sky NOW or Google Play Store Credits to choose from. A little advice, last year on Boxing day only Curries.Digital in Camberley were selling the Chromecast for £18 so its worth waiting to see if they will be doing the same offer this year.
So now to the 4th Generation Apple TV. This small bit of kit really is the Ferrari of streaming media devices.
As someone who uses such devices daily and has owned a 3rd Generation Apple TV for a few years I am really excited about the latest iteration.
Apart from the on board hardware upgrades which make the device much more capable to handle the new OS and feature sets, the biggest improvement is the addition of an App Store. When the device was first available, there were not that many apps available but more and more apps are being added by developers. Some of the games are superb making the device a great family entertainment system. My daughter and I have had hours of fun with some of the games.
The other noticeable difference is the remote control which has a motion engine integrated and allows it to be used as a game controller much like a Wii controller.
If you are a Netflix fan then the Apple TV is the best device to experience Netflix movies and TV shows. This is because Apple caches Netflix shows on Apple servers which means they load faster and far less likely to buffer.
I love the way SIRI search brings all services together so that when I search for a movie it returns results across all services rather than just iTunes.
Finally, Apple TV has two memory capacities to choose from. 32gb or 64gb. I think the 32gb will serve most people’s needs adequately but if you are an App monster then go for the 64gb.