By Malory Green
Last year, Savannah Landerholm began writing a paper, she had no idea it would expose her to a completely new technology, one that would affect her everyday life.
Savannah’s paper was on Apple TV. Now, for anyone who has no idea what Apple TV is, (I didn’t before Savannah’s presentation) I’ll break it down a little bit. Apple TV connects all the user’s devices in one wireless box that will come together to show up on the user’s television. There are no wires or USB cords involved, and people who do not have other apple products can still sync their phones and computers with a simple app download.
Now, if you’re like me, you’re probably thinking, “that sounds cool but not worth $100.” Well, if that was all Apple TV did, you’d be right. It also allows you the opportunity to access Netflix and other apps to download virtually any show you want to watch. If you allow two weeks, you can watch these shows for free or you can pay a small fee to see them the night they air.
If you’re a news junkie, you might be wondering how the news would be relevant two weeks after it aired. Apple TV has thought of this as well and provides apps that the user can download to see that day’s reports. Many people use this type of feature for sports as well.
Savannah used a focus group as part of her content analysis and the consensus was that Apple TV was worth it. All of them said they would use it again and many of them use it as a substitute for cable. People are constantly looking to Apple to come out with the newest products and they are not alone in the alternative TV market at this point but they are certainly ahead of their competition. Apple believers are among those who flock to use Apple TV as a viable alternative for cable but they are not alone.
Students tend to use it as a substitute for cable, so that they don’t have to pay the monthly fee and the cost is much cheaper in the long run. People with more stable income generally supplement their existing cable with it in the same manner one might use a DVR except it also syncs to their devices.
One of Savannah’s focus group participants said that she lives alone and doesn’t like quiet so she uses it to constantly have a background of noise at her apartment and to play music for dinner parties. Others also noted that it made sharing videos easier than crowding around a computer as the devices are synced.
The only downsides seem to be if one regularly has shows that they would not want to hear the outcome of before they watched. If someone doesn’t have two weeks to wait for the show to post, they might fear spoilers. Another downside is that Netflix doesn’t have every show, however it seemed that the user could find whatever they wanted through the TV.
How can this be legal? Well, I had the same question. It seems too good to be true but it is 100% legal. The only legality issues are with ones that are “jail-broken” meaning they have access to shows immediately and virtually everything available, unhindered by traditional restrictions. Those will be made illegal beginning in 2015, though so it remains to be seen how that will affect those who already have them.
Overall, Apple TV sounds like a wonderful idea for the person who has cable but really can’t afford it, or the person who routinely watches multiple episodes of a show and prefers the bigger screen of the television. The upfront cost hardly seems daunting in the face of a year-long cable contract.
Savannah now utilizes Apple TV as a replacement for cable and had nothing but glowing reviews.
- Research: A Graduate Student’s Perspective (butheory.wordpress.com)
- Apple TV vs. Roku: Which streaming box should you buy? (reviews.cnet.com)
- Apple TV: A Study by Savannah Landerholm (bmurr92.wordpress.com)