I wanted the Apple TV the day it was released in 2007. Back then I didn’t have one of those new-fangled HD-TVs with an HDMI thingamabob, so It would have to wait. A year or two later I made the switch to all things HD, but still couldn’t justify the near $300 purchase for an Apple TV.
Once Apple released the 2nd generation AppleTV for $99 with Netflix support, it was just a no-brainer. Alas, I missed the boat on the 1st generation Apple TV.
I’m amazed at how fast the price has come down on the 1st gen models. I found it strange that I scored this like-new 40GB Apple TV in the box for only $71. I thought the price for a 1st gen Apple TV would have been pretty high since people are usually reluctant to get rid of something they just spent $300 on a year or two before. Even if they just purchased the 2nd gen, they only have one TV in the house? You’d think that any 1st gen Apple TV would go through a series of hand-me-downs before ending up on eBay. Maybe I just got lucky.
Another reason for a gen 1 Apple TV retaining value is that it’s supposed to be pretty popular with the hacking community since it runs a stripped down version of OS 10.4 Tiger. Rumor has it, users have found ways for it to access content Apple did not initially intend. Know what I mean? Nudge, nudge. Say no more.
The packaging is cool. It’s like a giant 5th gen iPod Video!
This Apple TV is definitely “gently used”. The remote even has the plastic wrapper on it.
I remember seeing the Apple TV on display at the Apple Store. It’s not like you could have picked them up and played with them like an iPad. They were probably bolted to the table. So I don’t remember it being this big.
Underneath, I found the power cord and the manuals, as well as the Apple stickers.
Power, USB, Ethernet, HDMI, Component Video, and Optical Audio.
I liked the startup sequence. I don’t remember the 2nd gen doing that. Maybe it’s just a first-boot thing.
After the Apple logo appears, it breaks out into a pretty cool sequence similar to the original Apple TV commercials.
Once I reached the main menu, I accessed Settings > Network and connected to my Wi-Fi network easily.
Once I had network access, I could immediately watch content from Apple. Such as movie trailers.
Pretty cool, but since there’s no local content saved, this is as good as it’s going to get. It works just like the 2nd gen Apple TV, less the streaming. Content has to be synced over from your computer like an old iPod. You can, however, access content from shared iTunes libraries.
Since content is saved locally, it has a hard drive just like an old iPod. The 2nd generation does not save content locally. It has 8G of flash memory like an iPhone that it uses to stream content. No hard drive means smaller footprint.
The 2nd generation Apple TV is basically an iPod Touch without the display. Look at the difference a hard drive can make.
Overall, the first generation Apple TV is a very cool product. It feels almost like a slimmed down Mac Mini. It’s big and definitely feels like an appliance, as opposed to an accessory. Very cool indeed, and it looks even cooler up on the shelf with the iPods.