Entertainment

Apple TV makes finding good shows a breeze

Apple TV brings a lot of smarts to your television viewing.
Apple TV brings a lot of smarts to your television viewing.

WATCHING television used to be pretty simple. One screen, one remote and a handful of free-to-air stations to choose from.

Sure you might have had a video player and perhaps some external speakers hooked up.

But that was about it.

Nowadays, I can have six remote controls sitting on my lounge room table and cables everywhere.

One for the TV, one for Telstra TV, one for Apple TV, another for the sound bar, another for the Xbox One, another for the Blu-ray player.

In recent months, I've given Telstra TV a good whirl, but more recently I've been using Apple TV.

As someone who predominantly uses an iPhone, the interface is a breeze.

And the controller, which features Siri voice commands, is so much easier to use than having to type in searches.

The remote's controls feature a menu button, home button, microphone button, up and down for the volume, and a play/pause button. It's pretty simple.

The beauty of Apple TV is that the interface is standardised whether you are watching Netflix programs or searching for a movie to watch with the kids on the weekend.

Apple TV features a Siri voice controlled remote.
Apple TV features a Siri voice controlled remote.

Throw into the mix games which have been designed for use with the controller, as well as fitness, lifestyle and education apps, and it's a pretty decent package.

In recent months, there's also been a stack of classic kids' book released with read-aloud narration and beautiful illustrations.

The pages flip automatically as you go, or if you want to read them to your child, you can go at your own pace.

The Siri Remote swipe controls are a natural way to flip through the pages.

Titles include Dora's Big Buddy Race (free) and the classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar (which is under $5).

One of the my favourite features of Apple TV is the incredible screen saver. Amazing pictures from the world are featured as your 'art' in the lounge room.

Better still, you can bring in some of your favourite family pictures to show off on the big screen.

The Touch surface on the new remote responds well most of the time, though scrolling fast up and down through multiple items on Netflix, for example, can be a little hit and miss.

Playing games proved something of a mixed bag with the controller.

Some like Alto's Adventure, one of my favourites, works beautifully on Apple TV. It is probably one of the most relaxing games you can play on the big screen.

Others didn't fare so well with the controller not quick enough to keep up with the action. It might be put down to controller settings or the game itself.

As well as the swipe controls, you have a menu button which takes you back one step while the home button takes you back to the main screen.

The Siri Remote operates by Bluetooth so you don't have to point it at the screen while it needs charging only a few times a year, via a Lightning connector.

Setting up the Apple TV is very simple. All you need is power, a HDMI connection and a Wi-Fi connection.

You can even use your phone, if it is running i0S9.1, to set it up. You just bring it close to Apple TV when prompted and it will inherit your Wi-Fi settings and password, along with the Apple ID.

WATCHING A MOVIE OR TELEVISON

When you're watching a movie or TV show, it's really easy to move around its timeline.

You can press the Touch surface or the Play/Pause button. Then use the Touch surface to
slide forward or back in time.

You can swipe quickly to fast-forward and rewind across large amounts of time. Or swipe with smaller, more precise movements to go almost frame by frame.

There are also other controls.

Pressing on the left side skips back 10 seconds. You can also press and hold on the left or right side to rewind or fast-forward through time.

You can also skip chapters in a movie. Turn on or change subtitles and switch the language
of a movie (if available).

You can also redirect the sound to compatible speakers or Bluetooth headphones.

USING THE SIRI REMOTE TO FIND STUFF

The Siri remote has two microphones, one to listen to your voice and one to cancel out background noises.

You don't have to search for a specific movie or TV title.

You can ask to see best comedies of the 1980s, or James Bond movies with Sean Connery and it will populate the screen with options.

You could ask to see action movies from the 2016 and then ask to see 'only the good ones' and Siri will narrow the choice based on those critically acclaimed.

Searching for movies in iTunes is particularly good. You get a description, cast, rating, and reviews.

When you order the movie, if you're internet is not speedy, you could see a message which says: 'Movie ready in two hours'.

But most of the time, it was actually only a few minutes, depending on how many kids in the house were streaming YouTube or Netflix at the same time.

One of the coolest features in Siri is you can ask to skip ahead 10 minutes, play from the beginning or if you didn't hear what was just said, ask "What did she say?' and Siri will skip back.

It's pretty clever TV.

Apple TV prices range from $239 for the 32GB version to $299 for the 64GB version.

For the money, it's a good way to upgrade your TV to a 'smart' TV.

Topics:  apple tv editors picks entertainment


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Thanks for 'The Big Help' says Pete

CUT ABOVE: Sophie Moeller, editor of Lismore Echo, having her hair done by Peter Crowley from Pomstar Hairdressers in The Star Court Arcade, Lismore.

Pomstar is on the pulse and the feeling for Lismore is good

WATCH: See inside Flock's new home

SURVIVORS: Partners Sarah Jones and Kymberlee Strow have reopened Flock on Woodlark Street.

First look inside the new Flock premises

Answer The Salvos knock for help

Major Lindsay Reeves  from The Salvation Army based in Goonellabah.

It is Red Shield Appeal time again in Lismore

Local Partners

Our Kids Ball gives boost to retail in CBD

Post flood grant money a "blessing” for dress designer and Our Kids sponsor Julia Taranto

First female superhero film in 12 years

AMAZON: Actress Gal Gadot in a scene from the film Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman opens next Thursday

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

Pauly puts stereo back into stereotypes

PAULY: Paul Fenech is a comedian of Maltese and Aboriginal descent.

'A bourbon-fuelled bogan subwoofer bonanza of comedy.'

Rebel Wilson says she didn’t have to lie to make it

I’M not glamorous, but that doesn’t make me a liar: that’s the message from Rebel Wilson on her second day in the witness box.

Kim Kardashian slammed over Manchester tribute

Kim Kardashian's tribute to Manchester didn't go down well

Top Gun 2 movie is happening, Tom Cruise confirms

Tom Cruise in a scene from the movie Top Gun.

TOM Cruise delights fans with announcement on Sunrise.

The first Baywatch movie reviews are in

From left, Jon Bass, Alex Daddario, Zac Efron, Dwayne Johnson, Kelly Rohrbach, and Ilfenesh Hadera in a scene from the movie Baywatch.

Critics were less than impressed.

Boyfriend loses it over sex lie

Stacey Louise’s sex lie destroys her relationship.

SEVEN Year Switch’s Stacey told a fib about her sex life.

Why Crowe’s thankful for those ‘bulls**t’ rumours

Russell Crowe and Terri Irwin in 2007.

Crowe and Terri Irwin have been dodging dating rumours for years now

MOVIE REVIEW: King Arthur - Legend of the Sword

Charlie Hunnam in a scene from the movie King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

Why the critics have got Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur all wrong.

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!