I’ve been using my Apple TV for close to two weeks now and I am really enjoying it. After some initial setup issues (with my old receiver, not the Apple TV) I have had nothing but good things to say about it. It has worked perfectly with my iMac in the other room — wirelessly grabbing content any time something new flows in. All I have to say is that it just works. Not a surprise, but for a new space for Apple, this thing works like a second or third generation product.
Seeing that I am not into the hacks that so many people seem to be psyched about, I would like to share a thought about the Apple TV … I think it could be a killer school-based content platform. What strikes me is how easily it all works — plug it in and let it grab content wirelessly from anywhere. Imagine a school with one in every classroom all connected to not only a central iTunes library, but to any other iTunes enabled machine in the vicinity. Schools could subscribe to any of the thousands of available audio or video podcasts and be constantly playing fantastic educational content in their classrooms.
If you used it in combination with a school-based iTunes U implementation, individual teachers could easily subscribe and share their own content as well as student work. What an affordable way to create a high end “streaming” solution. I don’t know yet if there is a limit to the number of Apple TV systems you can setup and connect to one machine (I know there are limitations in the other direction), but it all seems like an outstanding option for moving audio and video around in an educational context.
Here at PSU, our public broadcasting network is establishing a nice presence in the Penn State on iTunes U space we’ve been creating. Imagine schools simply connecting to that and the other Universities’ spaces to grab resources that are now easily and affordably moved around a building. I think it makes the case for Apple to include an educational discount for this device. Talk about a new age wireless cart for content distribution! Am I missing something or is this a great way to leverage the emerging public iTunes U spaces as well as the podcast directory and the Apple TV?
With the Apple TV it seems like you could (un)wire access really well.