All the way back in 2005, all of the legal media we had in the world was typically based in the living room with the television, cable box, DVD player, and this thing called VHS. (its not important) In 2012, we have television shows and movies, YouTube and other online exclusive content, and any other podcasts and media at our finger tips on iPhones and iPads. At the same time, it seems that the media centers are not going any where, but they are not your traditional ones and we want to share what we have for you.
This device is a MUST HAVE for every person with an Apple product and for so much more than just its marquee AirPlay. AirPlay allows your latest generation iPhones, iPads, iPad Minis, and laptops to duplicate what is on your screen onto the television that the Apple TV is hooked up to. Whether you are sitting on your iPhone in the living room and want to share photos of your children while listening to iTunes or a church pastor and using it during a sermon to watch a YouTube video and control it from the pulpit. You can also play Hulu Plus, Netflix, MLB and NBA live sports, and movies, though you will have to pay for all of these services individually. But think about it, pay for Hulu Plus, the one-time cost of Apple TV, and Netflix and you have access to more television for less than a quarter of the cost of cable!
Xbox 360 with Kinect
Cost: $99 if you buy with a two year Xbox LIVE subscription ($125)
Until this latest generation of gaming systems, video game boxes were all about Mario, Halo, and other console games. Xbox was the first to move to an all-general media center box that could replace your cable box. You still have to pay for the individual services like Netflix, Netflix, and ESPN along with the added expense of Xbox LIVE to get Internet on the box making this a less viable option for people who will not use the video game portion, but with the Kinect most everyone should be able to find some games. This is perfect for a youth group to hook up to a projector and play Sports games or show Elf for Christmas. (This isn’t the forum for video games and parental responsibilities.)
Media Centers To Avoid
- Cable You will be paying $85 per month so that you can show videos live and it just is not worth it. Even American Idol and the Voice show up the next day.
- Laptops and iPads These are good for individuals who want to watch videos for a couple hours, but is not a living room option or something you could watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
- iPhones Are you going to really live life through a screen less than 5″ long? Sad.
That is our thoughts on media centers. We would love to hear your thoughts and reactions to our picks. Agree or disagree? Did we miss something?