A few weeks ago I made the plunge and purchased Cupertino’s hobby device, the Apple TV. The reason I bought one for our home is because I bought one for work (look for that post in coming days).

Buying an Apple TV wasn’t a hard decision after I had seen what it was capable of in testing for a novel deployment in our company offices.  Just in case you aren’t familiar with it, the Apple TV is not an actual television, but a small device used to connect your HDTV to various services, starting in your home (iTunes from a Mac or Windows PC), iTunes online, as well as other services.  It costs between $90 and $100.00.

And I couldn’t be happier with the purchase for the house.

Here’s why.

For a long time the family television has been at the middle of many American homes (other countries too for that matter).  Beginning in the 70s, people began to add devices to that ever present, usually on, box.  First it was a video tape player of some type.

I remember my parents having a BetaMax from Sony (I think one of my siblings gave it to them).  It went away when VHS won that tape war.

But for both of those devices, there was, even then, an amazing level of complexity, at least for the average user.  I have clear images of a flashing clock on the VHS player because my parents couldn’t figure out the remote control.  The interface was too confusing.

The same has held true in the decades since, though the devices have changed.  Now, we have to figure out the DVD player, or the Blue Ray player, or the DVR or TiVo (that company has a fairly simple interface, but even the TiVo remote can be confusing).

Add to that an XBox or a PS3 or a Wii, and you have lots of devices, many of which leave the home user confused:  I just want to watch something, is the lament.

Enter the ease of use of Apple’s hobby project…the Apple TV.

The user interface is very easy and very intuitive.  You use the included 3 button remote to easily navigate through a host of media options.  You can chose between media hosted on a local computer on your network, media you have purchased from iTunes (you’ll need to input your Apple ID), as well as major streaming services like YouTube, Netflix, Vimeo, Hulu Plus, NBA League Pass, NHL and MLB.com.  The video streams at 720p, which is still regarded as HDTV.

I have been pleased with the ease of setup, the ease of use, and the quality of the picture.

What about you?  Do you have an Apple TV?  What are your thoughts?