This is not about an Apple TV connecting to a Live HUB, just my recent experience using one so hopefully not inappropriate to post here.
I was visiting my folks last week and bought my mother the new Apple TV for her b-day as she has lots of apple stuff. I was excited to have the opportunity to play around with it and get a feel for how it stacks up to the WD boxes.
I know this is not the place to review apple products (I’ll save that for my blog) but just wanted to say that after setting it up and playing with it for a week; I have even more respect and love for my Live HUB. I don’t want to insult any of Apple fans out there, but to use a box that has almost no applications, and is completely tied into ITunes was incredibly disappointing. Set aside a few cool things (especially mirroring an IPhone / IPad to the TV) all I found was a device that basically requires you to use all Apple hardware for it to work at its best. As a standalone device, it is essentially an ITunes / Netflix streamer. All your local media has to be served by an Itunes server or by in the cloud on IMatch. No support for almost any of the video and audio formats that I use. I have never been a fan of Apple, although I do have an IPhone which I love so expected a lot more from this device. I found the Apple TV very disappointing in comparison to the Live Hub
My conclusion was that if you live in a 100% Apple world with a full time ITunes server on in your home, this might meet your needs. For all the rest of us that have tons of formats, lot of local media on external drives, PCs and NAS and want to use lots of apps (Like my favorite Spotify) the WD stuff is just miles ahead. And yes, I know that you can jailbreak the Apple TV, and I am sure that if I owned one and really delved into it, I would find more things to do with it, but the thought of loading everything I own into ITunes seemed ridiculous to me. I have external and network drives full of media. I just want the media read and played. To have to have another whole server to feed the Apple TV just blew me away. The Apple Box essentially does not allow anything that would compete with it’s own ITunes store. It really is a closed ecosystem. I guess I just had expected more. With an store for the IPhone that has over 500,000 apps, I can’t believe that the TV has no interface to add any of them. I’m sure that they will add more stuff, but at the moment, it’s just a stripped down Roku with almost no channels but a nice interface. It really felt like a device that’s sole purpose was to get you to spend more money at the ITunes store, and lock you into their proprietary hardware and formats for even longer.
Sorry if this is the wrong place to discuss the competition (if you could even call it that), and I am not posting to evoke any argument about Apple or insult anyone. I know some of you love their stuff, and I am sure that there are many reasons that you do. I just couldn’t help but express my feeling after a week of playing with it. When I got back home to my Live HUB / Live Plus setup, I just saw it as even more amazing than I had ever thought before. I have always loved the device (although pretty happy with my Roku as well), but today it seems even better than it did last week.
Love the HUB.