While Apple customers were lining up Sept. 20 to get their new iPhones or downloading iOS 7, one of the companies less prominent products, the Apple TV set-top box, experienced a rocky start with the release of its new operating system.
Apple TV 6.0, which added the same iTunes Radio functionality as iOS 7, plus some unexpected new convenience tools, was released the same week as that mobile operating system. But the system update was completely withdrawn shortly afterward when some customers reported losing some of their digital library items, slow download speeds and, in a few instances, a horrible phenomenon in the personal computing realm known as “bricking.” This is when corrupted firmware basically renders a piece of technology totally dead, and some Apple TVs were reportedly no more functional than square, black hockey pucks after the upgrade.
For those who are relatively new to the concept. Apple TV, Roku and Google’s new Chromecast dongle are unassuming and relatively inexpensive components for streaming content to high-definition televisions. Google’s unit is by far the cheapest at $35, allowing users to stream YouTube, Netflix and Google Play purchases, and it’s barely bigger than the average USB flash drive. Roku recently released new versions of its small cubes, which offer a vast collection of channels in addition to the Netflix and HBO Go portals. Apple TV is the usual choice for people whose media resides in the iTunes universe, and it offers a user interface that makes navigation almost completely uniform on services such as Hulu Plus, Netflix, Vevo, YouTube, WATCH Disney Channel and HBO Go, plus it can play content from iPhones and iPads through the AirPlay function.