If you haven’t heard the announcement, here’s all you need to know for right now: Apple TV doesn’t store any videos or pictures on a hard drive, it doesn’t even have one. Everything is streamed; not only this, but they enabled Wi-Fi streaming to iOS devices like the iPad, with most of this done over 802.11n.
Now, lets take a step back to the “dark ages” of 802.11g where wireless streaming simply didn’t cut it—the video stuttered, games lagged and forget about doing more than one thing at a time, so I resorted to stringing cables across the floor. My girlfriend wasn’t happy. Between the Xbox, media center, and her older Apple TV our house was a mess of Ethernet cords. I tried covering them up, but then we just had a mess of miss-matched carpets from Target all over (they were cheap and I was still in college, okay?).
Enter 802.11n. I finally had the bandwidth to cut the wires and clean up the house, and I think that’s the key to Apple’s strategy and the future of home entertainment. I would venture that most people don’t have their houses wired in convenient ways. It doesn’t matter anymore! Now devices can be in any room of the house, anywhere and still access all your media with ease. Right now I’m actually listening to music on my Android, streaming from my computer at home, all over Wi-Fi. It’s my media, and being tied to a specific location to use it seems antiquated. I personally choose my entertainment options based on their ability to perform as media platforms that are usable whether I’m at work, home or a coffee shop. Even ideas like the iPod, with your music library in the palm of your hand increasingly don’t make sense—ubiquitous access across many devices, delivered wirelessly is where I want to be.
So there you have it, Wi-Fi saved my relationship. Okay, maybe I wouldn’t go that far—but it certainly didn’t hurt.