When I first unboxed the new 1080p Apple TV and plugged it in, I wasn’t blown away. Having used a Boxee Box for the last 16 months, I’ve come to expect flexibility and a broad selection of content sources from my streaming set-top boxes. In fact, after several minutes of playing around with it, I was tempted to box it back up and send it back.
Then I tried AirPlay. Mirroring my iPad’s display on the TV screen, I was suddenly able to not only stream any video I could find, but look at photos, browse the Web and view other apps on the big screen. If the Apple TV has a killer feature, this is it. Some of the device’s biggest shortcomings – limited content, lack of a keyboard for text input, no Web browser – are instantly alleviated once you toggle that AirPlay switch.