So yes, we finally spent those 100 euros and got ourselves an Apple TV! We are so happy we did it. It had been the perfect investment we did during the year 2013. When you read this article, you will see why.
First of all, Apple TV is just a small black box (does not occupy any space at all!) which connects to your regular TV. This black box creates wonders only in the presence of Internet connection. So yes, in order to be able to benefit from an Apple TV and the many channels in offers, you definitely need to have a high speed Internet connection. The set-up process of Apple TV is very easy. I won't go over all these details here, just follow what's written inside the user manual and you will be fine. What I will tell you in this article is what you can do with your Apple TV.
First of all, the greatest advantage of having an Apple TV is the ability to be able to watch newly released films with high resolution. You do not need to go to the movie center, you do not need to rent or buy a dvd at a high price. These movies which come with Apple TV cost maximum 6 euros. All you need to do is to buy or rent the movie on Apple TV whenever you want and enjoy your movie night at the comfort of your house. Let me tell you about the differences between buying a film and renting a film on Apple TV. Once you rent a movie on Apple TV, you can start watching it anytime you want within a month. However, once you start watching it, you will only have 48 hours to finish the movie. If you prefer to buy a movie, you can watch and re-watch the movie at any time you want.
In addition to movie rentals and purchases, Apple TV also features a variety of channels. You can get connected to radio stations and start listening to music from the 60s or 70s. There are numerous podcasts which you can subscribe to and listen. There is also a Japanese anime channel (named Crunchyroll) which allows anime enthusiasts to watch their favorite cartoons in original Japanese language with English subtitles.
My husband and I are two adults but when it comes to iPad we are alike two kids who cannot share the one single precious toy. Well, this was the situation until a postman brought a brand new iPad mini into our lives!
Yes, it has been a little bit of an expensive online purchase on our side, but it’s definitely worth the price. First of all, it is much thinner and lighter (and of course smaller) compared to the regular iPad. Unlike the regular iPad, it fits perfectly into your palm and has the ideal screen size for reading. This mini iPad, which you can carry in your bag without feeling its weight, can easily become your favorite book, favorite magazine, favorite online game, favorite everything. Yes, it is a very light all-in-one technology!
Reading an e-book in any language is made a lot easier on an iPad mini since there is an embedded multi-language dictionary program, which is a perk of the new improved operation system. This definitely makes things more convenient for me especially when I go for a long flight or a bus ride. I just download the latest e-books in English, Italian or Japanese because I know that I won’t have to carry a dictionary with me in order to be able to read in all these different languages. This iPad mini instantly allows me to learn the definition of a word by just clicking on it.
I also prefer using iPad mini as an alternative to my smartphone when it comes to taking photos or videos. The relatively bigger screen, high resolution and the ability to upload the photos/video to iCloud with just one click make this mini device very handy.
Within my work as a writer and filmmaker, I listen to plethora of media: music, podcasts, audio books, and of course video and movies. Much of the time, I’m situated on trains, aircraft, beside noisy computers, or even on yachts with masts clanking or wind blowing to add to the noise pollution with which I have to contend. Indeed, it seems that silence is a rare commodity, and therefore it was a pleasant surprise to acquire a set of RHA MA450i noise isolating in-ear headphones, with remote and microphone. These are designed for use with the iPod, IPhone, and iPad range of products.
First impressions when perusing the classy packaging alone, is one of quality. Clearly, this is a product for discerning listeners and addresses the high end of the market. The components are beautifully designed and manufactured and, with the distinctive black and silver RHA branding, certainly look the part. The braided cable at 1.5m is a refreshing change from the plastically feel of the standard Apple cables that seem to become easily entangled. The RHA’s cables are also sturdier and have a pleasant solid feel despite their flexibility. The remote with microphone is also sturdy, easily accessible, and simple to use, though takes a few minutes of familiarisation to control the volume and zip through the tracks.
In line with the high-spec nature of this product, the headphones come with a comprehensive choice of ear tips that you can use to achieve the best fit and most efficient noise isolation. And that’s where we come to the key feature of the MA450i: these are not ‘standard’ earphones by any means and not comparable in usage or sound quality. To explain further, the earphones are designed to be ‘in-ear’ so that they snuggly fit into your ear comfortably, and thus deliver not only excellent sound quality, but also virtually complete isolation from exterior ambient noise. If there is a slight downside, it does mean that you need to persevere with a bit of trial and error to select the correct ear tips, and become familiar with this type of in-ear fit. Unlike standard iPhone earplugs, the feeling of isolation is quite remarkable, and to some, might take a little getting used to. If you want to know what the sensation is like, just press your fingers to your ears and lightly make a seal.
But that’s just the beginning of the experience; the sound quality is awesome. I found all ranges of the audio spectrum impressive, but the lower end is particularly well defined such that returning to ‘standard’ earphones disconcerting. In comparison, the bass end of lower quality earphones sounds like a mushy wall of sound! That epitomises the quality of this product - once you have experienced the best, going back is a disappointing experience. A few words of warning, though: in order to achieve the best from the MA450i, you do need to select the correct ear tips and ensure the seal is good, otherwise, they’ll sound tinny and lose definition; in addition, the noise isolation is so effective that you need to be careful about your surroundings, especially if you’re out and about in the street, so read the safety tips inside the box.
Overall, a new and very positive listening experience for me, and despite all manner of noise pollution occurring outside, I can now pretty much shut it out with the RHA’s.