IF TONY Abbott needs convincing that Australia could do with faster broadband, he should spend a week or two with a media streaming device offering movies or TV shows on demand.
The theory is great. You plug in your Apple TV or Roku3 device to your big screen and you have a catalogue of movies, music concerts or TV series to choose from.
Just prepare to go out for a while when you download them. In my case, even downloading the trailers was painful.
We took the Apple TV for a spin for a couple of weeks and were more than impressed with what it had to offer.
For a tad over $100, it's an awesome accessory to your iPad or iPhone.
For example, you can easily stream family photos or video from computer, phone or tablet straight to the big screen.
You can share your iTunes collection, including movies you have already purchased.
There's also a neat array of apps for everything from YouTube to Vimeo videos to Japanese animations and major league baseball and basketball from the US.
Particularly impressive were the high quality Wall Street Journal videos.
And playing iPad or iPhone games on your big HD TV screen takes them to a whole new level.
What is obviously thin on the ground, at this stage, is Australian based content.
Friends who have tried both devices say the Roku3 offers far more variety, particularly if you want to move out of Apple's iTunes environment.
Roku 3 boasts Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon, Crackle, HBO Go, Rdio, Spotify, Weather, Pandora, Vimeo, Flixster, Vudu, and many more.
Realising it faces some pretty heavy competition, Apple is slowly adding to its line-up. In the US, it's reportedly in talks with Time Warner Cable while recently it has added HBO and ESPN to the line-up.
One of its latest offerings in Australia is Qello, which gives you access to music concerts and documentaries.
You can watch one song performed from every concert and over 30 channels of Qello TV for free.
With an All-Access subscription, you can experience as many music performances as you want, without the ads.
Also new on Apple TV is Crunchyroll which promises the best in Japanese anime and Asian drama.
You can also stream content like ABC's iView and SBS from your iPad or iPhone to your TV through the little black box.
The interface and remote control are very easy to use and setting up was simply a case of plugging in the Apple TV to power and connecting it to the TV using a HDMI cable.
Overall, the Apple TV is more than worth its price tag. We just can't wait for some Aussie content - and faster broadband, Tony.
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