Alrighty now! Just got my Apple TV going. I replaced my old conventional 50" TV for a shiny new 40" Sony XBR HDTV because I wanted to run Apple TV. The economy tanked around the time I got my HDTV so I am just now getting my Apple TV. This first post is more about Apple TV than the Remote.
First thing to do when you get your Apple TV is to (1) plug a 3rd-party HDMI cable ($20 at the Apple store) plus (2) the included power cable into your HDTV. That was a snap. I placed the Apple TV on top of my DVD player which is a low-slung device with plenty of room above it. looking good. I doubt someone would even notice the Apple TV in my installation without me pointing it out.
You will want a 3rd HDMI port for this assuming you are already filling up 2 HDMI ports with Cable box and DVD player of some kind (hopefully a PSP3). You will sooner or later want an HDMI switcher. The XtremeMac HDMI switcher for $99.95 looks like a major winner. It converts a single HDMI port into 4. See below.
Couldn't get my iPhone working as a Remote at first because I needed to update my Apple TV to the latest software that supports the multiple remotes and the iPhone or iPod touch running the Remote app. It was about a 6 minute process to download the update over my DSL wi-fi.
Some gorgeous stock photos of flowers are going by on the screen. I'm getting why photos are nice to look at on an HDTV already.
Woohoo! My iPhone 3G just showed up under the new Remotes heading (Settings / General). I selected it and before me is a 14" x 14" giant icon for the iPhone Remote app.
Way cool, all I need to do is use my regular remote to enter the 4 digit number that is appearing on my iPhone Remote. Takes a while to enter on the dumb remote but I have to admit the menus in Apple TV are sexy. Almost fun to use.
Yay! It looks like I can pair my 2nd iPhone too while I'm at it. Let's see. Firing up iPhone 2G. Select Remote. OK. Good to go. Just in case my housemate wants to use a remote.
The Remote software takes me right into the iTunes part of the iPhone using the music that has already automatically migrated to the Apple TV. This is so cool that I'm already thinking I need to buy some speakers for my TV setup. I had some giant Infinity speakers from the old home stereo days. I gave them away to my sister when we moved last Fall. But now, I see the need for new speakers. Soon!
I picked my latest playlist. It shows the album art like it were an old time record album cover except even bigger. Finally. Now we need to see all the cover art, cover notes and the rest. We already needed this on the iPod but now it's worse. A must have. Apple? We need your help here.
Apple's default screen saver has taken over the screen. It is still beautiful but obviously it needs to be under my control. [Update: now my own iPhoto album is the source for my screensaver and music is from one of my chosen playlists playing randomly].
I am going to have to do better than listen to my TV's built-in speakers. They're pretty good but I bet a $100 pair would rock so much better. I want some that are about 2" high. Will need to do some online shopping real soon.
Back to iTunes on my MacBook Pro, though. There we have the Apple TV showing up as another device to sync to. It has 3 tabs: Summary, Movies and Photos. I just pick which of my photo albums I want to sync to my AppleTV and click Apply. Easy as can be. This use of iTunes totally works. How could you tolerate something 10x more difficult?
I can see one problem coming. I really don't want to add much to this MacBookPro like HD podcasts and TV shows. Wonder how good the streaming will be from my iMac that has a roomy 500 gig drive plus a couple terabytes of external hard drives hanging off it?
Whoa! I'm watching a slideshow on my TV of my most recent photos including a lot of downloaded photos I've collected. In the background is Eric Clapton doing a damn good job even on my TV speakers. Rock!!!
Gizmodo Video of How to pair iPhone "Remote" to the Apple TV.