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iPad 2 Change the Way We Watch TV and Movies at Home?

We do think the iPad 2 is part of a revolution, just a more modest one. Together with its diminutive cousins, the iPhone and iPod Touch, it’s giving us new ways to put TV and movies in front of our eyes. It’s perfect to watch or play movies on iPad 2. But does that mean it’s time to chuck out your DVD player, cable box and PVR and join the streaming revolution? Will the iPad 2 change the way we watch TV and Movies at home?

Some people now watch shows on an iPad from home, let’s hear what they say…

  • “I am watching netflix on my ipad all the time. I watch it propped up in bed to wind down at night. Sometime at my desk even though the main tv is free… why ….well because it is easy to do something else at the same time with the ipad as the screen isn’t as distracting. Plus it is more private …. my wife doesn’t want to see Jack Bauer shooting some bad guys right in her face….plus I can easily plug in the headphones. There is something about watching the big screen tv that makes me feel lazy and stuck on the sofa.”
  • “I go to bed watching Netflix on my iPad every single night. I’m not a good sleeper so I wake up several times a night. I start the office, 30 rock or Columbo and drift off. When I wake up again my iPad is off because after whatever your watching ends if you don’t start another it shuts off. Every single night. I have a 50 inch plasma in my family room and the is nothing worse than falling asleep on the couch and having to hikeup to your bedroom. I have a very large house but even when I was in a smaller one it was a pain in the ass. I also have a tv in my bedroom and have not watch it in many many months. I love doing every thing on my iPad.”
  • “I love watching videos on my iPad especially when I am a passenger on long car rides. As for home I enjoy streaming netflix on it as much as I do on my 360. The only difference is that it is way easier on the iPad.”

Some people still perfer TV…

  • “The iPad to me is a fine device that can be used for entertainment away from the home. But when I have the opportunity to watch a movie or TV show, I’ll choose my television every time. The experience is more comfortable, it’s easier on the eyes, and perhaps most importantly, it allows me to be more immersed in the content I’m consuming.”
  • “The only time I watch TV on my iPad 2 is when I’m not at home, I’ll put it on my treadmill at the gym or while I’m on lunch at work at DISH Network. I have a very nice, and very expensive, HDTV and I want to take full advantage of it. Has anybody else checked out the DISH Remote Access app yet? I mean of course nothing comes close to angry birds but this app is the best for watching TV.”

And some people hook an iPad up to the TV with an HDMI adaptor to watch video

  • “I would hook an iPad up to the TV with an HDMI adaptor and watch videos. You know one of the features of the iPad 2 that Apple has been keen to publicize is mirroring, the ability—via Apple’s Digital AV Adapter (DVA) or VGA Adapter (‘sold separately’)—to display ‘every app, web page, presentation, video, movie, or photo you want to show’ on an HDTV. Combine this with the iPad 2′s ability to output 1080p resolution video and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound using the DVA and there is the potential for the iPad to be a highly effective device for delivering visual entertainment.”
  • “I like to sit in the tub and watch iPad movies and TV via Air Video… way easier than mounting a TV in there. (Just don’t drop the soap!!!) I find airplay just beginning to get interesting as well – using Air Video to project onto my TV via Apple TV means that the Apple TV is now just as powerful yet half as expensive (and way less buggy) as Boxee box. Now I’m selling my Boxee and just using Air Video and Airplay… way way better.”

Our opinions

I wouldn’t ditch our clunky conventional devices too quickly.  Firstly, with a starting price of $499, the iPad 2 is more expensive than even higher-end BD players. Secondly, it’s still less flexible than an HTPC (sorry Steve) or many disc players. Generally, the content that we can watch via iPad apps is restricted by what’s available in the iTunes store specific to the country you live in. With a PC it is relatively easy to gain access to content from various different countries. Many DVD and Blu-ray disc players can also play imported material if they can be made region free. And Internet-enabled Blu-ray disc players and TVs can access an increasing range of online video streaming services such as Netflix, Qriocity (hackers permitting) and Hulu. This being the age of multi-dimensional entertainment, 3D is also a consideration. The iPad 2 can’t do that.  But whatever floats your boat , the convenience is all that matters.