Brain Power Not Included

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Despite its name, the Apple TV is not actually a television, but rather a small media player for use with your television. Hook it up to your TV, and you can play content purchased online, like movies and TV. The Apple TV includes a very simple remote, featuring just a handful of buttons:

Apple Remotes
First and second generation Apple Remotes

While the remotes are straightforward, changing the battery is at least a bit confusing, necessitating a help article. The remotes use a small button cell battery, and that battery can be somewhat tricky to access. The first generation remote required using a pencil point to hit a small dimple on the bottom of the remote to get the battery tray to pop out:

Battery Instructions for the original AppleTV remote

The second generation simplified things with a back compartment. The compartment door can be removed with the use of a coin and a counterclockwise twist:

Battery Instructions for the newer AppleTV remote

While I’ve had multiple Apple TVs over the years, I’ve never loved them. Because Apple sells content themselves, they lock out many other content providers. Thus, I now prefer the Roku player, which includes “channels” for many more services, including Amazon Instant Video (really the only way that service is of any use). The Roku looks a lot like an Apple TV, and also features a fairly simply remote:

Roku Remote
The Roku remote (with super-handy “Jump back 10 seconds” button)

The Roku box has been great, but their estimation of their users’ intelligence might need some adjustment. Specifically, they sent an email with the subject “Tips from Roku: Replacing batteries in your remote”. The email purports to be tip #877, providing the full skinny on “How to handle batteries”.

Unlike the Apple remotes, however, there really is no trick to the Roku remote. Its back features a door which is opened by pushing an obvious button, and it takes common AA batteries. Have a look:

Battery Instructions for the Roku Remote

If you need assistance with that, you might not be ready for a streaming media player just yet.


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