I'm an idiot. I got the new Apple TV as soon as it was announced. I was ready for a better TV experience, and I thought, in part because of the famous Issacson quote of Jobs saying they'd finally "cracked" TV or whatever it was.

They haven't. The problem with counting on apps to fix TV is that the apps have to be good, and everything we're watching is still at best a beta, it seems. I can't stop getting, "This account has started playback on another device. You have reached the maximum number of concurrent streams," with the ESPN app, for instance, when I'm definitely not watching anywhere else. It seems to happen when I change ESPN streams... watching ESPN2 after ESPN or vice versa. It even made me reactivate my account a few minutes ago by logging in online on my laptop, but a few minutes of SportCenter later, I'm right back to "Playback Stopped. This account has started playback..." No it hasn't dang it! Strangely, I can plug back in my Amazon Fire Stick, open SlingTV, and start watching ESPN, no problems (other than the slowness from using an age old Fire Stick).

And the Showtime app has had serious trouble. If I navigated around too much, it'd stop playing. Not stopped working completely; I just couldn't watch any shows. Hitting the Play buttons would make the button look depressed and released, but no show. The only way to get things working was to reboot -- by unplugging the Apple TV and plugging it back in.

To be clear, after nearly forcing myself to give the Apple TV a chance for a few months, I'm back to using my Fire Stick as much or more for the services where there's overlap, namely the two above: ESPN and Showtime. Though the hardware is worse, and the interface is mostly worse[1], ultimately it does a better job, with less goofy bugs and random feed pixelation.

The Apple TV might be a great platform, but if it is, I can't tell. The apps are letting it down.

[1] I enjoy the Apple TV scrubber more than the fast-forward buttons in Showtime, for example. When you fast forward a show on the Fire, you see the time change, but don't get to see the screen "scrub" at all. VHS beat that, for heaven's sake.

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