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Apple TV Has Some Cool Capabilities, but Is It Worth Buying?

Connect All Your Devices

Apple TV is a small digital console for streaming media from the internet to your TV. It is not a TV, rather a small remote controlled device that is hooked up to your TV. It acts as an interface for you to listen to music, follow live news and sports, watch videos/movies, and play games.

Simply hook up your Apple TV to your regular TV through an HDMI cable and follow the on-screen prompts to connect to the internet and you are good to go.

The first Apple TV was launched in 2006 and was classified as first generation. Since then improvements and additions to Apple TV have made it one of the most popular streaming devices.

Features of Apple TV

Video and Audio Streaming

Apple 4K TV is designed to provide users with quality content through the internet. The streaming device allows users to watch or rent videos from the iTunes store as well as a variety of top TV content providers. They include Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, YouTube, Vimeo, Showtime, Sling TV, HBO GO/HBO NOW, WatchESPN, PBS, YouTube, and DirecTV Now.

For more information on new service providers, simply check on Apple TV’s website or the respective streaming provider’s website. Some of the streaming service providers are free and others are paid. They also require users to have respective accounts.

Apple 4K TV through the TV universal app supports on-demand content from apps that support content access through cable. The universal app consolidates all content in one application giving the user the freedom to choose whatever they want to watch.

Catch all your favorite tunes from iTunes through the iTunes app. Apple TV also provides users with access to their podcast libraries on iCloud through the Podcast app.

Mirroring and Casting Capabilities

Apple TV’s AirPlay feature enables users to mirror content from an iOS device or Mac on your TV wirelessly. It is pretty handy for users who may want to view non-streaming content on their TV. AirPlay provides users with a magnified display for folks who have trouble with small displays, allowing you to view your browser on a big screen.

AirPlay also supports casting, which you can use to stream audio and video content from your iOS device to the TV. Peer-to-peer AirPlay utilizes Bluetooth to connect the iOS device to the Apple TV.

Advantages of the Apple TV over the Regular TV

4K Streaming

Apple TV turns your regular TV into a Smart TV. 4K TVs are still quite expensive, so Apple TV is a great alternative for users on a budget. It provides endless content streaming from iTunes and other major streaming content providers.

4K HDR Gaming

Access a wide range of games in dazzling HD quality. The Apple 4K has a powerful processor that rivals some laptops and can handle most heavy games on your TV.

Home Kit

This is the base function for home automation. It makes life easier in your home by simplifying tasks. Siri voice capabilities enable users to control the TV by voice. Through voice commands you can request specific content including podcasts, songs, movies, or videos. Through HomeKit, users are able to communicate with smart devices in the home like Smart lights.

Elegant Design

As with most Apple products, aesthetic appeal is one of the selling points of Apple products. Apple has an elegant design with a compact remote that blends well with most indoor decor.

Access to Miscellaneous Apps

The Apple App Store has a range of apps that users can access through Apple TV. They include photo sharing, social media, shopping, workout, and weather apps.

Disadvantages of the Apple TV over Regular TVs

Lack of Extras

Unlike other competitors like Roku and Chromecast, Apple TV lacks a USB port offering little support for audio and video. Apple does not provide processor upgrades for its streaming device — once you buy it, you are stuck with it until another upgrade is launched.

Reliance on Apple Products

Apple TV only streams content from the Apple ecosystem. If you have Android or Windows devices, you probably won’t get much out of the Apple TV.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Apple TV over Regular TV

Features

Think about what you want in your TV; do you need voice control technology, wireless connectivity or simply want a decent TV for home viewing?

Playback Quality and Resolution

There is quite a huge difference in picture quality and clarity between regular 1080p and 4K resolution TVs. 4K HDR resolution gaming rivals most consoles like PS4. Apple TV makes the best of playback technology and has full HD support capabilities

Cost

Price is a big factor in any type of electronic purchase and streaming devices can be a bit pricey. Luckily as technology advances rapidly, the prices tend to dip rather quickly.

Performance

Generally setup boxes work faster than streaming sticks. Ease of setup and continued use is also another factor to consider.

Conclusion

Apple products always draw extreme reactions from consumers; some feel the prices are too high, others are very loyal and line up for days when a new release date is announced. The Apple TV is a bit expensive compared to competitors, but performance-wise it delivers 4K and HDR quality.

Mirroring/casting is a great and easy to use function. Apple TV is most appropriate for folks who already have many Apple devices at home.