What Is Apple TV and How Do You Use It?...
Are you a huge Apple fan yet never heard of Apple TV before? Well, this device might be the next on your list. Despite the name, Apple TV is not a television set. Instead, it is a streaming device you attach to your TV, not that different from Fire TV and Roku. It looks like a little black box that runs on the Apple OS, which means it can do much more than just stream movies and shows.
A Deeper Look At Apple TV
If you are sick and tired of your local channels, you can get Apple TV to stream TV shows and movies. While it has the same features as other streaming services like Roku, it can do much more. For example, you can listen to podcasts, stream music, play some games, and many more. It is incredibly flexible, depending on which apps you decide to install. Much like with iTunes, some are for free while others are not. Some can be downloaded for free, but you need a service to use it.
All you need to do to set up your Apple TV (other than your TV set, of course) are the box, an HDMI cable with suitable length, and an Internet connection. You can either connect using the Ethernet cable or the WiFi to connect. Plus, the set comes with remote control for the box.
Setting up your Apple TV is really uncomplicated. Once you have plugged in all of the wires and switched the box on, you will need to go through an easy setup program. You will be prompted to enter your Apple ID (like the one you use to log in to iTunes or the app store), as well as the password to your WiFi network. If you have an iPhone, it will make the login process much simpler (no more typing the information using the remote).
Benefits of Apple TV
With all other streaming services and sticks out there, does it really make sense to invest in Apple TV? Well, there are many reasons to do so, specifically if you are looking for a device that can do more than just stream films or shows.
Apple TV is an excellent choice for those who do not have “smart” TVs because they can stream content that is normally not available in your regular programming. Not only can you rent from iTunes, but you can access third-party streaming services like Hulu and Netflix. It also works with music streaming services like Pandora and Apple Music, so you can listen to podcasts. Plus, because of services like Sling TV, you can finally cancel that cable TV subscription.
If you opt for the Apple TV 4K version, you will enjoy the processor that is as fast as the one found inside the iPad Pro, so it is as powerful as a laptop computer. Plus, its graphics processor is strong enough for playing games.
One last, but huge, advantage is that your Apple TV works with your other Apple devices. This means it can communicate with your Mac, iPad, and iPhone. For example, your iCloud Photo Library can be previewed on the TV, and with AirPlay, you can “access” any app you have on your tablet or phone.
Does Apple TV Work with HomeKit?
Interested in setting up a smart home? Your Apple TV purchase makes this possible because it allows you to access Siri. In fact, Apple TV can be the base station for your HomeKit; which is, in turn, the headquarters or the base for a smart home. So other than just accessing Siri to use voice control on your TV (to play a specific movie or to search the content using a keyword), you can set up a lot of other functionalities all-around your home.
You can invest and connect other smart appliances to complete your smart home, for example, lighting or thermostat, and HomeKit will be able to remotely control them. When you are outside, you can then use your iPhone to communicate with Apple TV and the smart devices you have installed.
Which Apple TV Models Are Available To Buy?
While one model has already been discontinued, there are still 2 different models you can choose from. Between them, there are huge differences that will help you in deciding which to buy.
• Apple TV 4K
This is the top-of-the-line model, as it supports both 4K and HDR video. Plus, it has the same A10 processor as the iPad Pro. If you are looking for the best version to buy, then there is no doubt that this is what you need.
• Apple TV (4th Generation)
The lower-end version of Apple TV is still quite impressive because it has the A8 processor like the iPhone 6. It has access to the App store and can be a great addition to your non-4K/HDR and non-smart TV.
• Apple TV (3rd Generation)
This has already been discontinued by Apple, but you might still find them sold by previous owners looking to upgrade. It is much cheaper because it is an older device, but it really does not offer the same as the recent models. They are more limited to just video streaming because of the slower processor, and you cannot access the app store. Because of this, you might find it no better than other streaming services like Amazon Fire TV and Roku.
Why Get An Apple TV 4K?
The premium devices of Apple always aim to impress, packed with features and specs that make it worth your money. This is not just because it allows you to view content in 4K quality, but you can upgrade your entire movie library in iTunes to 4K (at no extra cost). Because it normally costs between $5 and $10 to get a 4K version of any movie, you can actually save a lot of money if you have tons of movies in your library. However, this is limited to movies where a 4K is actually available. Otherwise, you will be able to view them in the usual high or standard definition.
If you do not have any content in your iTunes library, you can also choose and stream movies in 4K version without paying a premium. This means you can maximize both your TV’s 4K display and your subscription by streaming the content in the best format available.
Apple TV does not just support 4K resolution, but it also allows you to view in HDR10 (High Dynamic Range) quality. When it comes to picture quality, this matters more. This is because 4K expands on the pixels on the screen, but HDR gives you better-quality pixels. Beyond just increasing the resolution, it also offers a higher range of colours, which will significantly improve video quality and image depth. Plus, Apple TV 4K includes Dolby Vision, a version of HDR with even better and higher colour range.
The best thing about Apple TV 4K is the additional features and services you can take advantage of, thanks to the A10X Fusion processor, which is the same as the second-generation iPad Pro. Beyond gaming, you can even use productivity apps like Pages and Numbers.
The Apple TV 4K also boasts of top internet connectivity, thanks to the 1-Gigabyte Ethernet port and top-of-the-line WiFi technology. This includes MIMO (multiple-in-multiple-out), which means it can connect twice (on each band) on a dual-band router. This means the wireless connection can even be faster than a wired one, which is better when viewing 4K content.
A New Addition: The Apple TV App
Apple TV allows you to view content from tons of streaming services like HBO Now or Hulu Plus. Thanks to the Apple TV app, you can now view a list of all content from these services in one place, making it easy to browse for tonight’s movie night. It also has a Sports channel to make it easy for you to see who’s playing and what the current score is. However, Netflix is not yet integrated into the app, so the content is not included in the list.
Getting started with the Apple TV
Have you finally given in and bought Apple TV’s superior streaming device? What should you do to get all the fun started?
If you have ever set up any other media player like Roku, then you will find the process very simple. Just follow these steps:
1. Connect the Apple TV to your TV set and plug it in. On your TV, switch the input to the port you are using.
2. Connect the Apple TV to the Internet
3. Connect to any streaming providers you want to use, logging in with your credentials when needed.
4. That’s it. You can start watching your favourite movies and shows.
Don’t forget to explore the other features of your Apple TV, like browsing the App Store for any apps you might want to try out on your Apple TV-enabled set. After all, if you do decide to invest in the Apple TV, you might as well enjoy everything it has to offer.
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