Apple TV: what is it and what does it do?

We explain Apple TV – the nifty media-streaming service in a box.

remote control pointing at an apple tv box

Have you heard of Apple TV? It’s somewhat hidden behind the skirt tails of its more famous cousins: iPhone, iPad and iPod. But we think it deserves a bit more of the spotlight, so here’s what Apple TV is all about.  

Basically, Apple TV is a media-streaming device that you plug into your television so you can watch movies, film trailers, sports, TV shows and YouTube videos. But you can also link it to your computer via your iTunes library to watch home videos, view slideshows from your photo library and listen to your favourite songs.

Its main purpose is as a Video on Demand (VOD) streaming service, which is where content is streamed from the internet through the Apple TV box and displayed on your TV screen. It is not a pay TV service, although apps such as Netflix, Stan and tenplay are readily available, and you’ll also have access to free sports content on channels such as ESPN.

To get started with Apple TV, you’ll need to have an Apple TV console and an iTunes account. If you already have another Apple device, you’ll most likely also have an iTunes account. It’s basically your Apple ID that you use to log in to your iPhone.

Once you’ve signed in to your Apple TV, select your preferred language, enter your relevant details and decide whether or not you wish to sync your iTunes library (hint: you should). Oh, and you can sync more than one library too, so your other half, or your kids, can also access their pics and songs just by signing in.

Most new movies and TV content are available for viewing within days of a DVD release or television premiere, and most often you’ll pay less to watch them than you would if you hired them from a video store. And the best part is you can watch a trailer of every show before you pay for hire. You can also choose to watch individual episodes of a show, rather than having to pay to watch the whole season.

So, there you have the basics of the Apple TV. Why not watch this video for more information?

If you have any questions about Apple TV, send us an email, or ask in the comments below.

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    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login

    23rd Mar 2016
    12:36pm
    Apple TV is also great for playing downloads from your laptop or iPad. It comes with a menu for many great networks for streaming, is easy to set up and use and is unobtrusive. We have had one for a couple of years and use it nearly every night.
    Redrims
    28th Mar 2016
    12:18pm
    Please can you tell me what an Apple TV console is? How much is it?
    Thankyou


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