Streaming boxes are a great way for people cutting the cable TV cord to catch the latest Blockbuster movies, watch all of their favorite shows and keep up with their favorite content creators. Apple TV devices deliver all of that for people who are ardent fans of Apple products and those who have never owned an iPhone or iPad.
Cord-cutters have two Apple TV streaming device options, the Apple TV HD and the more recent Apple TV 4K, which, as the name suggests, supports higher quality streaming. This review will explore the two devices to help streamers understand which is best suited for their viewing requirements. It will also answer important questions such as “how does Apple TV work” and “how to add apps to Apple TV.”
How To Choose the Right Apple TV Device
Choosing any streaming device is dependent on several factors, such as the user’s preferred brand or format of devices, the price they are willing to pay and the streaming quality they expect to enjoy.
The brand of device that users prefer is an important consideration when selecting a media streamer. This is especially the case with Apple TV, as the two devices work best with the company’s existing devices, such as iPads, iPhones and Macs. But the devices can also be used by people that do not have any Apple products.
Wondering what the Apple TV price is?. Apple TV devices begin at $149.99, which is substantially higher than options from the likes of Amazon Fire TV and Roku. However, people looking for a premium streaming experience and those set on sticking with Apple products will get one of the best devices on the market with Apple TV.
Picture and sound quality are important factors in selecting any streaming device. In Apple TV’s case, the 4K device offers the ultimate in streaming quality but comes at a higher price point. That said, streamers do not need to buy a 4K streamer if they do not have a TV capable of supporting that resolution.
Selecting the Right Apple TV Device
Apple TV products are geared towards people that already have iOS devices, such as iPads or iPhones and are subscribed to Apple TV+ or purchase their content through Apple Music or iTunes. However, Apple’s streaming boxes can be used by anyone with a compatible TV as they provide access to most major streaming services.
The Apple TV price includes one year of free access to on-demand service Apple TV+, which provides a nice selection of original content. All Apple TV products are compatible with the Apple TV app, which provides access to all the shows on Apple TV+ in addition to thousands of movies and TV shows.
Additionally, the devices below are compatible with AirPlay 2, which enables users to stream content from mobile devices to TVs. They can also be used with Movies Anywhere with iTunes to watch movies and TV shows that have been purchased from other sources, such as Amazon and Vudu.
Best Streamer For Apple Aficionados: Apple TV HD (from $149.99)
The Apple TV 4th generation device enables users to watch movies and TV shows by providing access to various streaming services through the Apple App Store on tvOS. The device comes with 32 GB of storage space.
Users can add apps to their Apple TV by choosing from thousands of streaming services. This includes video streaming services like Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Netflix as well as popular music players like Apple Music, Deezer, iTunes and Spotify.
The device supports up to 1080p high-definition (HD) video quality and provides Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 surround sound. Its Siri Remote lets users start content playback and open apps using the product’s built-in voice search capability. It is also compatible with iPhones and iPads, enabling users to view photos and watch videos directly on their TV.
Best High-End Streaming Device: Apple TV 4K (from $179.99)
Streamers looking for a premium streaming experience should look no further than the Apple TV 4K. The Apple TV 5th generation device is one of the best streaming devices in a busy market that provides cord cutters with hundreds of options to choose from.
For just $30 more than the Apple TV HD, the Apple TV 4K enables viewers to enjoy 4K streaming for content that supports this resolution.
The device features Dolby Vision HDR video and Dolby Atmos audio. However, regular YouTube viewers will not be able to watch the service in 4K or HDR as it is not compatible with Apple TV. Thousands of apps are compatible with the device, which has an appealing menu design. And the Apple TV remote control enables voice searches. Users also have plenty of connection options, such as Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac Wi-Fi with simultaneous 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands and Bluetooth 5.0.
Apple TV 4K discovers and pairs with Apple AirPod earphones to ensure private listening. And, the AirPlay 2 support feature provides multiroom audio and can automatically engage Dark Room mode based on the time of day.
Apple TV 4K comes with either 32 GB or 64 GB of storage. Most users will be fine with the former, as the vast majority of content is streamed, and storage is primarily used for downloaded apps. Serious gamers might want to consider the 64 GB option.
Cutting the Cable TV Cord With Apple TV Devices
Apple TV provides a high-quality streaming experience that will particularly appeal to existing users of the company’s products. However, the devices can easily be used by people who do not own Apple products.
Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K provide access to thousands of apps for services like fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, Philo and Sling TV, as well as on-demand video services like Apple TV+, Disney+, Hulu and Netflix. There are also apps for gaming and music streaming sites. All of these services come with free trials, so why not give one or two a try.
Current as of June 2020*
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