reasons to buy an Apple TV
Apple TV is something of a misnomer as it’s not actually a television.
The Apple TV is a digital media player and resembles many set top boxes you can find from numerous digital TV provider or other smart TV accessory makers. It’s a sleek, black box that looks unintrusive and doesn’t look out of place in your living room and it does a lot.
More than the way it looks it’s what it does tat impresses the most. It basically receives digital data from another source – typically another Apple product – and streams it to a TV set which supports its use. That’s certainly a bit different. The Apple is compatible with HD and enhanced definition widescreen televisions and can be connected to them by using an HDMI cable.
The Apple TV unit can only be controlled via Apple Remote or using the Apple TV Remote app which is available for iPad, iPhone or Apple Watch as it has no built in controls.
It can be used to stream music from your iTunes account once you have synched your other Apple devices to it. There are inbuilt apps for Sky News and Netflix that can be used to stream content to your TV and thanks to Bluetooth, video or music van be streamed from anther synched device to it too.
Apple insist it’s the “future of television” and they’re probably right. When do Apple get it wrong with technological trends? Never, that’s when. This all sounds pretty impressive. So why do you need an Apple TV?
A 32GB version of Apple TV costs approximately £129 and the 64GB edition £169. That sounds like an awful outlay, I know, but weigh it up against the alternatives. It’s a one off cost. You don’t need to have any expensive subscriptions to digital TV providers – some of which now cost up to £50 a month if you want the full sport and movies packages. Obviously there is the option of paying for more services but the Apple TV does enough without having to purchase these that it’s a wise investment.
As mentioned you can purchase content or subscribe to more services, but look at what it offers you first. As well as Now TV, Sky News and possibly the best version of Netflix available with more content than other editions there area number of free apps. Free apps are always good and even better when they lead to free TV. There are a number of these apps which are completely legal and offer access to free movies and free TV programmes of all genres on an on demand basis. That means you can watch pretty much anything you want at any time for absolutely nothing. You will have access to a near unending pool of televisual content.
Apple love you to synch all of your devices and the Apple TV is no different. Anything anyone in your film has on their device can be shared with everyone else through the Apple TV. Thius includes any music purchased from iTunes or any films they have purchased which are on their device. The same applies if your friends come to visit and they have an Apple device. Synch it, add it to the system and they can share their content with you too. There’s no murky grey area surrounding this. This kind of sharing is fine because you are viewing the content rather than copying it. Obviously in a public setting such on a large screen in a bar it would not be acceptable, but for home use it’s perfectly ok to share without worrying about the infringement of copyright or any other legal minefield.
Every time you or one of your family take a photo it’s automatically saved to the iCloud. And this shouldn’t come as any surprise: the Apple TV will connect to the iCloud and allow you to view these pictures on the big screen in the comfort of your living room. This is ideal for looking at holiday photos with the whole family. Now people don’t need to gather round and look over your shoulder while you show hem snaps you took on your phone and long gone are the days of setting up cumbersome equipment in order to put on a slide show.
If you’re a gamer then the Apple TV is also something for you. It’s not making any claims to be the future of gaming or even a major competitor to popular gaming consoles, but what it does do is give you a better version of mobile gaming. Imagine playing games you would normally play on your iPhone on a 55” TV screen. The games will never have looked so good. The Apple TV Remote functions as a controller for games and if you look through the apps you’ll find plenty of games to down;load, some of them for free.
Users of Apple products will be familiar with Siri, your own talking assistant. Thanks to button on the Apple TV remote you can engage Siri and talk to her. Siri can be used in the same way as on other Apple products, to give you news and weather reports or to ask answers to questions. But with the Apple TV Siri can be used to play video or fast forward or rewind something you are watching. Need subtitles? Ask Siri and she’ll provide them. If you’re watching a film and you see someone on the screen you recognise, but whose name you can’t remember, just ask Siri again. She’ll tell you who they are, what else they’ve been in and a whole host of other information if you wish to know it. She’ll make you a TV playlist too. If you want to watch nature documentaries tell Siri and she’ll show you nothing but nature documentaries.
It looks like Apple weren’t wrong when they said the Apple TV was the future of television and they’ve given us all enough reasons to purchase one today.