Internet satellite TV Player

Apple TVBy Elizabeth Kricfalusi, Tech for Luddites

The Review

This post has been updated to include information about the new Apple TV announced in September 2015.

What is the Apple TV?

The Apple TV is a streaming media player, which means it takes content from the Internet and displays it on your TV. The Apple TV comes in two models, the original Apple TV and the really badly named upgrade New Apple TV. I don’t know if at any point they plan to retire the original model but at the moment the website has both listed with a comparison chart to help you decide between them.

There’s not a lot in common between the two models other than they both can be connected to the Internet using an Ethernet cable, support full 1080p video signals and have apps for iTunes movies and TV shows. The original model has apps for iTunes music and iTunes radio while the new model only has an app for Apple Music.(I’m not really clear what the difference is between iTunes music and Apple Music is, but I’m assuming the new model supports all types of music you can buy or stream from Apple.) Also, neither of them support Amazon Video or Music.

Here are the other main differences between each model:

New Apple TV: List Price $149.00 (32GB), $199.00 (64GB)

  • Siri voice capabilities for search and other functions
  • Dedicated app store
  • Remote has a touchpad for swiping in addition to buttons, volume buttons, Bluetooth, and can be used as a motion controller (like a Wii remote)
  • Works with third-party controllers for more sophisticated gaming
  • Enhanced performance and connectivity

Apple TV: List Price .00

  • No voice support
  • About 70 apps for movies, TV shows, and music
  • Basic button-based remote with no volume buttons, Bluetooth or motion control
  • Optical Out port for playing audio through home theater systems

What can you do with an Apple TV?

NOTE: The New Apple TV won’t be available until November and there’s very little information available yet about the new app store. I’m assuming that the new model will support all or most of the original apps, but we may find out differently once the product ships.

Watch Streaming Videos
In addition to Apple’s own services, the device also supports most of the other top entertainment providers: Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO/HBO NOW, WatchESPN, PBS, YouTube, etc.

NOTE: Buying an Apple TV does not give you access to the content you can watch on it, just like buying a TV does not give you access to cable TV shows. You need to have accounts with each service that provides the content (some free, some paid) and/or subscribe to a cable/satellite package that gives you permission to access specific networks.

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