Apple TV

apple tv box Apple TV review A great streaming box especially for Apple ns

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The traditional knock against the Apple TV was that it was short on apps, but thats not ir anymore. In addition to iTunes content, theres support for most major streaming video services, including Netflix, HBO Now, HBO Go, Hulu Plus, YouTube, , Watch ESPN, NBA, NHL, Crunchyroll, Qello, and Vimeo. There are even a couple live TV news apps Sky News and WSJ Live. There are still some nole exceptions particularly Amazon Instant but I get the sense that most buyers will be perfectly satisfied with the Apple TVs current slate of services. And its easy to miss that the podcast section actually includes quite a bit of web video content, including content from TED Talks, NASA, PBS and .

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Unlike most other streaming boxes, the Apple TVs power supply is builtin, so theres no separate AC adapter. It also gives the Apple TV a useful heft that keeps it planted even with a heavy HDMI cable hanging out the back.

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The Apple TVisnoticeably light when it comes to streaming music apps; theres no dedicated support for popular apps like Spotify, Rdio, Amazon Cloud Player and Pandora. Thats not a problem if you own an iPad or iPhone since you can easily access those services using AirPlay but anyone intending to use the Apple TV as a standalone device wont have many music options.

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If youve already invested in iTunes TV shows, movies and music, not to mention games on your iPhone or iPad, the updated Apple TV should be your first choice for a home media streamer. However, if you want K and HDR video, or if you want more programming choices including Amazon and Vudu, you should also check outalternatives such as Roku and Amazon Fire TV, which start as low as .

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The Apple TV K remains the best streamer you can buy, as long as you dont mind the price.

The BadLacks the app store, improved remote and voice functionality of the Apple TV. The competing Roku and offer more content sources including Amazon Instant and crossplatform search. And the Apple TV platform is less of a streaming standout if you dont own other Apple devices.

All of the content is streamed rather than downloaded and you can access your purchased movies and TV shows to rewatch as many times as youd like. Your movie and TV show purchases can also be streamed or downloaded to other Apple devices, including the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Macs, and PCs running iTunes.

The included remote is minimalist in a classic Apple way. It has just a navigation circle at the top, a Menu button which doubles as a Back button, and a Play/Pause button. The simplicity makes it easy for anybody to pick it up and get the hang of it, and for the most part its controls are enough for everyday use. On the other hand, it cant compete with the Roku s delightful remote that adds a builtinheadphonejack, WiFi direct control, and a few handy additional buttons like skip back.

Selecting movies or TV shows brings you to the iTunes intece. Theres a menu bar along the top of the screen by which you can jump to useful features like your purchased content and content youve added to your wish list. Below theres a carousel of promoted content, followed by cover art broken down by categories like new releases and genres. Selecting a title brings up a synopsis, Rotten Tomatoes ratings, cast info, and more. The layout is excellent for browsing content. While I personally use Amazon Instant for most of my video content purchases, Im always impressed by how nice the iTunes Store experience is when I use the Apple TV.

The version of the Apple TV reviewed here has beendiscontinued as of October . Shoppers instead should check out theupdated Apple TVreleased in . Its available in two versions for the GB model and for the GB model. Thats and in the UK, and AU and AU in Australia, respectively. It includes a fullblown app store, integration with Apples Siri voicerecognition for search and device operation, and a new remote control with a touchpad.

The Apple TV user intece got an overhaul in , adopting a more appcentric design that kind of makes your TV look like a giant iPad. Apples own services are pinned to the top, including rotating cover art for top TV shows and movies. Below are all your other apps and you can rearrange the order so your vorites are toward the top. The icondriven design works well enough, but it does beg for a true app store for the Apple TV.

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Discuss Apple TV review A great streaming box, especially for Apple ns

The Apple TV can also be controlled with an iPad or iPhone using Apples Remote app. Like most smartphone control apps, theres an onscreen remote that you can use and the ability to navigate menus via gestures. For most uses, its not all the useful,apple tv box Apple TV review A great streaming box especially for Apple ns especially since you cant actually browse streaming content on your iPad a la Googles Chromecast. What is cool is the remote apps lets you remotely control music from your iTunes collection on a PC, which can be easier than using the remote. And if youre controlling your music collection using the Remote app and the Apple TV is hooked to a separate audio amplifier, you wont need to have the TV on, either.

Editors noteThe original Apple TV review follows.

The iTunes Store has been through many incarnations on the Apple TV, but its in the best state its ever been in. TV shows are for HD, for SD although its increasingly rare to find the SD option; movies are to rent in HD, and anywhere between and to purchase.

lets you stream all the video content in the iTunes Store to your HDTV, with purchases stored in the cloud. Netflix, Hulu, HBO, YouTube and dozens of other online services are available, plus music, videos, and photos can be streamed from iOS devices using AirPlay.

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The Bottom LineWhile its a step behind the Roku and less cuttingedge than the Apple box, the older Apple TV remains an excellent streaming box, especially for those invested in Apple hardware and the iTunes ecosystem.

The Apple TV still has the best design of any streaming video box. Its a , unobtrusive black box with a small white light on the front that illuminates when its in active use. Around back are a handful of connections, including HDMI, optical audio output, MicroUSB for service only, and Ethernet. Theres also builtin .n WiFi for connecting to your home wireless network, with support for dualband WiFi. Note that HDMI is the only video connection available, so if you have an older TV, youre out of luck.

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