Apple TV is a line of digital media players and micro consoles developed and sold by Apple Inc. It’s a small network appliance tool that transmits received media data—such as video and audio—to a television (TV) set or other external display. Since its second-generation model, it’s an HDMI-compliant device and can only be connected to an enhanced-definition TV (EDTV) or high-definition TV (HDTV) via HDMI ports.
As a device, it lacks integrated controls and can only be effectively controlled through a Siri Remote, Apple Remote, or other third-party infrared (IR) remotes. Since the fourth generation of Apple TV, it has run using tvOS with pre-installed Apple-exclusive applications. It features media services like streaming platforms, sports, local media, and TV Everywhere-based sources.
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Users of the Apple TV are allowed to use an HDTV with any Apple TV device or UHD TV for Apple TV 4K or later for streaming music, video, and podcasts. They can also download apps and games from the tvOS App Store.
Below are some notable features of Apple TV:
- Users can stream live and on-demand content from streaming apps that support login via a cable provider through the Apple TV app. A single-sign-on feature was later added in tvOS 10.1 or higher; it allowed users to log in to all apps simultaneously instead of authenticating on each app.
- Users can rent or buy movies and TV shows from the iTunes Store or stream from various apps supported by the tvOS App Store.
- Apple TV has the pre-installed Photos app, which can be used to display user images synced from the iCloud Photo Library. Also, users can install third-party image editing apps like Adobe Lightroom to view, edit, and share pictures with other users.
Music and Podcast Streaming
- Users can access the music and podcast libraries they subscribed to via iTunes through the built-in Music and Podcasts apps. Users can also subscribe to their desired music streaming platforms through the same apps.
Apps and Games
- Users owning a fourth-generation Apple TV device or greater can download apps and games from the tvOS App Store, similar to the built-in App Store on iOS, Mac, and iPadOS devices.
- Apps can be ported from iOS easily by developers since tvOS and iOS share the same kernel and codebase.
- Games and apps that use the touchpad, Accelerometer, and Gyroscope—e.g., Asphalt 8—can be played using the Siri Remote. Other game controllers can also be paired using Bluetooth.
Casting and Mirroring
- Users can mirror or stream content wirelessly from other iOS and Mac devices using AirPlay. Like other screen mirroring services, AirPlay requires external devices to connect to the same Wi-Fi network for seamless streaming.
- Devices on different Wi-Fi networks can use Peer-to-Peer AirPlay, which uses Bluetooth to link to other compatible devices.
- Fourth-generation Apple TV devices or later have Siri built-in. It lets users use the voice dictation feature in text fields and other applicable options.
- Users in the United States can use universal search for various apps, but it is limited to Netflix and iTunes in countries like France, Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom.