What is Apple TV?

Apple TV is a small device that plugs into your HD television and allows you to wirelessly stream movies, television shows, music and more.  One of the main benefits of Apple TV is that it allows users to watch streamed entertainment on their televisions, rather than having to huddle around a computer screen.

The Apple TV device works by connecting to your Wi-Fi network, so you can instantly stream content from popular sites like Netflix, Hulu and HBO GO. Apple TV also allows you to instantly stream movies and TV shows from iTunes and watch them on your television.

Although Apple TV allows users to stream content from online subscriptions, it does not provide programming like a television service or cable company would. Movies and shows must be purchased in order to watch them with Apple TV, so it can become expensive for consumers who want to consume a lot of content.

However, for customers who already own a vast collection of movies or TV shows in their iTunes library, or have subscriptions to sites like Netflix and HBO GO, Apple TV can be a very useful product. And with the Apple TV Air Play feature, customers can watch anything from their Mac or iOS device on their HD television.

How does Apple TV compare to the Roku?

We’ve touched upon the Roku in previous articles. Their prices are rather competitive in this regard making this attribute a poor deciding factor. Roku comes with special features and perks like gaming options and motion controls. Apple TV is a little harder to customize, leading to a marked lack of individualized user experience. They both are quite sleek and portable with the Roku’s streaming stick format, which can fit into the TV’s HDMI port, coming out slightly ahead in terms of convenience and pricing.

What about Apple TV vs. Chromecast?

In most markets, the Chromecast has the Apple TV beat in terms of pricing. Chromecast is more portable than Apple TV with no real cords to keep it in place. Chromecast also does not require a remote. Instead the action is controlled via Android tablets or smartphone. Where the Chromecast can fall flat when pitted against the Apple TV is in terms of content and programming. Chromecast features a lot of the premium and popular channels but is, as of the writing of this article, sorely lacking in ESPN and Bloomberg TV, as well as Amazon Instant Video.

How does it stack up against Amazon Fire TV?

Both tie pretty even when it comes to pricing and portability. Where Amazon’s Fire TV really shines is in the special features department. Voice search, parental controls and even a functional karaoke system are just some of the special features offered. There is also a feature called ASAP – a system that reduces buffering time by anticipating what you will watch next and preloading it. There’s also an option for gamers, sporting a game controller peripheral and a library of games on par with the Roku’s offerings. And, as the years move on, this library will only expand as developers embrace the product.

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