Apple TV is Apple Inc’s latest home consumer product that is a highly entertaining digital media receiver. The small form factor of the device and the elegant design makes it a very popular product among households. The device can connect to any high-definition widescreen television and playback high definition multimedia content from various services. Launched in 2006, the device has gone through various changes and upgrades and the latest version are the 3rd generation Apple TV. In this article, we talk about the Apple TV top features and benefits that make it such a successful and innovative product.
Apple TV’s Ability to Rearrange Icons
Apple recently added this long-awaited feature to the Apple TV with the software version 5.1. Before this version people could not rearrange icons. But with this update a user is able to move around the icons on the home screen seamlessly and smoothly.
Apple TV’s Sharing of Apple IDs
Each member of a family can use different Apple IDs on the same Apple TV now. All it requires are just a few simple clicks. The Apple ID can be changed seamlessly allowing each user access to their respective purchase history. Orders for various contents can also be placed from different user accounts.
Apple TV’s Access to Movie Show Times
With the Apple TV you can check out movie trailers of various films. With the new update you can do much more. You can check out show times according to your local time in movie theatres in your locality. Simply enter your zip code and you will be shown the show times of movies in nearby theatres. This handy feature shows up when you read about a movie that is running in a theatre near you.
Access to Shared Photo Streams
A very sleek feature of the Apple TV is the ability to show photos to your friends and family members. This feature has been further upgraded. Now you can also get access to your shared albums from the Apple TV.
Netflix Access on Apple TV
Netflix subscribers who have certain subscription plans can get access to the entire Netflix streaming library on the Apple TV. Apple has made a design that is consistent with the Apple TV interface to maintain familiarity for users. The icons and thumbnails are shown in a way similar to Apple iTunes to keep the user experience consistent.
Apple TV’s Ability to Stream Content
Using Apple’s AirPlay users can stream multimedia content like music and videos directly from iOS devices to an Apple TV without the need of iTunes. The Home Sharing feature allows a user to link computers with an Apple TV. This is an innovative feature that many family members will enjoy.
Show Rentals in Apple TV
People who do not like the idea of waiting for a movie to download and also the prospect of buying a movie can heave a sigh of relief with the inclusion of this feature. For a very low and competitive price users can browse through various TV shows and watch an episode instantly. This works even for HD content. The movie content is for rental purposes and they come with an expiry date. This is a feature that provides a great deal of convenience to viewers.
Ability to Watch YouTube Videos with Apple TV
YouTube, the popular video sharing website is now at your fingertips through the Apple TV. Apple TV allows users to search and watch YouTube content through the Apple TV. Apart from YouTube the Apple TV allows users to view the Flickr content as well.
Internet Radio on Apple TV
People who enjoy listening to audio streams from thousand of Internet radio stations can use the Apple TV to listen to streaming audio content. Apple TV offers and makes available a vast list of radio stations. When connected to a home theatre system this allows for a truly exhilarating entertainment experience.
Some Apple TV General Technical Specs
- Processor: Apple A5 chip single-core
- Dimensions: 3.9 x 3.9 x 0.9 inches
- Weight: 0.6 pounds
- Ports: 1 Fast Ethernet, IR receiver, microUSB, 1 HDMI, 1 optical audio
- Power: 6-watt Built-in universal power supply
- Photo formats: GIF, JPEG, TIFF
Apple TV TV Compatibility
- Compatible with popular models and high definition TVs equipped with HDMI and capable of 1080p or 720p at 60/50Hz
- Some popular manufacturers that make compatible TV’s are Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, Hitachi, JVC, LG, Mitsubishi, Panasonic and Vizio
Apple TV Video Formats Supported
- Up to 35 Mbps Motion JPEG (M-JPEG), 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second.
- Audio in ulaw
- PCM stereo audio in .avi file format
- H.264 video up to 1080p, 30 frames per second, High or Main Profile level 4.0 or lower
- Baseline profile level 3.0 or lower with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz
- Stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
- Up to 2.5 Mbps MPEG-4 video, 30 frames per second, 640 by 480 pixels
- Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz
Apple TV Audio Formats Supported
- Apple Lossless
- Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound pass-through
- Protected AAC (from iTunes Store)
- HE-AAC (V1), AAC (16 to 320 Kbps)
- MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR
- Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4),
- AIFF, and WAV
Apple TV System Requirements
- An iTunes Store account for the purpose of buying and renting movies and buying TV shows
- A Netflix account for the purpose of streaming Netflix content
- Wi-Fi (802.11a, b, g, or n) wireless network (wireless video streaming requires 802.11a, g, or n) or 10/100BASE-T Ethernet network
- To watch live and archived games a MLB.TV subscription is required
- To watch live and archived a games NBA.com League Pass Broadband subscription is required
- To watch live and archived games a NHL GameCenter Live subscription is required
- To stream media from a Mac or PC: iTunes 10.6 or later; iTunes Store account for Home Sharing
Final Thoughts on the Apple TV
With so many Apple TV top features and benefits most consumers find Apple TV a must buy and praise its innovative and value-adding features. It is no surprise that Apple TV has become a truly successful home consumer product in all these years.