The Apple TV: the actual digital hub
Apple has created a number of items that have changed the technological landscape, and done so quickly. The original Macintosh computer, ipod and iphone, and also the iPhone are types of this. However, many Apple products are slow burners. The Apple TV, first released in 2007-and once described by Steve Jobs as “a hobby”-has come into its own recently. It is a real digital hub, an idea that Apple promoted a long time ago from the first iMac.
Things have changed since Jobs uttered those remarks. Increasing numbers of people are “cord cutters,” ditching expensive cable and satellite TV packages, and Apple’s ability to offer not only content from the iTunes Store has shifted the landscape in set-top boxes. As the first Apple TV was nothing more than a music player for that family room – it started with 40 GB onboard storage that you could sync from your iTunes library via Wi-Fi – today’s Apple TV is much more versatile, offering streaming from Apple and from other sources via apps.
In same ways, today’s Apple TV may be the apotheosis of Jobs’s vision of the digital dub. First launched at about the time from the iPhone, the unit is continuing to grow from the simple streaming device for an app-based set-top box, expanding the plethora of possibilities.
In addition to streaming in the iTunes Store, you are able to stream to an Apple TV using AirPlay. Which means you can send your personal videos out of your Mac, iPad, or iPhone to the device, watching them in your TV. You may also stream music, from your iTunes library, or from an iOS device. The Apple TV helps to make the TV an entertainment center, and when you have an amplifier connected to your Apple TV, you are able to listen to music with quality sound. It’s simple to use this device like a receiver for music, despite the TV off.
And this year’s AirPlay 2, the most recent iteration of the technology, enables you to stream to multiple devices in sync: Apple TV, HomePod, AirPort Express, and some third-party devices.
Siri is everywhere, along with the Apple TV’s Siri remote, searching across channels to find what you would like to watch. You are able to control playback – telling Siri to go forward, pause, etc. – you should check the weather, check sports scores, open apps, as well as have the Apple TV play an audio on a single of your devices whenever you can’t find them. Check this out Apple page for additional about Siri around the Apple TV.
Integration using the Apple Ecosystem
The Apple TV not only plays videos from your iTunes library, but additionally integrates fully in Apple’s ecosystem. If you are using iCloud Photos, you will see your photos in your TV; if you use Apple Music, you can pay attention to your preferred tunes on your TV too. And you may, obviously, watch all of Apple’s cool product announcements around the Apple TV via a dedicated app.
4K, HDR, and Dolby Atmos
For many years, the Apple TV was a bit slow in keeping track of changing technologies. It took a while for Apple to go HD, then to offer 4K support, but now the Apple TV can handle today’s high-resolution TV sets, high dynamic range, and may play content encoded in 7.1 surround sound, and with Dolby Atmos . This brings the Apple TV up-to-date with the latest technologies, proclaiming to offer you the best quality video and audio in your living room.
The way forward for TV is apps, said Tim Cook in 2021. While app support took a while to reach the Apple TV, most video providers quickly offered apps that can access their programs. There are apps for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, Hulu, Showtime, and lots of other networks. Sure, you may have some of these apps built into your smart television, but having them all on the Apple TV means that you don’t have to switch backwards and forwards between the TV’s interface and also the Apple TV.
Because the Apple TV is, first of all, a gateway towards the iTunes Store for TV and movie purchases and rentals. As Apple transitions to become a media company, notably through an original content video streaming service which will apt to be launched in 2021, their set-top box ensures that Apple users can observe the information without any friction.
This naturally enhances the question of whether Apple’s video service will be on streaming devices such as the Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and others, and also on smart TVs. Given Apple’s approach, this really is unlikely, though some have suggested that Apple may to produce more affordable streaming stick, similar to Google’s Chromecast or Amazon’s Fire TV Stick.
As is truly the case with Apple’s minor products, the Apple TV shines if you're dedicated to the company’s ecosystem: should you already get video content in the iTunes Store, sign up for Apple Music, use iCloud Photos, or perhaps if you simply own other iOS devices or Macs. With a base cost of $149 for HD or $179 for 4K, it’s not the least expensive set-top box, but if you’re an Apple user, it’s certainly the most convenient, and one of the most capable devices you can get.
Did you find this short article useful? Sign up for your blog which means you won’t miss future posts! You may also catch this article’s author, Kirk McElhearn, around the weekly Intego Mac Podcast.
What are your favorite Apple TV features and apps? Share your ideas by leaving a comment below.