Apple, one of the most famous computer companies, has been offering for years a small device called Apple TV, costing 179 euros (probably the cheapest Apple device), which is a great way to have streaming TV available. But what exactly does it do this device? And above all, what are the differences between the Apple TV and other similar devices such as the Sky Online TV Box or the Google Chromecast?
Table of Contents
What is Apple TV?
First, let’s try to understand what the device proposed by Apple is.
It is a small box placed near the TV and connects to it via the HDMI cable and obviously to the electricity. It doesn’t connect to the internet with a cable because it does it over Wi-Fi.
Its functions are as follows:
It has an operating system. Which is TvOS, a variant of the system for iPhone and iPad, and you can download from a store some special applications for Apple TV, including apps for watching movies (such as Netflix) or apps from online stores or even games.
When it turns on, we can choose to watch channels available for free, or see a Podcast, generally free, or stream one of the many films on the iTunes store, which will be broadcast on the TV;
If we have Apple devices such as iPhones and iPods, we can choose to view any video we have saved locally on the device on Apple TV, simply by remaining connected to the Wi-Fi network (watching a movie from iPhone can be heavy)
If we have an iOS device, we can see on the TV, in large, the games we play on the device. In this way, the Apple TV becomes a kind of game console, and the iPhone or iPad in this case act as a controller;
The fourth-generation Apple TV, unlike the first three, allows you to download games directly from the Apple TV App Store, as well as stream from iPhone and iPad. This allows you to use it even if we do not have these devices but, above all, to play games designed and structured just for Apple TV, which, for example, does not require the use of the touch screen but can be played with the remote control. Eventually, an iPhone can itself be used as a remote control. The additions of the fourth-generation Apple TV over the first three generations are covered later on this page.
How to sign up and where can you watch Apple TV +
The Apple TV + reference address is TV.apple.com. You can sign up using your Apple ID, but only after the service is launched. More than the device with which you will be watching Apple TV +, it is important to look at the operating system, which Apple always identifies as the latest version available. In fact, as far as hardware is concerned, the choice is all-encompassing.
You will be able to watch Apple TV + through iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple TV HD, and Apple TV 4K and Mac computers through the Apple TV + app: as long as you have the most up-to-date version of the operating system for each of them. Added to these are also the 3rd generation Apple TV with the latest 7.3.1 software update, the Samsung and LG smart TVs (Sony by the end of the year), the set-top boxes with the app and, last but not least, all the browsers in able to reach tv.apple.com. Apple only indicates Safari, Firefox, and Chrome, but there is no reason to think that there may be limitations of any kind for other browsers.
The contents of Apple TV +, what they are and what they offer
Apple claims that all original Apple content will be available in 4K HDR / Dolby Vision and that many titles will also have Dolby Atmos audio encoding.
For Dolby Vision, we mean a proprietary technology of Dolby that allows images to have a wider dynamic range, i.e., being able to manage and show a higher peak brightness than the standard dynamics, resolving above all in shades of light very close to those of the world real. Dolby Vision supports dynamic metadata capable of adjusting brightness scene by scene.
The Dolby Atmos is instead an audio encoding; Dolby is always based on the audio objects. Dolby Atmos makes use of the use of objects to move and position. The sounds millimetrically during the postproduction of the video content. Together with the 9.1 channel base track. Atmos can handle up to 118 objects for a total of 128 audio elements. However, it is not necessary to have 128 speakers to listen to the Atmos, Dolby. However, it provides a basic configuration of 7 speakers to better appreciate the encoding. However, compatible soundbars are already on the market that tries to simulate. The sound verticality is typical of Dolby Atmos with acceptable results.
In the case of systems without Dolby Vision, obviously, the system will automatically switch to HDR10, the basic HDR format, but if HDR is not available, you can switch directly to 4K SDR. Same thing for multichannel audio.
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What are the differences with Chromecast?
Google Chromecast is not a TV box; it is simply a stick that plays some content in streaming. In short, it does not have dedicated thematic channels but only serves to see on TV what we have on a mobile device such as a mobile phone or tablet.
So the Apple TV gives us many more possibilities, albeit at a higher cost.
The point, however, where Apple TV is inferior to Google Chromecast is in the fact that streaming content on Chromecast can be done with practically any type of mobile device (Apple, Android, Windows), while with Apple TV, we are limited to devices only. Apple.
What are the differences with SkyOnline TV Box?
Sky online TV Box, on the other hand, is more similar to Apple TV, even if it has fewer functions.
In fact, it is a streaming TV. But can be used mainly by those who have Sky Online (which is the way to see Sky from Wi-Fi instead of from the dish.
It also has other free applications such as Youtube and, in the future, Spotify, in addition to Sky channels, but does not allow streaming of content from mobile devices.
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What can be done with the fourth-generation Apple TV?
The above, including the differences between the Apple TV and other devices. Applies to Apple TVs of all generations, currently four. With the fourth generation. However, Apple TV has changed a bit, and some interesting features have been added that we are going to list. Because if what we have said before (apart from the games) is always available. Only fourth-generation Apple TV owners can do what is written below. A factor that, among other things, greatly improves the functionality of the box.
The application store is much larger than that of previous generations because while previous generations used a suitably modified version of iOS. The new ones use a specially designed operating system. This allows developers to create apps that are compatible with Apple TV. Whereas previously, only Apple released applications, which, consequently, were very few. There are games such as Tiny Wings, NBA, Real Racing, Chameleon Run, and many more. As well as apps that are not games. The power of Apple TV is that of an iPhone 6 and an iPad Air 2, and so is the graphics quality.
It has a touch-screen panel like that of phones. Such as swipes and swipes, which among other things, allows you to play better. There are also accessories such as an accelerometer and gyroscope, which allow you to perform additional actions on the device.
Which TV Box to buy?
So, in conclusion, we can say that the products must be purchased according to our needs.
If we download the contents on mobile devices and when we are at home. We want to see them on the TV; we can be satisfied with the Chromecast; finally, if we have several Apple devices (unfortunately a necessary condition). We can opt for TV.
In any case, none of these three devices covers the shortcomings of the others. So in some cases, it might be useful to buy more than one for different needs.
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Is Apple TV 4K worth it? What changes
There are two models of Apple TV :
1) The Apple TV 4K HDR. Which is characterized by an A10X processor (the same as the iPhone 7), two memory cuts, 2160p video, Bluetooth 5.0, and touch remote control. With accelerometer, gyroscope, and BlueTooth. For change channels from any corner of the house without having to point it at the screen.
2) Old generation Apple TV which costs € 159 and is only available in 32GB format. It has the A8 chip (the same as the iPhone 6). Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, and remote control with only buttons.
Who is undecided between the two should know that the Apple TV 4K app store is more full-bodied? The remote control also has a touch screen panel; you can log into iCloud Drive and view photos and videos uploaded to the camera roll from the TV screen.
Apple TV is mostly suitable for those who own other devices. Such as iPhones and iPads, and for those who own a TV with advanced features. Without a screen that supports 4K and HDR. In fact, the new Apple 4K HDR. It is useless, and you can’t enjoy the best resolution offered by the player.
We have analyzed the characteristics of the new TV, and we have found the reasons. Why it is worth buying it and why it is not worth doing it.
Five good reasons to buy the new Apple TV
In the fourth generation of Apple TV. The Cupertino company has included many new features that will make children and adults happy; we have selected the five most important ones that justify the purchase.
1) Enhanced hardware
The new Apple TV has first-rate technical components and has been improved over the previous model. In detail, the Apple TV has a processor 64-bit A8, 2GB of RAM, and connectivity 10 / 100Mbps Ethernet. Wi-Fi 802.11a / b / g / n / ac and HDMI with 1080p resolution.
2) The new Apple TV Remote
The most important novelty of the Apple Remote. Is the integration of a new remote that uses Touch technology: the TV Remote. On the remote control, there is a high-precision Touch surface. That is very useful for moving easily around the screen and for browsing the application menu.
3) You can see what you want
With Apple TV, you can easily access iTunes and rent or buy the latest movie news. The catalog is updated continuously, and sometimes the films are available the same day they come out on Blu-Ray.
There are also streaming channels such as Redbull TV and Vevo, and thanks to the official applications. To the two most followed sports in the United States.
Also, through the Music streaming service, the user has access to millions of songs directly from his TV.
4) New screensaver
When the television is not in use, you can pause and set a very nice screensaver. The TV turns into a painting. Where you can admire aerial views of the most important cities and monuments of the world.
2 reasons not to buy Apple TV
As mentioned earlier, for some users, Apple has flaws that don’t justify buying it. However, analyzing the characteristics of the new TV. We found only 3 defects for which it is not worth buying the Apple.
If none of these features scare you, we recommend buying the new TV.
1) Siri not available in Italy
In other countries where Apple is available. The remote is not called Apple Remote, but Siri Remote. This is because it has Siri voice recognition technology with which the user can interact with their television. Unfortunately, Siri is not available in our country, and many users have been disappointed with this limitation.
2) Catalog of games not very large
According to some users, there is a risk that the games available on the Apple TV are few and of little interest. This is due to the limitations imposed by the Cupertino company, and in particular that concerning compatibility with the TV Remote; in fact, every time a developer creates a new application, he must make it compatible with the remote. So, developers could give up on embarking on a project that, in addition to being too expensive, may not pass Apple’s approval.