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  • Customer Reviews

on July 5, 2015
To anyone wanting an AppleTV so they can cancel cable, here is some insight on how the AppleTV works:

The AppleTV turns on and you will see a lot of apps, just like on a phone. These are the only Apple available, you can't search and download an App Store like you can on your phone. I included a full list of these channels at the bottom of my review. These are changing over time and Apple adds more and more as time goes by.

Many of the TV apps have free content available, like clips or interviews, but to access the "good stuff" like full episodes, you need to have a cable login/password.

You can only access full content on a channel app if your cable package gives you access to it normally. I use my parents' account. Disclaimer: some companies may allow sharing accounts according to their user terms and agreements. I am not aware of every company's user agreements, so I can't speak to them, but what I can tell you is that I use my parents' cable account (I do not live with them) and have had no issues or pushback. Netflix encourages sharing accounts, as does Hulu, etc.

My parents don't pay for HBO, so the HBOgo app on my AppleTV won't work unless I type in a different username. One good thing is you CAN use different usernames with each app. So it's not a one-size-fits-all login situation.

Another feature I like is you can "mirror" your compatible phone screen onto your TV. We use this feature for channels who don't have Apple TV apps, but have viewing content available on their iPhone apps. For example, MTV, CBS, and most notably Amazon Prime. They have an iPhone apps with viewing content, so we downloaded it on our phones, enable the mirror option, and boom! We can watch it on the Apple TV now. We have found basically every show we normally watch this way.

Another cool feature of the AppleTV is being able to rent movies the day they come out on DVD. It's usually $5 or $6 to rent, and I like it better than Redbox because Redbox never has what I want available (unless it's not a new release), and I don't have to drive to get it and drive to return it. It's also cheaper than my Time Warner On Demand rentals, and they have better selection. You can find ANYTHING. Plus TV shows are sometimes only $1-$2 to purchase forever!

1) If you utilize all the viewing tricks (home sharing your computer iTunes, mirroring phone apps, using family cable accounts) you can watch basically all off your cable shows without paying for cable anymore

2) easy to use interface

3) simple controls

4) quick click response, very few glitches and lagging (almost never happens!)

5) lots of content available to purchase as well, if you're into that!

6) great for kids, lots of control

7) has a screensaver so it won't burn an image into your nice televisions

1) many apps you're used to watching that are available on your phone may not be available on the AppleTV yet. This is probably not Apples fault and mostly licensing issues, but I still think it's a con. You CAN get around this by mirroring your screen if you have a newer iPhone, like I reviewed above! Some of those Apple include Amazon Prime, CBS, and MTV.

2) setup is tedious. Typing your logins has to happen on each and every app, there are dozens!, and some of them (per the channel's policy) make you verify through the website and get an activation code. The Showtime app in particular is a pain in the you-know-what and makes you redo this once a month or so. You have to sign into Showtime using your cable app, get a code, and then type it into your AppleTV to view content there

3) the remote signal isn't always received by the box and needs to be aimed right at it. If you have to put it in an obscure place, expect a little annoyance.

4) the remote that controls the AppleTV is the same remote that comes with iMacs and can control other Apple devices. My computer is somewhat close to my AppleTV and if I'm not careful how I point it, the iMac picks up the remote signal meant for the AppleTV Zane starts playing music on my iTunes. This is easily solved by moving the devices farther apart from each other, but when you have a tiny apartment like I do, this isn't easily done!

Overall I would recommend this product! We now own 2, one for our upstairs and downstairs TVs, and have cancelled cable and will never look back.

Here is the complete list of apps that come on the AppleTV as of 7/5/2015:

120 Sports
ABC News
ACC Digital Network
Apple Events
Beats Music
Bloomberg TV
CBS News
HBO GO (cable/dish subscription required)
HBO Now (standalone cable-free subscription required; available April 2015)
Hulu Plus (subscription required)
iMovie Theater
iTunes Movies and TV Shows
iTunes Music
iTunes Radio
MLB.TV Premium
MLS Live
NBA League Pass
Netflix (subscription required)
NFL Now (premium content requires a paid subscription)
NHL GameCenter
Qello TV
Red Bull TV
Showtime Anytime
Sky News
Smithsonian Channel
Ted Talks
Tennis Channel Everywhere
The Weather Channel
Wall Street Journal Live
WATCH Disney Channel
WATCH Disney Junior (some free content; cable/dish subscription required for full access)
WatchESPN (cable/dish subscription required)
Willow TV
WWE Network (subscription required)
Yahoo Screen
Young Hollywood
Your Photos and Videos
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on October 17, 2012
The title "Wii No More" is because no longer do I use the Wii for playing YouTube or Netflix videos through my TV. In fact, since getting the Apple TV I haven't even turned on the Wii. The Apple TV is much faster at downloading content for play and rarely pauses during playback. For that alone, I would have given the Apple TV 3 stars. Because there's so much more to love about the Apple TV, I've given it 5 stars.

Things I love:
1. Airplay Mirroring - if I want people to see something I'm doing on my MacBook, I turn on Airplay Mirroring and just like that, it's on the TV. No more trying to squeeze in to see the MacBook screen or dragging a cable across the room to connect the MacBook to the TV.

2. Playing content from a computer - as long as Home Sharing is setup I can pull music and video directly from a computer and play it on my TV. The perfect exercise music is always easily accessible.

3. Customizing the Home Screen - with the latest Apple TV update, I can remove the home screen icons that I don't use. With parental controls I was able to remove some of them before, but now I have complete control, minus a few "required" icons.

4. The Remote App - conducting a search on the Apple TV can be somewhat of a hassle if you are using the Apple Remote that it comes with. Once I started using the Remote App on my iPhone, a keyboard pops up on my phone that I can type the search query in. Down, down, right, right arrow pushing is not required to get to the next letter.

5. Size matters - the Apple TV is so small, making it easy to place anywhere. I set it on top of my DVR along with a Kinivo 501BN Premium 5 port High speed HDMI switch with IR wireless remote and AC Power adapter - supports 3D, 1080p, which is on a OmniMount Tria 1 B - 1 Shelf Wall Furniture (Black/Dark Glass) mounted behind/above my TV.

6. iTunes integration - renting or purchasing new movies/TV shows from iTunes is so fast and easy. If I have subscribed to a TV show, the show automatically downloads to the Apple TV. And I can also choose to download purchases to my MacBook if I want.
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on March 9, 2015
Excellent product, and I have two in my home. Instead of paying Comcast for cable TV we just get internet, then watch Hulu, Netflix, and HBO Go on the apple TV. If you don't have HBO Go, Apple just announced that you can have "HBO Now" on the apple TV for $15/month. This is the first time HBO has ever been offered without cable TV. To go with that announcement, Apple dropped the price of this item from $99 to $69, and Amazon has not yet updated their pricing ($92 at the moment).

What sets the ATV apart from solutions like the Chromecast for me is how well it works in the Mac ecosystem. You can play all of your purchased movies and music from the cloud. You can also access the iTunes music and movies from any computer on the network. In my case, that means my external with 4TB of movies can play them on any TV in my apartment.

Last but not least is screen mirroring. In addition to streaming a ton of content, and airplaying the content you can't stream, you can also mirror the screen and/or sound of your laptop or phone. That turns your TV speakers into a wireless MP3 player real quickly, lets you put a YouTube video on the big screen, or makes your office presentation that much easier to give.

The Apple TV is an extremely versatile device, especially for cord cutters. The exclusive option to add HBO without a cable package makes it even more impressive for the new low cost of $69.
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on April 16, 2013
Works perfectly fine, easy installation, you can play any file (music, video and pictures) in your TV, moreover, you can access youtube and other things like (flicker, Vimeo, Trailers, etc...).

Syncing the files to be displayed on TV can be done via the wireless network or wired, I have tested playing HD movies via wireless network without a problem.

It is recommended to download the FREE (remote) application available from Apple for your Iphone or Ipad to easily control the device and type faster for YOUTUBE search instead of using the provided remote control.

Browsing pictures is super fast, there is no lag what so ever, I was surprised to see that even though my pictures are larger than normal Ipad or Iphone pictures, also there is a cool slide show and screen saver.

- You need to buy an HDMI cable it is not included with this product, many available in AMAZON and can be available for less than $10
- The item I have received is supporting (100-240V & 50-60Hz), I think some customers outside US might be interested in that, I have also uploaded a photo with such details.
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on November 30, 2013
I absolutely love my Apple TV.

- great HD programming.
- very fast processing
- small and barely noticeable.
- great price
- easy syncing with other apple products and iTunes
- mirror and Air Play (stream) content from your iPad or iPhone to your tv.
- can Air Play music from your computer via Wifi to your tv through iTunes.

- no Amazon instant video (as of now, Apple is constantly adding channels)
NOTE: The Amazon app will allow you to Airplay your videos to your Apple TV.
- remote is small and is easy to lose. Especially if you have small kids like I do. I highly recommend downloading the remote app to your iPhone and/or iPad for a backup.

I haven't tried the ROKU 3 yet, but I didn't really see many channels that Apple didn't have that I would like. So being an Apple family we chose the Apple TV.

Overall I love this product and even use it in place of the built in features of my brand new Samsung Smart TV. And the video quality is great. Definitely worth the money if you already use apple products.
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on March 13, 2015
While there are always going to be people out there that complain that the Apple TV doesn't play this or that exotic media format or that it doesn't do this or that niche nerd thing, there's a reason you buy an Apple product—because you plug it in and it does what you want in a simple, beautiful way. If you think that it's fun to spend a bunch of time building a "media PC" that can play 9,000 different formats and get your twitter feed at the same time (and hey, I'm not judging, because I like that stuff too--in the right environment), then there are at least 50 other devices that are a better choice for you. On the other hand, if you want buy something that you spend five minutes setting up and 10 hours watching Netflix (instead of the reverse), then this is your box.

I've owned the Apple TV since the very first version (which admittedly had it's limitations) and although I'm not a heavy TV watcher, I haven't had cable for years. I used to use my TiVo for free OTA channels quite a bit, but lately, I've switched to really exclusively using the Apple TV. With Netflix, Hulu, and a renting/buying a few iTunes shows here and there (and yes, the occasional torrent), I've got everything I need in one place. And for the price, that's a pretty incredible thing to have...
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on July 1, 2015
I don't know why I was so late to get one of these. I've had it for about 5 days now and haven't used any other device connected to my TV since. I had recently bought chomecast as well about 3 months ago and I will not likely use it again for anything other then youtube or netflix (maybe not even for that).

Ok so first there is always Apple packaging, if you have ever bought any of apples products in the past decade or so you know what I mean when I say you feel like you just got something special and very exclusive. I could tell you more but do you really care about that. I didn't think so, anyway simple enough its all just plug and play if you have a HDMI cable (amazon has bundles with a HDMI for a few dollars more) and the automatic set up/sync option (for those of us with and iphone, ipod or ipad with bluetooth) is very useful, you just turn bluetooth on and tap the Apple TV with it.
2 quick suggestions regarding setup:
- 1. Whatever you do, do not activate siri's voice (if you are at the initial setup screen for a while she well say tap the play button 3 times to activate voice "something" (I thought it was voice command but it is not. She just reads all information on what you are currently on all the time). I did this and at first thought it was cool ("she's talking to me") but she doesn't shut up and it gets really annoying. I was unable to figure out how to turn her voice off and had to clear all settings and start new.
- 2. As soon as you can get an app for your phone, ipod or ipad to act as the remote (may not need it anymore after you've set up everything including all the apps that you will use. There is nothing wrong with their remote (in fact I love it, never really put it down) but when you need to type things its a real pain in the A** without a keyboard. For instance when your activating apps and stuff that may require you to sign into itunes or entering your wifi password or something of the like.
their menu is just like on all there devices just a page with apps you could rearrange.

Now quick comparison with chromecast.
Biggest difference (and maybe the only one that matters, outside of content of course) between the 2 is that Apple TV has its own user interface (menu) that you can use to control it (via remote or remote app). Chromecast has no such function rather it is just a "middle man" really that is completely controlled by your everyday devices that you are very familiar with. Because of this you may find it a bit easier to use chromecast as you do the same as you would have before but after you just press that cast button. Chromecast doesn't really have apps but they do have support for some such as youtube netflix hulu the usual more common streaming services and because of this it turns your other device (phone) to a remote and takes over the connection to the internet. Positive for this is that you can still use your device (phone) for other purposes without interupting whatever you put on the big screen. I do not believe you can do this the same through Apple TV (but b/c you never needed to use your other device to go to these services in the first place, does that matter?) but still can be done just not the way you may be use to. That said using youtube and netflix are much quicker and easier, and in the formers case a lot more functional when its being controlled by your phone rather then Apple TV (I have yet to figure out if you can use your phone the same with Airplay [for ATV] as Chromecast). Chromecast unlike Apple TV, lets you mirrorcast your computer screen to the TV as well though if you try to stream video that way it will be very laggy/jumpy just not watchable so its good for just looking at a page but they even messed that up b/c the cursor is not visible on the big screen so your still looking at the laptop or computer screen when you need to click something or type in a new webpage. Such a shame b/c that could have been a big 1 up for chromecast (though it may be the only 1). Now ATV does come with free content some of which you can't get through chromecast such as option to watch some channels live through your ATV (providing you have the channel through cable already). Some channels like USA will allow you to watch some of their futured shows (recent, already aired) even without having their channel. I do not have USA yet I was able to watch Mr Robot (very promising) and Complications through ATV, but when attempting to watch a movie they had, it wouldn't let me b/c I do not have their channel. It has all the same apps as chromecast that offer free content (regardless of cable subscription) as well though the only ones that are relevant (to me at least) are Crackle and redbull TV. Side note: there are a lot of apps geared toward childrens TV which can't speak on other then to say that I saw a lot. My big app and the driving factor that made me buy both chromecast and Apple TV is HBO NOW. We all know they charge 15 dollars to have the channel through cable then an extra 5 for on demand a month and some ppl like myself only got cable b/c we want HBO. As soon as I heard HBO Now is offered as a standalone service and Game of Thrones Season 5 was starting the following week I did a flip and ran out to buy chromecast (didn't know anything about Apple TV yet). Highly dissapointed as chromecast doesn't have support for HBO Now I had to use mirrorcast only to find the picture unwatchable. After complaining to a friend of mine, he said (in a condescending manner) "Why didn't you just get Apple TV?" and if he said in any other way then that, I might have listened rather then getting defensive and ignoring him. Anyway I ended up watching the second to last episode at his house and finally saw what Apple TV was and more importantly HBO Now works flawlessly on it. So I bought one. Sorry I know I said it would be short. Chromecast seemed to squander every opportunity they had to do something better then ATV even when you think there is something, you'll find there really isn't but it was close. Anyway ATV is flat out better and if you already have the means to watch whatever you want whenever you want on your iPhone or iPad via a certain app most of us know about you could use airplay to send it to the ATV and watch on the big screen.
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on May 30, 2015
If you're an Apple user, then the apple TV is great. The box connects to your TV with an HDMI cable and also connects to a wall outlet for power. You can wirelessly stream any content on your tablet, phone, or laptop (provided you have a mid-2011 or newer macbook) straight to your TV. You can even use Airplay to turn your television into a wireless second monitor for your laptop. Music, movies and apps all connect very quickly and respond with little to no lag. If you have existing cable subscriptions you can type in your account information to activate those channels directly on the TV. I do not have cable, but I have HBO NOW and Netflix subscriptions and it's nice to be able to watch Thrones and Rome without having to stream from my iPad.

- Sylish, compact Apple design
- Excellent wireless functionality expands the capabilities of Apple devices
- Intuitive interface

- Very limited free TV content if you do not have a cable subscription (though all the device connectivity functionality is free of course)
- The only means of controlling some aspects of Apple TV UI, as far as I can tell, is the apple remote. It takes a little time to type out your usernames, emails and passwords using the remote but at least you only have to do it once.
- My largest reservation: no Bluetooth connectivity. If you're streaming content from your iPad to your TV, you cannot simultaneously stream audio to Bluetooth speakers. This really isn't a problem if your television has good speakers or if you a good set hard-wired, but my TV is a monitor and its speakers are horrible. I have to connect a separate pair of desktop speakers to my monitor to get decent sound quality instead of just using my Big Jambox.
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on November 21, 2013
My husband and I decided to cancel our cable/satellite and move to strictly stream our programming from the internet and Netflix. I opted for Apple TV instead of subscribing to something like Hulu Plus. There are, of course, pros and cons to both options. For me it boiled down to not wanting another monthly subscription so I am sacrificing on some content.

Regarding my experience with Apple TV thus far...installation was extremely simple! I was up and running within 10 minutes. The first thing I did was bring up one of my major network apps on my iPad (abc/cbs/nbc) and using Airplay and the mirroring technology stream an episode of one of my favorite shows. Worked like a charm! (I did have to Google the steps on this because it wasn't listed in the manual how to set up Airplay, but it was very simple). This was one of my main reasons for buying Apple TV, so I could stop watching my current seasons of shows on small screens like my iPad and iPhone (or computer). The picture was crystal clear and once it had a solid connection, it played flawlessly (a few hiccups at the start).

After that, I brought up Netflix. This was just an added bonus for me that Netflix streaming was included, I already had this capability through my Samsung BluRay player and my Wii. But let me tell you, the Netflix experience using the Apple TV is stellar compared to the Wii and BluRay player! It connects extremely quickly, much quicker than my BluRay player and the look and feel is just outstanding.

There are a lot of apps already available with Apple TV but be forewarned, you need a programming subscription with a major provider for a lot of the content. I knew this going in, so this didn't disappoint me. But there is still a lot that you can leverage: PBS, The Weather Channel, Radio, YouTube and more. Let alone anything in your iTunes.

The one con is that iTunes rentals and purchases for movies, TV shows/series, etc. is pretty inflated, at least for my area of the country. Between RedBox, Netflix and brick & mortar rental stores, you can rent shows for much less than iTunes offers. The convenience is nice however, if that is worth the inflation to you.

Some features I recently learned about but have not used yet: there is a special connection with Yahoo that you can use. I want to explore this more. You can also use your iDevice as a remote by downloading the Apple TV Remote app. I downloaded the app but haven't used this yet. The remote it comes with is nice and simple, but very small so downloading the app is a good back-up plan in the event the remote gets lost (I have a 4 & 5 year old!).

I'm looking forward to the updates that Apple makes to Apple TV because as awesome as it is now, I know it is only going to get better. And for $99, your ROI will be quick if your eliminating a cable/satellite subscription like me.
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on March 25, 2015
We have a smart tv and a "dumb" flatscreen tv with a Roku. I like the Apple TV although I wish it had apps for streaming Amazon Prime. The feature to AirPlay from my other Apple devices is convenient and I can get streaming Amazon prime instant videos that way.

The product is practically plug and play. The remote in my opinion is way too small (maybe 5"Lx2"Wx1/4"H. It doesn't fit well even in my small hands and it's easy to misplace. Not ergonomic at all. The buttons aren't labeled well, basically there is a play/pause button, a select button, directional buttons and "menu" button. The menu button also means "back" and play/pause also means on/off (although they aren't labeled as such. It takes some practice.

Honestly I find the Roku more user-friendly and it is quite faster when navigating through menus and playing selections. I like the roku feature that allowes a headset to be plugged into the remote for private audio. We just had a baby and it's nice for my husband and I to watch something without waking the little one.
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