By purchasing the Apple TV, you’ll be able to watch live TV streaming services. There are two versions; the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV (4th Gen). These can be controlled with the Siri remote, which comes included with both versions. They also come with the Apple TV app, which enables you to browse live and on demand content across over 100 different TV apps. Here’s an overview of what you can expect with both models, along with the TV app.
Apple TV HD
On average, this product is priced at around $150. It provides HD only, with no HDR, and there is TV control for power and volume. The main services it is compatible with are Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube. Going more into the technical specifications, this device offers a framerate of 60FPS, and its operating system is tvOS. The processor is a 1.5 GHz dual-core A8, and the GPU is an A8. It has 2GB of RAM, along with 32GB of internal storage. The output connection on offer is HDMI, and screen mirroring is possible via AirPlay. This device’s WiFi class is 802.11ac (MIMO) and the Ethernet connection is 100Mbps. The Bluetooth connection is 4.0, and Dolby Audio theater technology is featured. Remote connectivity is made available with Bluetooth / IR, and Siri facilitates the on-device voice search.
If you want to stream live TV, your options are plentiful. There’s fuboTV, Hulu Live TV, Philo, YouTube TV and Sling TV. When it comes to sports apps, you can successfully download ESPN+, DAZN, NFL Sunday Ticket, NBA League Pass, MLB.TV and NHL.TV. For downloading apps, you’ll be going to the Apple App Store, as this model of Apple TV will not work with the Roku Channel Store, Amazon Appstore or Google Play.
Your video app options are also numerous with the Apple TV. You can choose from YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook, but not Twitch. Similarly, dedicated viable movie apps include Vudu, Fandango Now, Google Play Movies, iTunes Movies, Redbox and Movies Anywhere. If you’d rather use the device to play music, you can do this using Pandora or Apple Music – you won’t have any luck with Amazon Music, Spotify or YouTube Music. The only photo viewing and management tool compatible with the Apple TV is iCloud Photos, as you won’t be able to get Google Photos, Amazon Photos or Facebook to work. Similarly, if you want to use a smart speaker with this device, you’d better have an Apple HomePod, as you’re out of luck with the Amazon Echo or Google Home. Finally, the Nest smart home app is compatible, and so is the Plex media server, but Kodi is not.
Apple TV 4K
Those wanting to purchase the Apple TV 4K will need to fork out an average of $180 with retailers such as Amazon. Users can enjoy 4K and HDR, along with TV control of power and volume, plus compatibility with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube. As with the HD model, the framerate is 60FPS, and the HDR is Dolby Vision. It was released in late 2017 and its operating system is tvOS. Getting down to the in-depth technical information, the Apple TV 4K uses a 2.38 GHz hexa-core A10X Fusion, and the GPU is A10X Fusion. It has 3GB of RAM, plus 32GB of internal storage, although this can’t be expanded with a hard drive. The available output connection is HDMI, and screen mirroring functions via AirPlay. Its WiFi class is 802.11ac (MIMO) and there is Gigabit Ethernet on offer. Dolby Audio/Dolby Atmos is the theater technology available, and this model has Bluetooth 5.0. As with the previous model, connectivity is via Bluetooth / IR, and the on-device voice search is operated with Siri.
If you bought this device with the aim of streaming live TV, you’ll be pleased to discover that the Apple TV 4K can be used with YouTube TV, Sling TV, Philo, Hulu Live TV and fuboTV. Sports fans can make the most of compatibility with NFL Sunday Ticket, NBA League Pass, DAZN, ESPN+, NHL.TV and MLB.TV. To download apps, you’ll need to use the Apple App Store, as opposed to the Amazon App Store, the Roku Channel Store or Google Play. For watching TV, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube will work well, but Twitch is not an option. However, the good news is that working dedicated apps include Fandango Now, Vudu, Movies Anywhere, Google Play Movies, Redbox and iTunes Movies. Like its little brother, the Apple TV 4K will work with Apple Music and Pandora, but you’ll fail to successfully load up Spotify, Amazon Music or YouTube Music. For photo storage and management, iCloud Photos is the system you’ll need to get used to, as opposed to Amazon Photos, Facebook or Google Photos. Similarly, Amazon and Google products won’t work when it comes to smart speakers – the Apple HomePod is your only choice with this model of Apple TV. That being said, you will be able to keep an eye on your home with the Nest app, or make the most of the Plex media server.
Apple TV App
The TV app is what Apple TV viewers will use to browse movies, live news, sports and TV shows with a range of apps from various streaming services. It’s essentially a hub for people to navigate to their chosen movie and TV show content from iTunes, their personal media libraries, streaming services and subscription channels. If you bought your Apple TV at the end of 2015 or later, then you’ll be able to use the Apple TV app, as it works on Apple TV (4th Gen) and newer. You can ensure you have the app by downloading and installing the latest version of tvOS on your Apple TV device. Once the update has finished, you will either be able to see the TV app on your home screen, or you can search for it on your set-top box.
The Watch Now screen on the app lets you view the content you’re currently watching on your Apple TV, and enables you to resume playing from your last stop point. When you click on the content, it will take you to whichever provider the show originates from, which could be a streaming service such as Sling TV.
Both the Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K enables users to stream a variety of content, whether that’s on demand content from streaming services or live TV. The technical specifications on both are comprehensive, meaning that those who purchase one of the devices will be able to watch TV, listen to music, browse movies, manage photos and more. The voice control with Siri makes it easy to switch between TV channels or streaming service providers, and there is a dedicated app which acts as a hub for all of your content. Overall, Apple TV is a solid choice for streaming live TV.