What does Apple TV do?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by roxics, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. roxics macrumors regular

    Aug 4, 2013
    So my birthday is coming up in a few days and my girlfriend has asked me what she can get me. I'm likely to say "nothing" or "just take me out to dinner." But in the back of my mind I've been thinking about an Apple TV. I just really don't know a lot about them and what the benefits are.

    We already have a Vizio 3D smart TV and a LG Blu-ray player with apps. Both of which have Netflix, YouTube and Amazon on them among others. But those are the only three services we actually use with a TV.

    Netflix works great most of the time and navigating is easy. YouTube and Amazon both suck for navigating. But they are usable. So no big deal.

    I have a late model Mac Mini and a 2008 macbook alum. unibody. My girlfriend and I also both have iPhone 5C's. We both use itunes, her on her PC and me on my mac's. But we never buy or rent video from it. At most just a song here or there.

    My impression of the Apple TV is a streaming box that was great to have back when TV's didn't have this stuff built in. But I know I'm probably missing a lot of details here.

    So what else can an Apple TV do that might be of benefit for me(and her) to consider spending the $99 on one?
  2. Radiating macrumors 65816

    Dec 29, 2011
    Apple TV is basically an iPhone 5 that plugs into your TV. It can only run Apple TV apps.

    I use it as a wireless monitor for my laptop over wifi, other than that it has the standard media apps, and supposedly Apple will soon update it to play iOS games.
  3. APlotdevice macrumors 68040


    Sep 3, 2011
    Since your TV handles all the streaming services, the only thing an :apple:TV would add is Airplay and Airplay mirroring.
  4. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    You are pretty much correct. It does all that stuff Smart TVs do now.

    Like mentioned you can use AirPlay and AirPlay mirroring from an iOS device or Mac. This kind of expands it to do anything your iPhone, iPad and Mac can do. I AirPlay pandora constantly, when not watching TV.

    Stream media from your computer etc etc.

    With Mavericks you can use it as a remote Mac monitor.
  5. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    Do you need Airplay and Video mirroring?
    Do you rent or buy a lot of iTunes movies and musics?
    Do you want to stream your iTunes content to your TV and AV receiver?

    If so then get an Apple TV. It's a wonderful device.

    If not (like me) then Apple TV would be a s**** device. You already have a Mac Mini. If you can hook it up to your AVR/HDTV then it's already a perfect media center. It has a built in hard drive. You can play variety format of video right from the Mini. No need for conversion, remux, or iTunes DRM videos.
  6. dgalvan123 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2008
    The main reason I got an Apple TV was for its ability to display photos from our iPhoto library on our TV without any additional effort from me.

    If you use iPhoto AND enjoy viewing/showing your photos on your TV, Apple TV is perfect for that.
  7. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    AppleTV is great for playing all the content on your TV that you have on iTunes - movies, TV shows, music and photos (pulled from iPhoto). Works best if you have a computer that's always-on and that hold all your media in one place that can act as an iTunes source for the AppleTV. Otherwise, you have to go boot up your Mac to gain access to the iTunes content every time you want to use it. Personally, I keep all my content on my iMac, which is always on.

    It's also good for Netflix, Hulu Plus, etc., though you're right in that almost every other device (TVs, DVD players, etc.) already includes those. The AppleTV, however, uses Apple's UI for navigation of those services, so it may be easier/better to use than what's chucked in to your BluRay player, etc.

    It can also act as a remote display for your Macs and for your iDevices (Airplay). For me, it comes in handy. For others, it may not.

    I have 400+ movies in my iTunes library, tons of TV shows and hundreds of gigabytes of music. All accessible from any TV in my home. I have an AppleTV on each television in the house. Personally, I love them.
  8. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    Worth mentioning: If you leave your Mac sleeping with iTunes running then the Apple TV can wake it up to fetch content without you having to get out of your easy chair.



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