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Edd70

macrumors 6502
Feb 16, 2018
329
852
It’s a set top box you connect to your TV. It performs the same basic functions as a Roku, Fire TV, or the onboard Smart software that comes bundled with most TVs nowadays. They’re all generally used to stream Netflix, Amazon, HBO, and so forth.

They all do it a little differently in terms of the interface. If you’re not already invested in Apple devices or the ecosystem, I’d stop reading this now and buy something cheaper.
 

techwarrior

macrumors 65816
Jul 30, 2009
1,250
498
Colorado
Think of iOS or Android apps that stream content from various TV services, but dedicated to just that and not all the other functionality of smartphones. ATV is similar in many ways to Roku, Android TV, Amazon Fire. All of these connect to a TV via HDMI and stream content from the internet over WiFi or ethernet connections over your home network.

What sets ATV apart from others is integration with other Apple Devices. Most industry analysts concede, if you have Mac and\or iOS devices, ATV is the logical choice. Why? Because ATV can natively be used to stream music and video content from other Apple devices via Airplay. It shares your iTunes and iCloud account, so purchases, music, video content that are rented or purchased can be played on any of the devices. Photos from your phone will appear in ATV via iCloud photo sync. And if you are putting smart home devices in your home, ATV can be your always on hub for "Home Kit" integration of your smart lights, door locks, window shades, ceiling fans, etc. With Home kit, just invoke Siri on any of your Apple devices and issue a command, from anywhere. Using iCloud, it sends the command to your ATV and executes the command for you.

With some of the services now available on streaming boxes, you can subscribe to a live TV service like cable or satellite, but without the added boxes, remotes, connections, and rental fees. These are typically a set price with no introduction rates, no commitments, cancel anytime unlike cable or satellite that tie you into a 1-2 year commitment.
 

HDFan

Contributor
Jun 30, 2007
6,674
2,914
1. Provides seamless access to Photos, Music, etc. on your TV if you are in the Apple Ecosystem.

2. Allows you to watch streaming services (HBO, Amazon Prime, Netflix, ...) on your TV. Better quality than the few native smart TV apps, and makes streaming possible on dumb TVs.

And there is more ...
 

zoran

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jun 30, 2005
4,732
126
So with an ATV the native apps that are installed in the tv's OS are useless?
 

waw74

macrumors 601
May 27, 2008
4,693
962
So with an ATV the native apps that are installed in the tv's OS are useless?
not necessarily useless
but redundant.
For a lot of what the aTV does, you could use the apps in your TV.


For the most part, you're more than likely to find a specific app for the aTV before it's available for your TV.
and the user interface for aTV is a lot smoother, (although some apps still are not designed well)

if you were an app developer, and you had a choice between making one app for the aTV, or making multiples (one for each brand of TV) which would you choose?
Plus when converting an iOS app to tvOS, you can use most of the same code. Not necessarily true for TVs
This is the same for games as well as streaming video apps.
 
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zoran

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jun 30, 2005
4,732
126
#waw74
Due to the fact that im not a native English speaker can u make your reply more clear for me, i kinda lost ya :-(
 

satcomer

Suspended
Feb 19, 2008
9,115
1,973
The Finger Lakes Region
not necessarily useless
but redundant.
For a lot of what the aTV does, you could use the apps in your TV.


For the most part, you're more than likely to find a specific app for the aTV before it's available for your TV.
and the user interface for aTV is a lot smoother, (although some apps still are not designed well)

if you were an app developer, and you had a choice between making one app for the aTV, or making multiples (one for each brand of TV) which would you choose?
Plus when converting an iOS app to tvOS, you can use most of the same code. Not necessarily true for TVs
This is the same for games as well as streaming video apps.

Yet TV devices with microphones listen all the time! Heck even the CBS says they are spying in us! plus with Smart TVs apps are never Updated ever!
 

waw74

macrumors 601
May 27, 2008
4,693
962
#waw74
Due to the fact that im not a native English speaker can u make your reply more clear for me, i kinda lost ya :-(

If someone makes an iOS app, they're more or less 90% of the way to a tvOS app
so as a result, most tvOS apps are fairly full featured.

for an app on your TV, they have to make several different versions for the TV manufacturers.

and a developer will look at the number of devices running an OS.
So the question is...
do you develop an app for a brand of TV who might ship 35 million TVs a year.
or for apple's devices, who as of January 2020, had 1.5 billion active devices*

not to mention apple has a well established way for the developers to charge for their apps, and make revenue for themselves.

meaning, the app for the aTV is probably better supported and it will be updated more often.




* the 1.5 billion is all apple devices, Mac included.
they don't break it down much past that, but have also said 900 million active iphones.
 

HDFan

Contributor
Jun 30, 2007
6,674
2,914
I dont understand your point here

TV manufacturers want to sell new TVs, so they offer limited support and updates for older TVs. LG announced that they would support Apple on the 2019 TVs, but not on their 2018's. Under pressure they promised that they would update the 2018's, but so far that has not happened.

In contrast an Apple TV receives continuing updates for years.
 
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zhenya

macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
6,929
3,677
As mentioned, the apps that come built in to the TV tend to be not terribly polished, and the TV manufacturers don’t tend to update the operating system that the apps are running on, so you are likely to get stuck with an outdated system fairly quickly.

Between the AppleTV, Roku, and Amazon Fire devices there is no real reason to bother with the built in tv apps. The AppleTV is the most polished of all of them - especially if you have a lot of other Apple devices, use iCloud, etc.

If you have Airpods, these also work flawlessly with the AppleTV without the delay in every other bluetooth headset. This has been a game-changer in our house as my wife likes to watch a lot of tv shows I’d rather not, yet it allows us to be in the same room together, doing different things.
 
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