Apple TV

First shown in late 2006 and actually released in early 2007, the Apple TV went through a more substantial transformation than any other Apple product in the past decade. The original model was a stripped-down Macintosh computer with a 40GB hard drive, serving as a screenless iPod for playing videos, music, and photos on an HDTV. Apple unveiled a completely redesigned plastic model in 2010, dropping the hard drive in favor of 8GB of flash storage, and the current third-generation Apple TV ($99 from the Apple Store) is heavily based on that version.

One-fourth the size of the original model and made entirely from jet black plastic, the current Apple TV serves three purposes: it streams media directly from the Internet, from computers running iTunes, and from iOS devices. It comes with a silver aluminum remote control and power cable; you supply the HDMI cable to connect it to your TV. Unlike the second-generation model it cosmetically resembles, the current Apple TV supports 1080p HD output, and runs the latest, iOS 8-like version of the Apple TV system software.

On its own, the Apple TV lets you watch video from Netflix, YouTube, Vimeo, and major sports networks ranging from ESPN to the MLB, NBA, NFL, and MLS. Using AirPlay with your iOS device or Mac, you can stream videos, photos, and music directly from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac to your HDTV, as well as mirroring their screens. Under some circumstances, Macs can use a TV equipped with an Apple TV as a second display.

The third-generation Apple TV received a stealth upgrade in late January, 2013 to a “Rev A” model with small internal component changes. Persistent rumors have suggested that Apple would replace the Apple TV with a thoroughly redesigned fourth-generation model all throughout 2013 and 2014, but as of 2015, the device remains unchanged.

We love the current Apple TV and think it’s a great value for the $99 asking price, but it has seemingly remained on Apple’s back burner for a very long time. Since it’s cheap, you can buy one now and thoroughly enjoy what it’s capable of doing, but don’t be surprised if Apple releases a new version later in 2015.

Read our full coverage for details.

All Apple TV Generations

Release Date Age
March 16, 2012 3 years, 6 months, 20 days ago

Apple TV ▪ Yesterday

AAPL: 110.38

Stock Chart

The Apple TV is launching later in October but many of the details about the device remain under wraps. At the announcement, Apple announced that the Apple TV Siri universal search feature will include data from iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, Showtime and HBO. Many had hoped that Apple would be more open with this feature, allowing Siri to incorporate data from third-party services without requiring a special Apple partnership. In a move that will please many, Tim Cook has announced that Apple will offer an API for universal search, after all, via an interview with Buzzfeed.

expand full story

Apple TV ▪ September 28

AAPL: 112.44

Stock Chart

With the Apple TV 4 developer kit in the hands of developers, select software makers are experimenting with different ways to take advantage of the iOS 9-based tvOS operating system. Developer Kevin Smith has created a MAME Emulator for the new Apple TV that is based on a similar port for iPhones and iPads. These special software kits allow users to run vintage video games on their modern devices, such as Frogger and Metal Gear Solid.

The video below shows some of these games in action. As MacRumors notes, the A8 chip in the new Apple TV is able to handle these simulated games fairly well. The developer explains on his YouTube channel how the emulator was developed:

expand full story

Apple TV ▪ September 22

AAPL: 113.40

Stock Chart

As usual, our friends over at iFixit have started the teardown process for Apple’s new lineup of products introduced earlier this month and it’s kicking things off with the new 4th generation Apple TV hardware. expand full story

Apple TV ▪ September 12

AAPL: 114.21

Stock Chart

Apple announced the new Apple TV with a good selection of app demos and announcements for the launch and now that the SDK has been released many others are jumping onto the bandwagon. ITWorld asked Plex about whether it would be bringing its media server app to tvOS. The answers was a resounding yes.

I reached out to Plex via email and Scott Olechowski, the co-founder of Plex replied, saying, “We are very excited to have a crack at bringing our users Apple TV. It’s been a long requested platform and we’re excited to work on it. We want it, our users want it…and we’re anxiously awaiting the tvOS developer beta info, so we can finally dig in.”

With the current Apple TV, Plex users do not have native access to a Plex client on their television without jailbreaking. Instead, users have had to resort to streaming their content from another Plex app to the set top box over AirPlay. However, this will change with the addition of an app SDK and accompanying App Store with the new Apple TV.

expand full story

Apple TV ▪ September 11

AAPL: 114.21

Stock Chart

Apple TV’s user interface has been through more changes over the past 8 years than any other Apple OS — the rare Apple UI that has seen more major changes than the devices it runs on. As improbable as this might have seemed for a “hobby,” fixing the Apple TV was one of the last topics Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs discussed with biographer Walter Isaacson: “I finally cracked it,” Jobs said about an upcoming Apple TV UI. “It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine,” apparently indicating that complex remotes would be a thing of the past. But after Jobs passed away, the Apple TV received only a couple of modest tweaks — improvements, but modest nonetheless — as Jobs’ mysterious “simplest UI” apparently remained unused.

As an Apple TV user and fan, I’ve spent years waiting for this week’s introduction of the fourth-generation Apple TV, as much for improved hardware as the opportunity to see Jobs’ vision in action. I’ve long suspected that pervasive voice control was the missing link — Siri was added to the iPhone 4S just before Jobs died — and from every indication, Apple has done a wonderful job of building voice navigation into the new Apple TV’s tvOS operating system. But did it get the rest of the UI right, or are we in for more years of main menu redesigns? Let’s take a look at what tvOS 1.0 gets right and wrong…

expand full story

Apple TV ▪ September 9

AAPL: 110.15

Stock Chart

On Apple’s public specs page, it says that the new Apple TV includes an A8 chip and that’s about it in terms of the bundled SoC. However, Apple’s developer documentation goes into more detail specifically listing the hardware as having 2 GB RAM (via Steve Troughton-Smith). This means the internals are actually better than the A8 in the iPhone 6 and latest-generation iPod touch, which only have 1 GB of RAM.

expand full story

Submit a Tip


Submitting a tip constitutes permission to publish and syndicate. Please view our tips policy or see all contact options.

Powered by VIP