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Apple TV | How Does It Work?

Updated on March 31, 2013

Apple TV Reviews

What's the best entertainment tv - Apple! Our Apple TV is a main source of entertainment. Radio, Netflix, Movies, TV shows and more at our fingertips.

When we first got it, my husband looked at me and said, "Apple TV, how does it work?" I know lots of other people have asked this question too.

Hopefully, in sharing my experience here, I can help you with a few answers about the system, what you need to run it and what you can do with it.

1st and foremost --

Apple TV works with a PC or a MAC --

your choice! (We have a PC).

Read on for more info about how Apple TV works.

All images, unless otherwise noted, belong to Mandee Sears/DecoratingforEvents

You do NOT have to own a Mac/Apple computer to use Apple TV. It will sync with your PC just fine!

The long awaited and anticipated third generation of Apple TV was released in March 7, 2012. In the box, you receive:

  • Apple TV Unit
  • Aluminum Apple TV Remote
  • Power Cable
  • Documentation from Apple

Priced at less than $100 for the unit -- it's worth it's weight in gold for the hours of entertainment for the family.

You Can...

~ Watch HD movie and TV show rentals

~ Netflix and YouTube streaming of Videos and Movies

~ iTunes music and photos from your computer

~ 802.11n Wi-Fi - Wirelessly connect

Apple TV | How does it work?

It's Simple and Easy to Use

The actual component you connect to your television is called the "Apple TV". It is not a video device but rather a device you connect to your television. Your television, then becomes the "video" monitor on which you operate Apple TV.

The new generation component, Apple TV, is rather small -- about a 4" square to be exact. But don't let the size fool you. It is powerful!

Apple TV is an affordable form of entertainment with many, many options. In this ever-changing world of technology, It's nice to have computers and televisions work together to showcase our family pictures, music collections and to be able to watch tv shows and movies.

As of right now, Netflix is offering a 30 day free trial of their service when you purchase Apple TV. My daughter sat and watched a whole season of the Pawn Stars tv show from the History Channel the other night!

**Image is of the scrolling pictures from my computer to my Apple TV.

As a whole, it's a wonderful product with lots of opportunities. It's affordable (under $100 at Amazon), you get netflix free for 30 days, you can sync your Mac or PC and watch all the pictures and videos and listen to your iTunes music library. What could be better for quality, affordable, home entertainment?

You will need to have:

~ HDMI Cable

~ High Definition TV with HDMI and

capable of 720p

~ Wired or Wireless Internet Network

~ iTunes Store Account

~ Broadband internet connection

Photos of Screen Shots - from my Apple TV

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Main Screen accessed when first starting Apple TV - Movies.TV Shows menu.Internet menu.Settings menu.Netflix movies menu on Apple TV.Youtube on Apple TV.Computers menu. Apple TV is synced with my desktop computer. Meaning -- it will read from the music, video, photo, etc... files on my desktop and show on my television.Photos menu accessed from my desktop computer.My main library from my desktop computer.
Main Screen accessed when first starting Apple TV - Movies.
Main Screen accessed when first starting Apple TV - Movies.
TV Shows menu.
TV Shows menu.
Internet menu.
Internet menu.
Settings menu.
Settings menu.
Netflix movies menu on Apple TV.
Netflix movies menu on Apple TV.
Youtube on Apple TV.
Youtube on Apple TV.
Computers menu. Apple TV is synced with my desktop computer. Meaning -- it will read from the music, video, photo, etc... files on my desktop and show on my television.
Computers menu. Apple TV is synced with my desktop computer. Meaning -- it will read from the music, video, photo, etc... files on my desktop and show on my television.
Photos menu accessed from my desktop computer.
Photos menu accessed from my desktop computer.
My main library from my desktop computer.
My main library from my desktop computer.

What can You Do With Apple TV?

Movies, Radio, TV Shows, Netflix, Music, iTunes...

After syncing Apple TV with my desktop computer, I can watch slideshows from my picture files set to music from my music files (all off my computer). Anything I have purchased or rent through iTunes is available through my Apple TV. What is iTunes you say?

iTunes is a free application for your Mac or PC. It organizes and plays your digital music and video on your computer. It keeps all your content in sync. And it's a store on your computer, iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV that has everything you need to be entertained. iTunes also wirelessly syncs your iTunes library to your Apple TV, so you can see your movies, listen to your music, and look at your photos on the big screen.

This past holiday, Santa Andy had a video of a roaring fireplace and Christmas music playing all though his Apple TV. It set quite a festive mood -- even in Florida! Later, we watched family picture slide shows put to music from his iTunes music library. New memories in the making!

Apple TV and Connections Gallery - Photos from My House

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Front of packaging box for Apple TV.Back of packaging box for Apple TV listing some of the attributes.Apple TV in use.Back of Apple TV box and connections.Connecting Apple TV to the television.
Front of packaging box for Apple TV.
Front of packaging box for Apple TV.
Back of packaging box for Apple TV listing some of the attributes.
Back of packaging box for Apple TV listing some of the attributes.
Apple TV in use.
Apple TV in use.
Back of Apple TV box and connections.
Back of Apple TV box and connections.
Connecting Apple TV to the television.
Connecting Apple TV to the television.

You Need a Wireless Router at Your House - for Apple TV to Work

NETGEAR Wireless Router - N300 (WNR2000)
NETGEAR Wireless Router - N300 (WNR2000)

I use the NetGear WNR 2000 Wireless Router. I love it.

We have 3 computers and the Apple TV running through the router and have great reception -- even on the screened in porch through the glass sliding doors!

It's a simple and secure way to share your high-speed internet connection for less than $50 USD.

 

Indepth Video Review of the 2010 Apple TV

See Everything Available for Your Apple TV - at Amazon.com

Don't forget, you need an HD television with HDMI outlets to use the Apple TV.

Entertainment TV - Apple Style

With all of the features of an Apple TV at an affordable price, how can you go wrong? I hope you enjoy your Apple TV as much as my family does. :D

What do you think of Apple TV?

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    • ErikAlexander LM profile image

      ErikAlexander LM 3 years ago

      My family just got an Apple TV. My dad loves streaming videos off his computer to watch in the living room. Great lens!

    • janey126 profile image

      janey126 3 years ago

      Wow what a great info and lens! Just awesome!

    • Carashops profile image

      Cara 4 years ago

      It's great. I bought this for my husband at Christmas time and we're very impressed with it!

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      Wow, that is tiny, and now I know what it does.

    • lgOlson profile image

      L. Olson 4 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Finally someone explained this to me, that I can understand! Thanks! I didn't realize how affordable it is!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Apple TV sounds like an affordable entertainment dream come true and what a great way to stretch a dollar....very well explained by you, how cool! :)

    • BestForTheMoneyz profile image

      BestForTheMoneyz 4 years ago

      cool lens I have to look into Apple TV at some stage!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I love it. I am about to buy one. I just have a question: do we pay to watch all the movies?

    • FastSecrets profile image

      FastSecrets 4 years ago

      Thereâs certainly a great deal to know about this subject. I like all of the points you made.

    • WordChipper profile image

      WordChipper 4 years ago

      I use Boxee Box but the same principle.. Great lens!

    • profile image

      BohBot 4 years ago

      I use my AppleTV every day. In fact, I'm watching it right now!

    • profile image

      azamkhan760 4 years ago

      wow cool gadget keep sharing

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have trouble just operating the TV remote control, so it was good to read that connecting Apple TV isis simple and fast.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      excited to get oneeee! :)

    • rawwwwwws lm profile image

      rawwwwwws lm 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing!! :) Enjoyed passing by!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I work for a doctor and he gave us all Apple tv a was wwondering watt it was about

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great info thanks.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @Motionmaker: Yes..you just need to download the iTunes app which costs nothing.

      I just hooked up last night and was looking at my photos on my TV..

      Needs the HDMI cable though because if you use component video cable it's all black and white..

    • bossypants profile image

      bossypants 4 years ago from America's Dairyland

      Yours is the best description I've read of how Apple Tv works and what I can do with it. Thanks for being so thorough and understandable!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @Motionmaker: Ron, I`m pretty sure you can. I think he mentioned that right at the end of the video. I hope so, because that is the main reason I am thinking of getting it for.

    • MobileMakeup4U profile image

      Edita 4 years ago from Auckland NZ

      Great lens with valuable info. :)

    • Motionmaker profile image

      Motionmaker 4 years ago

      Great article! Can you also use the Apple TV to simply transmit your pc/macbook screen to your TV wirelessly (not just itunes/media)? I would buy it if it had that option. This would be another very useful function to inform on for your article ...

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Going to get it ASAP!

    • spencerharry80 lm profile image

      spencerharry80 lm 4 years ago

      I am a great fan of apple products. Some of my friends have Apple TV and within few months I am looking to buy one. The lens is very informative and pretty good build up.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Fantastic lens, you have me convinced, first stop tomorrow morning is Apple store to get one! Thanks

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 4 years ago

      I have been debating about whether Apple TV is for us. This is a wonderful lens. You not only share what you think about it, but how it works and what you need. So valuable. Blessed.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I enjoy reading this awesome lens, nicely done!

    • Zebedee32 profile image

      Zebedee32 4 years ago

      A very well presented lens.

    • profile image

      clerk1993 5 years ago

      nice, thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      sounds like a winner,but what if i don't have an apple account will i still be able to use it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      this is a good option... i'm using netflix and it doesn't offer HD movies

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @TransplantedSoul: So true. The hell with cable. Plus you have more control over what you watch.

    • TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 5 years ago

      The more I see how expensive my cable bill is, the more I think options like this will begin to take over.

    • iPSiArt profile image

      iPSiArt 5 years ago

      I am thinking about buying it.

    • DecoratingEvents profile image
      Author

      DecoratingEvents 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Apple TV is viewed on your television through a different source or input like a dvd player. You simply choose the source/input you connected it to and watch Apple TV. Then switch back to your normal source/input to view regular cable or satellite. Basically, it gives you more options in addition to your regular television uses.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Can I view tv stations?

    • EcoLogik profile image

      EcoLogik 5 years ago

      Nice lens, interesting.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Cool lense. Love my apple tv

    • profile image

      MrTibbs 5 years ago

      Thanks for elucidating this mysterious technology!

    • MarcNorris LM profile image

      MarcNorris LM 5 years ago

      Definitely some great advice here - thanks for the recommendations.

    • WaynesWorld LM profile image

      WaynesWorld LM 5 years ago

      Sounds good, I was considering Roku, now I don't know.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Really helpful review, keep up the good work and apple tv rocks!!!

    • Onlinemum3 profile image

      Onlinemum3 5 years ago

      Great lens. My husband wants to get an Apple TV. I didn't really get what it did so thanks for the review.

    • profile image

      dividi 5 years ago

      Thanks for this useful review on this fantastic product. I plan to buy it one someday!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      I just won an Apple TV for an article I had done for Zujava so now I am busy checking out the reviews to figure out exactly what it does and how it works. Thank you so much for your Apple T.V. article it helped.

    • desa999 lm profile image

      desa999 lm 5 years ago

      Thanks for the detailed explanation. I didn't realise how this works.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      This sounds great! There are so many wonderful options now for watching TV.

    • profile image

      Meowy821203 5 years ago

      Thanks for the info!

    • profile image

      sheezie77 5 years ago

      Thank you for your information! great lens..I might buy one

    • profile image

      baby-strollers 5 years ago

      Very cool little device. Might need to pick one up.

    • profile image

      Obscure_Treasures 5 years ago

      I simply love Apple TV. Great lens.

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 5 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      It looks very cool. Thumbs up!

    • sushilkin lm profile image

      sushilkin lm 5 years ago

      Liked apple TV and its gadgets.

    • profile image

      driveindustries 5 years ago

      Great lens. Very informative. We just got an Apple TV and we love it too.

    • profile image

      dvpwli 5 years ago

      I like this lens and i as a squid angle, i have blessed lens, thanks

    • DecoratingEvents profile image
      Author

      DecoratingEvents 6 years ago

      @David Stone1: Actually, it's not complicated at all -- you plug it into the wall and then into your tv. Much more simple than a computer or sometimes even cable or satellite boxes.

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 6 years ago from New York City

      Overly complicated, for now. The evolution of the technologies involved will gradually integrate into something as smooth as cable TV is now. But you definitely made it easier to think about. Thanks.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I'm not sure about Apple TV's, but I know that Andy is definitely "the man" LOL

    • dustytoes profile image

      dustytoes 6 years ago

      In over my head that's what I think! Congrats on that nice gift... I always wanted a brother and now I know why! I'm sure this lens will make a lot of sense to most people but I had to skim it so I wouldn't get a headache from all the technology I sensed here. ;)