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What is Apple TV and How Does it Work? – Everything You Need to Know!

Debarpita Banerjee Published on : 06 June 2023
What is Apple TV

Apple TV – what thought first strikes your mind when you hear this name? Though the world is already wrapped in the realms of streaming, Apple TV has a lot of confusion surrounding it. Many people fail to understand what Apple TV is. And there is a valid reason for it too! 

Actually, Apple TV is not just a single entity. It is a complete ecosystem of streaming devices and streaming software developed by Apple. So, it consists of three things:

  • Apple TV Hardware, which consists of Apple TV 4K and other streaming devices. 
  • Apple TV Software, and well, it is not just ordinary software, it is an entire operating system, known as the tvOS operating system. 
  • And finally, Apple TV+, which is an OTT platform or video streaming service, which offers you exclusive content. It means the content that you get on Apple TV+ is not available anywhere else.  

In this blog, we will tell you everything about each three of them. So, let’s begin!

What is Apple TV?

When we talk of simply Apple TV, then most of the time we are actually referring to the streaming devices manufactured by Apple. Now known as Apple TV 4K, it is a small streaming set-top box that lets you access content from Apple TV+, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, and many other video streaming platforms. 

Some of the streaming platforms available on Apple TV 4K are:

  • Apple TV+
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • Hulu
  • Apple Music
  • Disney+
  • HBO Max
  • Pluto TV
  • Peacock
  • Spectrum
  • DIRECTVstream

And many more…    

Streaming Platforms Available on Apple TV 4K

Features, Benefits, and Price of Apple TV 4K

Apple TV 4K is packed with features that help it in delivering a power-packed performance and long life. Let’s take you through some of the features and specifications of Apple TV 4K quickly. 

Apple TV 4K Features

Types of  Model

Two types of Models:

  • Wi-Fi model
  • Wi-Fi + Ethernet model

Size and Weight

Height: 31 mm

Width: 93 mm 

Depth: 93 mm 

Weight (Wi-Fi model): 208 grams

Weight (Wi-Fi + Ethernet model): 214 grams

Memory Capacity

For Wi-Fi model – 64GB

For Wi-Fi + Ethernet model – 128GB

Connectivity

HDMI 2.13, Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax) with 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology, IR receiver, Built-in power supply, Thread networking support (only for the Wi-Fi + Ethernet model), 

Gigabit Ethernet (only for the Wi-Fi + Ethernet model)

Processor

A15 Bionic chip

Compatibility

Compatible with HD and UHD TVs with HDMI, Bluetooth keyboards

Video Formats

SDR video with AVC/HEVC (Main/Main 10 profile) up to 2160p, 60 fps, Dolby Vision (Profile 5) up to 2160p, 60 fps, HDR10+/HDR10/HLG with HEVC (Main 10 Profile) up to 2160p, 60 fps, H.264 Baseline Profile level 3.0 or lower with, AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats, MPEG-4 video up to 2.5 Mbps, 640×480 pixels, 30 fps, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4

and .mov file formats

Audio Formats

HE-AAC (V1), AAC (up to 320 Kbps), protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 (up to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Apple Lossless, FLAC, AIFF, and WAV; AC-3 (Dolby Digital 5.1), E-AC-3 (Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 surround sound) and Dolby Atmos

Benefits of Apple TV 4K

Apple TV gives you a premium TV-watching experience with amazing video and audio quality. Some of the major benefits of having Apple TV 4K are:

  • A Huge Range of Apps: Apple TV 4K offers you a wide variety of content and streaming platforms, probably higher than any other connected TV ecosystem. 
  • No Pay-TV Subscription: If you have Apple TV 4K, then you won’t need any Pay-TV subscription anymore. 
  • Easy to Install and Use: If you do not have enough technical understanding, you can still set up Apple TV 4K very easily. 
  • Connect Your iPhone with AirPlay: You can very easily mirror your iPhone with your Apple TV 4K using AirPlay. Here, please note that you need to connect to the same Wi-Fi network. 
  • Easy Navigation and Control: Apple TV K4 is powered by the Siri Remote, which makes navigation and control extremely easy. 

Apple TV 4K Price

The Wi-Fi model of Apple TV 4K will cost you US$ 129.00, while the Wi-Fi+Ethernet model of Apple TV 4K will cost you US$ 149.00. 

And to ease things out for you, Apple offers an installation payment model, where you do not need to pay the entire amount upfront. For the Wi-Fi model, you need to pay US$ 21.50/month for 6 months, and for the Wi-Fi+Ethernet model, you need to pay US$ $24.83/month for 6 months. 

The Siri Remote

Apple TV 4K and other Apple TV streaming devices come with Siri Remote. Now if you are thinking that it is just another accessory, then you are hugely mistaken because the Siri Remote is a marvel in itself! 

Some of the major features of the Siri Remote are:

  • It comes with a touch-enabled click pad that lets you select and swipe through playlists and browse through any platform very easily. 
  • Its outer ring is touch-sensitive too! If you use a circular gesture on the outer ring, you will be able to browse through different scenes of a show. 
  • As the name suggests, it has Siri voice assistant built-in, which makes navigation easier. 
  • It comes with a rechargeable battery, and you can recharge it through a USB-C type charger.
  • It is a wireless remote that connects through Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology. 

If you want to buy the Siri Remote individually, you will have to pay US$ 54.29. 

What is Apple TV Plus?   

Apple TV Plus is a streaming platform (i.e. an OTT Platform) owned by Apple. It was launched on 1st November 2019, and since then, it has reached 50 million viewers worldwide, among whom 25 million have already bought its subscription. This number is expected to increase further in the coming years. 

Estimated number of Apple TV Plus users worldwide

So what do you get as an Apple TV+ Subscriber?

  • You get exclusive Apple original content that is not available on any other platform. 
  • New Apple Originals are released every single month, hence providing you with fresh content at regular intervals. 
  • If you buy a new Apple device, you will get a complimentary Apple TV+ subscription for three for free. 
  • You can even share your Apple TV+ access with your family members. 
  • You can stream shows across devices, including Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, Mac, Airplay, and others! 
  • Apple TV+ is also supported by many smart TVs, including Samsung Smart TV and Google TV. 

How Much Will It Cost?

Apple TV+ provides a free trial period of 7 days, and post that, you need to pay US $6.99 per month. Also, if you are an Apple One subscriber, which costs you US $16.95/month for the individual plan and US $22.95 per month for the family plan, you can enjoy Apple TV Plus as a part of the Apple One bundle.       

What is tvOS?

tvOS is a connected TV OS that is based on the iOS app of Apple. Just like iOS, tvOS is also developed in-house by Apple. All the 3rd and 4th generation streaming and connected TV devices manufactured by Apple currently run on the tvOS.   

Some of the key features of tvOS are:

  • Multi-User Support: tvOS allows you to set up different user profiles for individual users, be it your family or friends. 
  • Picture-in-Picture: You can keep streaming content from your favorite app, while navigating on another screen, by maintaining both screens in Picture-in-Picture mode. 
  • Improved Screensavers: The latest version of tvOS includes a large number of screensavers of different themes, like aerial and underwater themes. 
  • Control Center: The improved tvOS control center lets you change audio sources, put Apple TV on sleep mode, and switch accounts effortlessly.   

What is the History of Apple TV?    

Studying the history of any product from a company as old as Apple is not that easy. Each Apple product comes out after years of hard work and research. The same stands true for the Apple TV ecosystem too. 

The history of Apple TV starts much before the first Apple TV was even thought of. In 1993, Apple released Macintosh TV, which was the first home-entertainment device developed by the company. But, it proved to be a commercial failure, as Apple could sell only 10,000 units of it, before discontinuing it in 1994. 

Years later, in an announcement in 2006, Apple announced the first generation of Apple TV devices. We have tracked the development of Apple TV devices since then and tabulated them below.

The History of Apple TV

Apple TV and Apple TV+: Future Scope and Predictions      

In 2015, Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, told in one of his interviews that they believe the Future of TV is Apps. And 8 years down the line, it seems that he was right!  

During the first quarter of 2023, Apple TV+ held a 6% share of the streaming platform market in the US. And due to its nature of offering exclusive original content, it is expected to rise higher in the coming years. 

Market Share of streaming platforms in the US in the first quarter of 2023

Also, Apple TV+ has seen consistent growth in the global streaming market in 2022. There was a time when it had even reached 7% market share. Though it has now shrunk to 5%, we can be optimistic about the future, and there are reasons to be so. 

If you observe the growth of other streaming platforms, you will realize that Netflix, the global leader in streaming, has started to lose market share very rapidly. And this has opened up the gates for all the other streaming services, including Apple TV+. 

Global SVOD Market Shares

Also, growth is expected for Apple TV 4K too! After the company reduced the prices of Apple TV devices in 2022, the demand is expected to grow slowly. Hence, bright days are ahead for the Apple TV streaming ecosystem!                                                                    

Apple TV Streaming Apps

If you use Apple TV, you can download and access a lot of streaming apps, and enjoy their content. Some of the top Apple TV Streaming apps are tabulated below.

App Type

App Name

Free To Download Apps

  • Watch TNT
  • Peacock TV
  • Paramount+
  • Tubi
  • HBO Max
  • Hulu
  • YouTube
  • ESPN
  • Disney+
  • Netflix
  • Pluto TV 
  • Spotify
  • Crunchyroll
  • fuboTV
  • Sling
  • Xfinity Stream
  • MGM+

Paid Apps

  • The Jackbox Party Pack 3
  • Quiplash
  • Cheers – Danmu Player
  • iPlayTV – IPTV/M3U Player
  • The Jackbox Party Pack 9
  • The Jackbox Party Pack 6
  • iSTB
  • Search TV with Google API

Top Grossing Apps

  • ESPN: Live Sports & Scores
  • HBO Max: Stream TV & Movies
  • Disney+
  • Peacock TV: Stream TV & Movies
  • Paramount+
  • Hulu: Watch TV shows & movies
  • Discovery+
  • Netflix
  • SHOWTIME
  • MLB

Also, these apps are spread across multiple categories, like news, sports, entertainment, education, health and fitness, and many others. The top 5 apps from all these categories have been tabulated below. 

App Category

Top 5 Apps

News

  • Fox Nation
  • One America News Network
  • CNBC
  • CNN
  • MSNBC

Sports

  • ESPN: Live Sports & Scores
  • NBA: Live Games & Scores
  • CBS Sports App
  • Fox Sports
  • NBC Sports

Music

  • Spotify
  • Veeps
  • Amazon Music
  • Apple Music
  • iTunes Radio

Entertainment and Movies (VOD Streaming)

  • HBO Max
  • Disney+
  • Peacock TV
  • Paramount+
  • Hulu

How to Create Apple TV (tvOS) App With Muvi One?

In 2023, there are approximately 21,854 apps in the tvOS app store, published by 14,383 different app publishers. Out of these, 18,652 are free apps, while 3,202 are paid apps. 

And more importantly, Apple TV (tvOS apps) are being developed at a rapid pace nowadays. On average, we see the release of 9 tvOS apps every single day. 

Hence, if you do not start developing your own or Build Apple TV app right now, you might fall behind your competitors. 

And you do not need any large development/IT team or large-scale digital infrastructure to do so. You can create a tvOS app with any coding or technical knowledge, using a no-code app builder like Muvi One. 

To create your tvOS app using Muvi One, just follow these simple steps given below:

  • You need to begin by signing up with Muvi One. For doing so, click on the “Free Trial” button on the homepage. 
  • After signing up, log in to your CMS dashboard. 
  • From the dashboard, go to the content library and add your videos/audio. 
  • Now go to the Apps section and choose the Apple TV app option. 
  • Choose and design the template for your Apple TV app.
  • Fill up and submit the Apple TV app application form. 

Once we receive your request, we will start working on it right away. Ideally, you should receive your app within 1 day, so that you can try it out and test it! 

You can read about this process in detail here

To Sum Up

We hope you have understood what is Apple TV and Apple TV+ by now. With the massive growth in the overall connected TV ecosystem, we can definitely expect massive growth for Apple TV in the coming years. And now with reduced prices, it has become all the more affordable. 

That is why, it is the right time to launch your own Apple TV app. And you can do so easily using Muvi One. With Muvi One, you will get built-in multi-DRM security, built-in encoder and decoder, CDN, ABR, and DVR, and 100+ industry-leading features, everything out-of-the-box. 

So, why wait? Sign up with Muvi One to create your Apple TV app today, without writing a single line of code! Click here to start your 14-day free trial right now! No credit card is required. 

FAQs

What is Apple TV and how does it differ from a regular TV?

Apple TV is not like any regular TV. It is actually not even a TV! Apple TV is a set-top box that lets you access multiple video and audio streaming platforms over the internet, on your regular TV!

Can I access streaming services like Netflix and Hulu on Apple TV?

Yes, you can access these apps on Apple TV. 

Does Apple TV require an internet connection to work?

Yes, it needs the internet to work. It connects to the internet via Wi-Fi. So, you will need a strong Wi-Fi network in your home. 

Can I use Apple TV with non-Apple devices?

Yes, you can use Apple TV with any regular TV that is compatible to be connected with it. 

More Blogs Like This:

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What is Fire TV?

Written by: Debarpita Banerjee

Debarpita is a Content Writer with Muvi. With around 2 years of experience in content creation, she has worked across industries like SaaS, EdTech, eLearning, AR-VR, and Metaverse. She believes in delivering content that can be of some value to the readers. In her free time, she likes to try her hand at website and app development.

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