1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

What is Apple TV?

Don't Be Confused by the Name - AppleTV is Not a Television


Apple TV
Apple Inc.

It's an honest mistake.  When people hear about Apple TV or Google TV, they picture a big screen television with special features.  While a Google TV needs its own explanation, an Apple TV is a small network media player that can stream both from your home computers and from online.

What is Apple TV?

Apple TV is a small device that uses a cable to connect to your television. It uses wifi to connect to your home network and the internet. Its purpose is to stream media--photos, movies and music--from your computers, the iTunes store, or from other partners like Netflix and Pandora, to enjoy on your television and home theater audio.  

The early Apple TV models had a hard drive that would sync with your computers' iTunes libraries. You could also buy movies from the iTunes store and save them to the Apple TV's hard drive. However, the second generation Apple TV does not have a hard drive so it can only stream media.

The Apple TV can only stream music or movies stored in a computer's iTunes library.  It does not see videos or other music stored in folders on your computers. This is both good news and bad news.  The good news is that Apple TV works seamlessly with Mac computers and PCs running iTunes.  The bad news is that you cannot access movies saved outside an iTunes library. If you are an iTunes or iPhone user, Apple TV might be right for you. If you have a number of computers in your home network, or a network attached storage (NAS) device, you may want to choose another type of network media player.

Related Video
Get Rid of Kitchen Smells
  1. About.com
  2. Technology
  3. Home Theater
  4. Internet Home Theater - DVRs
  5. Internet Home Theater Basics
  6. What Is Apple TV? (It's Not a Television Set)

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.