OK, it's a fair question. Why should you buy an Apple TV — especially when there are less expensive options out there when to comes to streaming video hardware. I mean, $200 isn't anything to sniff at, right? For that kind of money you could outfit something like four or five televisions with all the hardware they'll need to get things going.
Well what you have to ask yourself is whether you just want to do enough to get by, or if you want the sort of hardware that will do it all, do it well, and last a long time in the process.
That, folks, is the Apple TV. Want more reasons, though? We've got 'em.
You want powerful hardware and a better experience
Look, streaming live TV just isn't quite as fast as easy as cable TV. And the last thing you want is all the apps you'll be using — your live TV streaming solution itself, and other services like Netflix and Amazon Video — to run slowly. And the simple fact is Apple TV (and Android TV alongside it) is faster than the other, less expensive hardware solutions.
Maybe it's actually a software thing and has to do with how the apps are coded. I don't really know, and I don't really care. It's the end result that's important, and Apple TV is just fast . Apps are fast to load, and they're fast to use. There's no waiting on menus or graphics to eventually show up.
You want 4K resolution and Dolby Vision
It's absolutely possible to get a streaming dongle that does 4K resolution for less than $100. And that's fine, and they work OK. But if you want Dolby Vision — that's a proprietary version of HDR that looks better than the open-source HDR10 standard — then you'll want to go with an Apple TV 4K.
Is it that important? No. You can live without it. But once you see Dolby Vision in action, you'll wonder why you settled for less. Seriously.
You're an 'Apple Person'
You don't have to worship at the Altar of Jobs to appreciate that being all-in on one ecosystem has its advantages. And if there's one thing Apple does well, it's giving you incentives to stay within its walled garden. Tying everything into your Apple ID can bring all sorts of digital entertainment together, from movies and music to TV logins.
Already have a ton of movies and music from iTunes? Don't bother reading any further. Just buy an Apple TV.
That's not to say that Apple doesn't still have room to improve and build things out. But if you've got an iPhone in your pocket, Apple TV is a very good buy — if only for the ridiculously easy setup process.
You want to show stuff from your phone or computer on a TV
Apple's AirPlay feature is excellent. One click and you can share you Mac screen on the big screen. Or send content from your iPhone or iPad onto the TV. It's ridiculously easy and one of my favorite features about Apple TV.
You just love hearing Siri
Look, we don't judge. What sort of relationship you have with Siri is entirely up to you.
And now you can summon her through a remote control.
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