The Good The Apple TV lets you stream all the video content in the iTunes Store to your HDTV, with purchases stored in the cloud. Netflix, Hulu, HBO, YouTube and dozens of other online services are available, plus music, videos, and photos can be streamed from iOS devices using AirPlay.
The Bad Lacks the app store, improved remote and voice functionality of the 2015 Apple TV. The competing Roku 2 and 3 offer more content sources (including Amazon Instant) and cross-platform search. And the Apple TV platform is less of a streaming standout if you don't own other Apple devices.
The Bottom Line While it's a step behind the Roku and less cutting-edge than the 2015 Apple box, the older Apple TV remains an excellent streaming box, especially for those invested in Apple hardware and the iTunes ecosystem.
A great streaming box, especially for Apple fans
The 2012 version of the Apple TV reviewed here has been discontinued as of October 2016. Shoppers instead should check out the released in 2015. It's available in two versions: $149 for the 32GB model and $199 for the 64GB model. (That's £129 and £169 in the UK, and AU$269 and AU$349 in Australia, respectively). It includes a full-blown app store, integration with Apple's Siri voice-recognition for search and device operation, and a new remote control with a touchpad.
If you've already invested in iTunes TV shows, movies and music, not to mention games on your iPhone or iPad, the updated Apple TV should be your first choice for a home media streamer. However, if you want 4K and HDR video, or if you want more programming choices including Amazon and Vudu, you should also check out alternatives such as Roku and Amazon Fire TV, which start as low as $30.
Editors' note: The original Apple TV review follows.
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