A great streaming box, especially for Apple fans
A great streaming box, especially for Apple fans
3:40

A great streaming box, especially for Apple fans

Media Streamers
Hey, I'm Matthew Moskovciak from CNET and we are taking another look at the Apple TV. The latest version of Apple's $100 streaming box actually came out back in March of 2012, but since then, it's had quite a few updates that have added some functionality. The physical hardware is still the same. It's a very minimalist black box which is good since it doesn't call attention to itself and your TV cabinet. Around back, you'll get HDMI, optical audio output, and Ethernet plus there's a micro-USB port, but that's for service only. Inside, there's also dual-band Wi-Fi so you don't need an Ethernet cable in the living room to get it online. The included remote is as simple as it gets. There's a navigation circle, a Play/Pause button, and a Menu button which doubles as a Back button. It's an easy remote to use, although it doesn't quite compared to the Roku 3's clicker which operates using Wi-Fi Direct and has a built-in headphone jack. The user interface was overhauled awhile back, and now, it has a more app-centric design that kind of makes your TV look like a giant iPad. You can rearrange the apps however you'd like and the layout for Apple's iTunes services is particularly nice, offering up lots of useful info including Rotten Tomatoes ratings. The traditional knock against the Apple TV is that it's short on apps, but that's not really fair anymore. Apple has added a lot of services to its box and most of the major ones are covered like Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu Plus, YouTube, MLB. TV, and WatchESPN. There are still some notable exceptions, particularly Amazon Instant, but I think most buyers will be perfectly satisfied with Apple TV's current slate of services. The Apple TV is noticeably light when it comes to streaming music apps as there's no dedicated support for popular services like Spotify, Rdio, Amazon Cloud Player, and Pandora. However, you can access those services using AirPlay which is really the Apple TV's killer feature. Basic idea with AirPlay is it lets you stream any music, video, or photo from your iPhone or iPad straight to your TV. It works with nearly every third-party apps, so you can load up Spotify on your iPhone, hit the AirPlay button, and it'll stream straight to your Apple TV. The Apple TV can also be used with Airplay mirroring which works with newer Macs and it lets you broadcast exactly what's on your screen including Flash video and free Hulu content right to your TV. However, in my testing, while AirPlay mirroring does tend to be a lot more reliable than Google Chromecast mirroring, you should note that it still doesn't look nearly as good as HD video straight from Netflix or HBO Go. The big question is, how the Apple TV stacks up to other streaming boxes? And even with the recent upgrades, the Roku 3 is still my favorite streaming box as it has more channels, excellent cross-platform search, and that neat remote with the headphone jack. There's also Google's $35 Chromecast to consider which is irresistibly priced where at the moment, it only supports Netflix and Hulu and its screen mirroring feature doesn't work all that great with standard hardware. So, overall, the Apple TV is an undeniably polished and excellent streaming box. And if you're heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem with a lot of iTunes content in iOS devices, it's well worth the $100 price. But if you're not heavy into Apple gadgets, the Roku 3 is still the better buy, although the two boxes are awfully close these days. I'm Matthew Moskovciak and this is the Apple TV.

Up Next

Best Rokus for 2022
selects-00-20-35-14-still003.png

Up Next

Best Rokus for 2022

Apple TV 4K (2022) Review: An Excellent Streamer That's Still Too Expensive
apple-tv-2022-hands-on-5b

Apple TV 4K (2022) Review: An Excellent Streamer That's Still Too Expensive

7 Tips to Get More Out of Your Roku TV
screenshot-2022-08-16-at-12-52-46.png

7 Tips to Get More Out of Your Roku TV

Which Roku Is the Go-To? We Break It Down
006-roku-stick-plus

Which Roku Is the Go-To? We Break It Down

Roku Voice Remote Pro review: 'Hey Roku' only goes so far
fl-roku-voice-remote-pro

Roku Voice Remote Pro review: 'Hey Roku' only goes so far

Roku Remote Pro: Rechargeable battery, 'Hey Roku' voice and more for $30
roku-remote-pro

Roku Remote Pro: Rechargeable battery, 'Hey Roku' voice and more for $30

Apple reveals the HomePod Mini
homepod-mini-watch-apples-full-presentation-here-mp4-00-01-14-06-still001

Apple reveals the HomePod Mini

Chromecast with Google TV wants to help you find what to watch
new-chromecast-first-look-10

Chromecast with Google TV wants to help you find what to watch

TiVo Stream 4K streamer offers Android TV for cheaper
tivo4k

TiVo Stream 4K streamer offers Android TV for cheaper

Tech Shows

The Apple Core
apple-core-w

The Apple Core

Alphabet City
alphabet-city-w

Alphabet City

CNET Top 5
cnet-top-5-w

CNET Top 5

The Daily Charge
dc-site-1color-logo.png

The Daily Charge

What the Future
what-the-future-w

What the Future

Tech Today
tech-today-w

Tech Today

Latest News All latest news

Seen the New 2023 Prius? Here's Why It's Turning Heads
2023-prius-reveal-b-roll-toyota-mp4-00-00-39-19-still001

Seen the New 2023 Prius? Here's Why It's Turning Heads

Check Out the Three Best TVs for Every Budget
besttvs22-00pic

Check Out the Three Best TVs for Every Budget

Richard Dorton May Be the Most Prolific Video Game Actor You've Never Seen
thumb-for-site

Richard Dorton May Be the Most Prolific Video Game Actor You've Never Seen

Best Rokus for 2022
selects-00-20-35-14-still003.png

Best Rokus for 2022

How Tyler 'Ninja' Blevins Became a Millionaire Playing Video Games
streamer-and-gamer

How Tyler 'Ninja' Blevins Became a Millionaire Playing Video Games

How NASA Captured the First Artemis Moon Images with Hacked GoPro Cameras
artemis-moon-th-clean

How NASA Captured the First Artemis Moon Images with Hacked GoPro Cameras

Most Popular All most popular

Meet a Mind-Bending Hybrid: The Sono Sion Solar-Grid EV
sono-sion-00-09-01-10-still220

Meet a Mind-Bending Hybrid: The Sono Sion Solar-Grid EV

Comparing Apple Watch Ultra to the Series 8
vscnetthumb-applewatches

Comparing Apple Watch Ultra to the Series 8

5G Comes to Microsoft's Surface Pro 9
screenshot-2022-10-28-at-11-58-40.png

5G Comes to Microsoft's Surface Pro 9

Apple Watch Series 8: What the New Temperature Sensor Can and Can't Do
221026-site-apple-watch-8-in-depth-body-temperature-hands-on-2

Apple Watch Series 8: What the New Temperature Sensor Can and Can't Do

Why I Switched to iPhone
abrar-1

Why I Switched to iPhone

I Swam With a Deep-Sea Robot Designed to Outlast Humans
oceanonekthumb

I Swam With a Deep-Sea Robot Designed to Outlast Humans

Latest Products All latest products

First Look at Archer's Midnight Air Taxi
midnight

First Look at Archer's Midnight Air Taxi

Holoride Hands-On: VR in the Car Is Like a Disney Ride
holoride-00-00-03-12-still003

Holoride Hands-On: VR in the Car Is Like a Disney Ride

Hands-on With All of Microsoft's New Surface Devices
surfacepro9-event-00-00-04-05-still004

Hands-on With All of Microsoft's New Surface Devices

Microsoft Introduces Surface Studio 2 Plus
surfacestudio

Microsoft Introduces Surface Studio 2 Plus

I Used Meta Quest Pro: Here's What It's Like
questpro-00-03-30-13-still004

I Used Meta Quest Pro: Here's What It's Like

Fitbit Sense 2 First Look: New Software Makes a Difference
fitbit-aroll-00-00-46-14-still001

Fitbit Sense 2 First Look: New Software Makes a Difference

Latest How To All how to videos

MacOS Ventura Continuity Camera Turns Your iPhone Into a Webcam
1203246975312353-pnmdl8bwygpxcjffhlcf-height640.png

MacOS Ventura Continuity Camera Turns Your iPhone Into a Webcam

How to Clean Your Keyboard's Sticky Keys
3keyboards

How to Clean Your Keyboard's Sticky Keys

How to Play Games from PlayStation Plus on PC
psstill

How to Play Games from PlayStation Plus on PC

How to Delete or Disable Your Instagram Account
phoneonorange

How to Delete or Disable Your Instagram Account

Fix Your iPhone Screen With Apple's Self-Service Repair Kit
dsc00641

Fix Your iPhone Screen With Apple's Self-Service Repair Kit

How to Buy a Budget Laptop in 2022
budgetlaptops-00-08-35-15-still001

How to Buy a Budget Laptop in 2022