The price of Apple TV has dropped a substantial $30 to just $69, which makes it a much more attractive prospect in certain households. But with competitors such as Amazon and Google still costing less than Apple, is this the time to switch or buy?
If you are looking to purchase a media streaming service, here’s all you need to know about Apple TV, and their rivals.
Reasons to buy Apple TV
If you are an Apple device fan, and regularly use iTunes, iClouds or iMovie, it makes perfect sense to get the TV. All these applications hook into the service, and you can also use AirPlay, which allows you to stream videos and music from practically any iOS app.
Talking of iTunes, if you have a large library of music and videos then get Apple TV. Anything you have bought through iTunes is available immediately on Apple TV, and your iTunes library can be streamed from networked computers over Wi-Fi.
If you have another streaming service, such as Fire TV, and you want to listen to your iTunes library you would have to transfer your songs to an alternative like Google Play Music or Amazon Music. Why bother?
If you already use Apple services such as podcast apps, media sharing and you are familiar with them and enjoy them then why switch to another media streamer and have to change?
You don’t get an app store with Apple TV, but what you do get is a layout that shows every available app as soon as you sign up. And you can also customize how this layout looks.
Game of Throne fans will no doubt already know that Apple’s standalone service – HBO Now, is streaming all of the channel’s programmes, including GOT. If you can’t wait for the fifth season, then Apple TV is your best option.
Reasons not to buy Apple TV
If you love Google Play or Amazon then steer clear of Apple TV. If you wanted to watch any Amazon Prime videos for instance, the only way to do this is via AirPlay. This is also true if you want to stream download music from Google Play. This means you need to have an iPhone or iPad handy all the time.
If you still do not have a smart TV, then using a Fire TV or Fire TV Stick is the simply the best way to watch Amazon content.
For Google fans, stick to Chromecast or the Nexus Player.
If you want a mix of both Amazon Prime and Google Play check out Roku’s Streaming Stick and set-top boxes. They offer apps for both.
Alternatives to Apple TV
The Fire Stick costs $39 and is the easiest way to stream Amazon Prime content to your TV. The Fire Stick comes with its own remote.
For $35, Google’s Chromecast is the cheapest option available. You do have to control it via your smartphone, tablet or PC instead of a remote.
Roku’s Streaming Stick will cost you $50 and connects you instantly to Netflix and Amazon Instant. It also has a dedicated remote, which some subscribers prefer.